Organisational strategy

Drive innovation in your team

Generally, people don’t like change. Hence, effecting the new is normally a challenge with a team.

African Enterprise Challenge Fund director Steve Tawia, Capria director Mercy Mutua and Vera Wachira
African Enterprise Challenge Fund director Steve Tawia, Capria director Mercy Mutua and Vera Wachira
Image: Enos Teche

As you lead your team, there comes a time for change; time for the next level. At this point, it is important to have the ability to get your team to appreciate the next level. Generally, people don’t like change. Hence, effecting the new is normally a challenge with a team; they are people. So, what do you do? How do you drive innovation in your team? Here’s how.

Sell the vision: To effectively lead a team, you need a clear vision – especially at innovation points. Now, it is not enough to have a clear picture of the next level, but you must be skilled at effectively selling the vision to your team.

 

In selling your innovation vision, it is helpful to paint a clear picture of where you’re headed, how it benefits the organization and team members. You must show how the next level will enhance the performance of the team. The new is great, but it must contend with the comfort that the status quo brings. Does your innovation plan answer the questions that your team members have? If it does and they commit to your vision, then your vision is sold.

 

Be the example: You can sell your vision and people can buy in initially. But, to sustain their interest, you must embody the principles that govern your vision. You must embody the idea that you sell. People should look at you and see that you deeply believe in what you’re talking about. If not, they would eventually lose interest and move on. So, don’t just talk about your innovation vision, show your team how it is done by being a good example of your vision.

Encourage your team: On the innovation journey, your team can get tired or weary. Normally, things don’t play out as fast as you want and sometimes, people lose hope. In this case, it’s your job to keep hope alive. Encourage your team. Let your team know that you can and will push through the challenges together. Show your team that eventually, you will win.

Get results: The innovation cycle is complete when results are achieved. Results will energize your team. So as a leader, find ways to get small wins along the way as you aim for the big win. Results show your team that the innovation process works. And as you move from one level of innovation to another, your team would grow their confidence in your leadership by the results achieved.

Email: [email protected]