When you’re talking about innovation, a traditional brainstorming approach doesn’t work. If you want to generate better ideas, you have to be able to create your innovation dream team in a systematic way.
Different Roles in an innovation Dream Team
- The Team Leader – The team leader should be involved both at the start and end of the process.
- The Real Champion of Innovation – They’re always thinking about new ideas and pushing for new and challenging ideas. They’re like the Energizer bunny in the room that keeps the group enthused.
- The Contrarian – They’re the ones who subvert the team and are willing to break the rules faster than others. They’re willing to get things done in a way that others might not be willing to. They add that element of risk-taking.
Creating a Diverse Team
Diversity is a driver of innovation. Bring together into the room, anywhere from 12 to 16 but the sweet spot is right around 12 people. When you get more than that, it just becomes more difficult to manage for the facilitator. When you get less than that, you run the risk of having too little brainpower in the room.
Types of Diversity
- Functional Diversity – Break the entire team into three groups:
- Marketing people coming from diverse backgrounds
- Technical people from different backgrounds
- Customer-centric people
- Gender Diversity
When you put the risk-taking element of men together with the more practical element of women, there’s a certain magic that happens. You end up with ideas that are both exotic and achievable.
- Experience Diversity
These are people who are brand new to the organization as well as people that have been there 20 or 30 years. You want people with different experience levels.
- Cultural Diversity
When you get people from different cultures, different geographies, different economies, they bring a different aspect again to create innovation.
Once you’ve created your innovation dream team, it’s essential that you pull them together into a room and have a facilitated exercise using methods like SIT or other techniques that help you generate ideas and take advantage of that magic that an innovation dream team can deliver.
To hear more about creating your innovation dream team, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 006: Innovation Dream Teams: The Secret Formula to Drive Team Success.