Allan Ryan 123 Innovate

May the best team win

Teams, mindset and performance

It’s funny. In every workshop I run, I learn something too. More often than not, it’s a valuable lesson or insight from participants. This is the great benefit of our community approach – knowledge is a two-way process. One of the best insights I have learned is comprehending what makes some people, teams and organisations more successful than others – I discovered clarity about the importance of hard and soft skills.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to avoid being a member of a team. If you’re not on an official team at work, chances are you function within one, one way or another.

Today’s teams are different from the teams of the past – they’re far more diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic, with frequent changes in membership. But while teams face new hurdles, their success still hinges on a core set of fundamentals for group collaboration.

We all know the basics of team effectiveness:

  • a compelling direction
  • a strong structure
  • a supportive context.

Today those 3 requirements demand more attention than ever. 

But modern teams require a 4th critical condition: a shared team or innovative mindset.

Defined as the “belief, standpoint, behaviour and actions”, innovation mindset is the missing link to team performance and engagement in today’s highly diverse and digitally social world.

Our research shows that an innovative mindset significantly improves performance across all types of teams – from service to project teams, leadership to sales teams. The key to improved team performance is improved efficiency and effectiveness, with solutions and techniques to solve problems and create opportunities.

Think about these 4 elements of mindset. Do you:

  1. Believe innovation is important to the team or organisation?
  2. Recognise the multiple roles and strengths needed in the innovation process?
  3. Recognise the positive behaviours that contribute to innovation?
  4. Use tools and techniques that contribute to maximising the innovation in ideas?

Mindset is not new. Henry Ford famously said,

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

The validity of mindset has been scientifically proven across many studies. But, according to Dr Alia Crum, the biggest game-changer is “YOU, by harnessing the power of your mind” and demonstrating the influence of the mindset on the body and how changing the subjective mindset produced different outcomes. 

Carol Dweck, a leader in mindset, researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and solve problems. Carol describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard to solve and asks, “Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?” 

Where do you see yourself in ten years? What part of your current job will still exist? What part will be performed by technology? What will you have left in your kit bag to promote yourself?

“To thrive in today’s innovation-driven economy, workers need a different mix of skills than in the past. In addition to foundational skills like literacy and numeracy, they need competencies like collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and character qualities like collaboration, curiosity, and initiative. …Changes in the labour market have heightened the need for all individuals, and not just a few, to have these skills”. (New Vision for Education- Unlocking the power of Technology, World Economic Forum, Prepared in Collaboration with Boston Consulting Group.)

Innovation Mindset is an essential skill. Explore the Innovation Mindset Framework to learn more about your role in innovation and mindset and team behaviours.

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