What do you do when one innovation style is in short supply in your organization?

Having a cognitively diverse team is instrumental to organizational development and success, which means including individuals with different innovation styles. 

The Impact of Innovation Styles on Organizational Effectiveness

A large global engineering company that served the airline and aerospace industries had big dreams of growth and expansion, but they were facing a significant roadblock. Despite their best efforts, they were struggling to develop new products and enter new markets. Our Basadur team was called in to help the company tackle this challenge through a training program designed to build problem-solving skills and create a more innovative culture.

As with all of our workshops, every person was required to take the Basadur Profile.  Upon completion, it was evident (and a surprise to many across nearly all the teams) that the majority of their employees, especially managers and professionals, had a strong inclination towards optimization and implementation. While these styles offer essential analytical skills, there was one glaring weakness; there were some conceptualizers but almost no generators. The imaginative skills so necessary for growth and expansion into new products and markets were severely lacking.

Generators are individuals with a knack for coming up with new ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, the company had a culture that heavily favored quick fixes and analysis, leaving little room for individuals who preferred the generation stage of the innovation process.

Realizing the need for change, the company took action. They developed an extensive training program to enhance their employees’ awareness and skills in generation and conceptualization. Additionally, they created a corporate program that incentivized all business units to propose new projects for developing innovative products and tapping into new markets.

With a critical shortage of generators, implementing a training program aimed at developing awareness and skills in generation and conceptualization was instrumental in transforming this organization’s culture. By understanding that innovation is a process, they were able to shift from a predominantly implementation-oriented mindset to one that better valued continuous improvement and rewarded the exploration of new ideas. 

For this engineering company, it was the introduction of an extensive creative problem solving training program along with significant financial incentives for proposing new projects that helped to transform their culture.  They created an environment that encourages and supports the generation of new products and enthusiasm and energy to enter into new markets. The program was a huge success. This transformation serves as a testament to the power of understanding cognitive diversity, then investing in the right training to cultivate a more innovative culture.

Key Takeaways: (Why Measure the cognitive diversity of your team?)

  • Identify the reasons you seek a transformation in your team or organization’s culture – what’s the business need?
  • Highlight the challenges you face and the need for a training program
  • Design a customized training program to meet your culture goals
  • Assess the innovation style of each individual involved or the ones that should be involved, in the transformation
  • Develop strategies that will maximize participation and engagement from your people
  • Foster innovation with a balance or an understanding that diverse styles or tools are needed to help generate new, out-of-the-box thinking
  • Nurture innovation by rewarding new ideas and initiatives that emerge
  • Ensure long-term sustainability and ongoing training initiatives – quick hits are gratifying but slow and steady wins the race.

“You’re an innovator, you just don’t know it yet!” Learn more about the Basadur Profile and how it measures cognitive diversity to support your team in achieving innovative results. 

Ready to take The Profile?

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