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

In a recent engagement, our team was called in to work with the top management team of a highly profitable manufacturing facility that was facing quality problems. Despite being quite successful, the facility encountered too many product defects, excess waste, and inefficient processes. Instead of addressing the root cause, the team applied quick fixes, leading to duplication and a lack of accountability. They were adept “fire-fighters” but recognized this was no way to run a business over the long term.  People also tended to work in silos which led to various degrees of idleness – an “it’s not my job” attitude permeated the facility.

Immediately after administering the Basadur Profile and analyzing the team scatter diagram, the preferences of the 14 leaders were evident – there was a shortage of individuals with optimization skills. This stage of the innovation process was not preferred by any of the management team – probably not a surprise but it was very revealing.  By neglecting process improvement and quality, the company missed out on cost reduction and improved profitability.

To overcome this challenge, the team considered several solutions. Firstly, by adding more optimizers to the team they should be able to better balance the team’s problem-solving capabilities. Secondly, incentivizing optimization efforts would motivate individuals to prioritize this part of the innovation process. Lastly and most importantly, training on optimization tools and techniques would build skills in this area.

Importance of Optimization

By identifying and rectifying inefficiencies, organizations can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. The optimization process ensures the effective utilization of resources, minimizes errors, and improves overall quality and customer satisfaction. Moreover, optimizing processes facilitates continuous improvement and innovation, enabling organizations to stay competitive in the dynamic business landscape. It empowers teams to identify and eliminate bottlenecks, adapt to emerging trends, and seize opportunities for growth.

In the Basadur Profile model, an optimizer assumes a significant role in problem-solving and decision-making. This role involves refining and enhancing ideas generated by other team members, ensuring their practicality and effectiveness. By identifying flaws and limitations, optimizers increase the likelihood of successful implementation.

Key Takeaways for Optimization 

Optimizers provide balance by:

  • Refining and improving ideas, they find ways to make ideas more practical, feasible, and effective.
  • Making ideas actionable, they transform conceptual or innovative ideas into reality.
  • Analyzing and mitigating risks, they contribute to risk analysis and develop strategies to mitigate or manage the risks making the idea more robust and reliable.
  • Balancing creativity and feasibility, they ensure innovative ideas are not overly idealistic and can be executed within the available resources and constraints.
  • Continuously evaluating and refining ideas as new information becomes available or as the project progresses, optimization is an iterative process, not a one-time task.
  • Enhancing the likelihood of successful implementation, helps ensure that ideas are well-prepared for the next steps.

Having optimizers in an organization is crucial for turning innovative ideas into practical solutions. They work in tandem with generators, conceptualizers, and implementers, forming a well-rounded problem-solving and decision-making team.

“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?

Click Here