Does this situation sound familiar? I hope not! But, unfortunately, in some organisations and in some teams, this is a reality. Fear of judgement or finger pointing when mistakes are made, stifle people’s willingness to share their thoughts and ideas. Of course, this is detrimental to teams’ creativity.
No idea is too small to share
Dare to share. That's one of our most essential mottos at EGGS. We encourage each other to share our thoughts, ideas and even our failures. After all, that’s how we learn to do better. And even more importantly, we make a point out of sharing things while they’re still half-done or just got started. No idea and no work are too small or unimportant to share.
Fear stifles creativity
By creating a culture where you’re able to share without the risk of being judged or reprimanded for “bad” ideas, mistakes or “not thought through enough” thoughts, you generate an environment where creativity and productivity can flourish. Why? The answer is simple – people who are afraid of the consequences of failure will stay on the safe side, while people who know it’s ok to fail will have the courage to come up with new creative solutions and to think outside of the box. And that's precisely what is needed to create amazing new innovations.
Creativity is about creating an environment that encourages and allows for the sharing of ideas and work without fear of being judged."Malin H. Teles
Share to improve efficiency
Moreover, it's not only creativity that benefits from sharing – but it can also improve the efficiency. By sharing things at an early stage, you can increase productivity and decrease waste of resources by scrapping ideas that aren’t up to par before they have consumed too much time.
But, isn't scrapping ideas the same thing as judging? Well, not necessarily. There is a significant difference between judging the person who came up with an idea or performed a piece of work and assessing the idea or the work itself. The former should be never be practiced in any work environment which aims to be productive and creative, while the latter is an utterly necessary part of all creative processes.
Teams thrive on trust, and by building it into our organisations and our ways of working, we can create remarkable things.Malin H. Teles
Focus on the process
Good managers and good coworkers master the art of identifying mistakes and opportunities for improvement and vocalizing them without getting stuck on them. In other words, when something is not right, you quickly recognize it, why it happened, correct it and then move on. Never emphasize whose “fault” something is but focus on how to move on from there. By concentrating on constructivism and seeing the process for what it is – a process and not a result - the team gets used to sharing ideas and unfinished work with each other even though it might mean receiving some criticism along the way. The end result is what matters, and it should be a fun journey to get there!
Ultimately, it all comes down to trust. You need to trust your leader, colleague, client or consultant in order to feel comfortable sharing your work. Trust them to know that they won’t steal your idea, that they won’t judge you and, perhaps most importantly, that they will give you honest and constructive feedback.