Does Your Organization Suffer From These Symptoms of “Hidden Genius Constipation”?
1- People in your organization have great ideas for new products and services but they have no outlet to express them. Innovation stays in the realm of the product development team, or with your “regular” stars.
No matter how diverse your workforce is, if people can’t show what they can do, they will never feel included or achieve the highest level of success.
Employees who have solutions that may even be unorthodox for problems in different departments, or work levels don’t feel encouraged to participate. Then they stop trying, they keep their thoughts to themselves, and don’t appreciate their own value.
2- You have done things the same way for years with the same people who think like you. You’re mired in the business weeds and haven’t taken the time to expand your perspective. You have no time to talk to people outside your sphere, or research best practices from other organizations or industries. You don’t even know what you’re capable of, or the brilliance that can flow from your brain with the right outside stimulation.
3- People at all levels are in silos and don’t have the tools, knowledge or cultural permission to find ways to bring out the genius in each other.
Organizational “genius constipation” results in talent being flushed down the drain from underuse. When people feel underused or underestimated they express their dissatisfaction in one of three ways:
1- They go work for your competitor
2- They leave, start their own business and become your competitor
3- They keep their ideas to themselves which impedes your ability tp move ahead of your competitors
Here are three ways to end “hidden genius constipation” so brilliance in your organization can flow:
1- Encourage unconventional solutions through your words and behavior. Solicit ideas from people who don’t always speak up. Consciously seek out people who are different than you, with whom you may not feel comfortable, or haven’t engaged.
Tell them you’re looking for input and new ways to meet customer needs that haven’t been tried before. Allow them to finish talking before interrupting or shutting them down. Be willing to give them the opportunity to succeed in new areas.
2- Share challenges and best practices with leaders in other organizations and industries and determine what you can apply. Allow your mind to be stimulated. Get out of “the office.” Talk to customers and users of your products and services and ask them what new products, services or add-ons would keep them loyal for life and tell everyone they know.
Expand your perspective and open possibilities for new markets by getting feedback from people in different segments about what would appeal to them. Hopefully, you already have these people in your organization. Start building prototypes and unleash your inner genius.
3- Form cross-functional innovation teams that span as many dimensions of diversity as possible. Begin with a facilitated process for people to get to know each other and get comfortable. Learn and teach everyone how to access diversity of thought to everyone can contribute in different ways.