Collaborating as an “innovation team”

Innovation team collaboration: a 3-legged stool and a bunch of glue.

Whether it’s a 3-legged stool, a tripod, or the 3 amigos, there is no shortage of teams and/or systems requiring 3 effective elements. In this book, they go with the following 3 critical elements to successful innovation team: shared strategic vision, unique and complementary skills, and shared rewards.

Share strategic vision. You all gotta be pulling in the same direction toward the same vision. But what is a vision? It has to be more than a clever phrase written on the walls. The author’s say it needs to be simple, compelling, and aligned with the organizational goals. It should also be relatable for all team members. If someone doesn’t know how his or her work is contributing to the grand vision, he or she is probably not feeling very engaged.

Unique and Complementary Skills: This is pretty universally understood so I will not waste any more than one sentence to mention it. The smallest team possible is typically the right size. OK, three sentences.

Share rewards: This is yet another universal adage you hear a lot in business. It doesn’t apply to a lot of people because those in control of dividing rewards are the very small minority. For the rest of us who are working within a given system, the best advice is to be conscientious of how your work is affecting other people. If you’re not doing that already, don’t worry about it – just reading this blog is not going to make you not an asshole.

What’s the glue that holds the stool together? Why didn’t you use screws or nails instead of glue? All these answers in the next post.