Leverage Small Team Big Ideas to Catalyze Business Growth

July 25, 2017

by Babette Ten Haken

Leveraging small team big ideas are critical components for business growth, scalability and expansion. In addition, these ideas move employees forward from self-limiting thought processes preventing professional development.

I’ve found that team composition is highly variable in small to mid-size businesses. Not only are employees hired to fill individual positions. Also, regard for their ability to complement the existing workforce is minimized. As a result, the ensuing workforce represents a mosaic of personal and professional histories and backstories.

Consequently, the workforce is not adept at communication and collaboration. Lack of functional interrelationships impacts employee and customer experience. Not surprisingly, the company ends up spinning its wheels in its present state.

Yet my objective is to create smart teams for smart workplace environments. What happens to team dynamics when everyone focuses on how they think? I am not talking about opinions and what they think. Rather, I am addressing how people process information when they think.

Now that is a small team big idea. Here’s why.

Most people do not pay enough attention to how they process input from colleagues. Most of the time, they react and/or ignore, rather than mindfully ponder and then respond.

More importantly, team members often are unaware of the root causes triggering their reactions to creative ideas expressed by other colleagues. Lack of workforce and workplace creativity is an impediment to an organization’s ability to grow, expand and sustain itself.

On the surface, this behavior comes across as professional jealousy. After all, how can that one colleague always seem to pull from a continuous stream of creative ideas? Where are these big ideas coming from anyway? It’s as though these ideas are pulled out of thin air!

Simply put, certain team members are not innately and abstractly creative. Consequently, they interpret creative colleagues as show-offs. As a result, instead of a collaborative interchange, there is a conversational stalemate.

The status quo is preserved.

Focusing on small team big ideas creates professional synergy from status quo functional differences.

Depending on where you sit around the business table, everyone “sees” the same things differently. When the root cause of their personal reactions is rephrased, team dynamics change.

When small teams think about the same things differently, they begin to react differently. Let’s take those abstract-thinker team members. When they offer a creative response, in reality they seek push-back and debate from colleagues. From their perspective, they toss big ideas in the air like a jump ball during a basketball game.

By putting their big idea perspective on the table, other team members have permission to realize they are more concrete, specific and tactical thinkers. Their respective thinking patterns reflect how they process input.  Thinking tactically becomes just as important as thinking abstractly when solving problems.

Everyone begins to capture their own professional voice.

Then, those small team big ideas focus on how execution of strategy requires collaboration between abstract and tactical thinkers. Professional jealousy and self-limitation are jettisoned. Everyone pulls together and companies blossom, grow and expand due to team collaboration.

Sometimes the seemingly smallest of small team big ideas have the biggest impacts on overcoming collaborative barriers. Have I got you “thinking” differently? Good! What are your next steps? 

This post originally appeared on the Sales Aerobics for Engineers blog.

Photo credit: Pixaby

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About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author