Enhancing Change Readiness and Amplifying Innovation
“…I think the whole cultural element – focusing on a customer, really rewarding innovation, rewarding risk taking, but also rewarding resilience, rewarding people that speak up, encouraging open discussions, flattening hierarchies – is utterly important to sustain a climate where innovation thrives.” – Dr. Harald F. Stock, Chief Executive Officer, Grünenthal GmbH, reported in The conference board CEO challenge® 2013
Our training programs develop the interpersonal competencies and practices necessary for effective team learning and in particular support and build teams that celebrate diversity and manage conflict.
These are the competencies and practices people and teams need to successfully navigate change and innovate when work is interdependent and cross-functional.
The result is a cohort of participants who are change ready, with the confidence and pride that comes from belonging to effective teams that know how to co-create interdependently and learn together to support organization-level change and innovation.
What the research says
Runhaar (2014), in a comparative case-study of vocational teacher teams implementing a major change, suggested that team learning was potentially the missing ingredient for successfully implementing change and innovations when work is interdependent. They observed that learning within team contexts helped people faced with implementing change to develop a shared understanding of the innovation and how it should redefine their work tasks.
Smith (2014), reporting on a multi-year study of 7,000 employees suggested that one of the best ways to achieve an inclusive organization is by ensuring regular interaction between people from different identity groups. They observed that many organizations within their study “…enhanced inclusion by creating cross-functional teams comprised of individuals from traditionally unlinked fields. This facilitated the team engaging in creative problem solving and new product generation…”
The IBM 2012 CEO Study involving face-to-face interviews with 1709 CEOs and senior public sector leaders reported that outperforming organizations placed 30% higher emphasis on organizational openness and empowering individuals in order to facilitate innovation, collaboration and creativity. These leaders placed a huge emphasis on soft skills. The top ranked employee trait that leaders in this study are searching for is collaborative (75% of interviewees rated it as critical), closely followed by communicative (67%), creative (61%), and flexible.
The link between collaboration, innovation and successful change
“Bombarded by change, most organizations simply cannot envision the functional capabilities needed two or three years from now. Conventional training faces some of the same challenges. By the time courses are designed and delivered, the subject skills are already becoming outdated. Instead, CEOs are increasingly focused on finding employees with the ability to constantly reinvent themselves. These employees are comfortable with change, they learn as they go, often from others’ experiences.” – IBM 2012 CEO Study