The Power of an Idea Driven Workforce
Earlier in the year, I wrote about my team’s journey to build an Idea Driven Organization and the phenomenal success that we saw right out of the gate. I am happy to report that after roughly five months, my team has generated over 500 ideas and 3,000 conversations around those ideas. We have seen hundreds of small process improvements that have had a huge combined impact on the way we work as well as a number of large, more significant ideas that have the potential to change healthcare as we know it. There is something special about being a part of a team that wakes up each morning looking for ways to change the world. So what are the attributes that make up an idea driven culture and how can you embrace those principles in your own team or organization?
Find a Way to Love Change
The future doesn’t just happen, it is created…our destiny is not in the stars, but in ourselves. We may need to follow in the wake of those who have gone before, but what we do and where we go is ultimately up to us.
Ok, so maybe everyone doesn’t love change…but as a team you have to learn to embrace it.
So how do you do it?
Communication – Without great communication, no one will embrace change because no one understands why they should care about it. Develop a compelling story, ensure that it is clear, and make sure everyone gets a chance to hear it.
Commitment – Change is hard, but changing your mind mid-stream is even harder! Once you set down a path, commit to it and in the unlikely event you have to modify your path, make sure you have a clear story to tell around why.
Motivation – If your story doesn’t connect and people don’t know how a change will impact them; you are going to lose their support! Find a way to involve and engage your team in the change and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
Change is the key to progress and without it you cannot create, you cannot drive innovation, and you certainly can’t expect to move your team’s ideas forward.
Connect to Your Mission
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. Our mission is to help transform healthcare by delivering information technology and solutions that dramatically improve patient care and business operations.(Mission for HCA IT&S)
Allow the mission for your organization to help develop a deep sense of purpose and you will find your team adapt more quickly to change, look for new opportunities to positively impact your customers, and have a higher level of job satisfaction. It just makes sense…if you don’t believe in the mission of the company you’re working for, why are you there? Connecting to the mission is vitally important, but the challenge is that in most organizations, team members are not only unable to recite the mission, they’re not even sure if their company has one! In a recent National Business Research Institute survey of 13,700 US companies, only 21% of surveyed employees could recite the mission statement of their organization and only 28% knew the vision for where the company was headed!
In order to change this dynamic, you have to engage your team in not only developing the mission statement, but holding each other accountable to it. Your mission should be so engrained into the culture of your organization that not only does your team know it by heart, they can articulate their role in it. If you’re successful at connecting your team to the mission of the organization and engraining it into your culture at all levels, empowering your team to drive their ideas becomes an expectation, not an exception.
Follow the 3 Be’s
Be Passionate, Be Bold, Be Brave
How do you ensure your idea isn’t lost in the shuffle of the million other things going on in the typical organization each and every day? For many, this is such an overwhelming thought that they shrug it off and decide the struggle just isn’t worth it and their idea is lost forever! The worst thing that can happen is when a good idea is never heard.
So how do you ensure that doesn’t happen?
Be Passionate – If you aren’t passionate about your idea, why should anyone else be? Passion is infectious and, if channeled properly, will have a greater impact on your idea being heard than any other single factor.
Be Bold – Ideas are like snowflakes, the more ideas that come together, the greater the impact! Share and collaborate on your ideas and magnify their influence in the process.
Be Brave – Great ideas don’t turn into action without someone willing to fight for them! Be willing to take feedback, evolve your ideas, and try again. Failure isn’t the enemy - in fact failure should be celebrated , as it more often than not leads to success!
Leveraging the power of an idea driven workforce starts with inspiring and motivating your team, connecting them deeply with the mission of your organization, and empowering them to be passionate, bold, and brave. In doing that, work will take on a new meaning for your team and the organization, as well as the world, will ultimately be better for it.