When it comes to creating a culture of innovation and inspiring people, I like to keep it simple. I came across an interesting article the other day about inspiring teams of people to be at their best – without the fortune-cookie axioms so many bosses plaster on their breakroom walls.
These are 25 simple ways to show your team members that you value their individual ideas as well as their corporate contributions to your business strategy.
1. Co-create and commit to a compelling vision.
2. Get completely clear about roles and responsibilities. Know who’s doing what. And by when.
3. Honor thy commitments.
4. If you realize that you cannot honor a commitment, inform your teammates ASAP and then renegotiate a new commitment.
5. Assume positive intent.
6. Communicate emotionally charged issues on the phone or in person, not in an email.
7. When someone speaks, listen deeply before gearing up to convince them of what you already think.
8. Share your successes with each other
9. Clear the air as quickly as possible whenever there is a breakdown
10. No triangulation! (If someone complains to you about someone else, encourage that person to work it out with the person they are complaining about.)
11. Give and receive feedback.
12. If you need help, ask for it.
13. Show up to meetings on time (and be prepared).
14. Routinely acknowledge and appreciate each other.
15. Be co-responsible. OK, maybe your team has a “leader”. Fine. But when the rest of team fails to speak up or act because “they are not the leader”, you got problems in River City. Everyone is responsible.
16. Share information freely. (Since, “information is power”, the withholding of information is a passive aggressive way in which people wield power over each other).
17. Speak your truth, without attacking or making anyone wrong.
18. Debrief “failures.” Together, find the silver lining in every cloud. In other words, learn from mistakes.
19. Create sacred time to have fun together.
20. Begin each day with a 5-minute “morning unity” meeting — a simple way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
21. Return calls and emails within 24 hours. (If you know you can’t return a call or email that quickly, let your teammates know by when you will be able to respond).
22. Share best practices and lessons learned.
23. Celebrate progress (small wins).
24. Be willing to say NO if there is something you are not willing to do (rather than seeming to agree and then, simply, not doing it).
25. Check for understanding before ending a meeting or phone call. Translation? Summarize what you think the agreement or action is — and invite others to either confirm your understanding or modify it in some way — so when you leave for points unknown you are all on the same page, not ruled by your assumptions or projections.