5 Excellent Ways to Foster an Innovative Team Collaboration Environment

When you have a superstar team heading your startup or established enterprise, there’s nothing that can really stop your business from pushing forward, on an upward trajectory.

Unfortunately, so many businesses still miss this fact, instead sticking to accepted office traditions, and relying too heavily on management to put their stamp of approval on everything. Fostering a more innovative environment is as easy as changing things up a bit and considering new ways of running your team.

Team collaboration

Here are 5 excellent ideas for bringing your team closer together, to push the business to greater heights:

1. Foster an atmosphere of non-conformity around the office

I’m sure most of you out there would agree that setting too rigid a status-quo for your team is a sure-fire way to put a damper on innovation-driving team collaboration.

Encourage team members to fight and to have their voice heard and not back down when they believe in something. As long as everyone keeps a level head and doesn’t cross the line, this type of in-fighting can really kickstart creativity and help drive the business forward.

2. Embrace the “there are no stupid ideas/questions” approach

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve heard my fair share of really bad ideas. And, bad questions? Boy, I’d be rich if I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked something so truly foolish it made me go “hunh?”

Sometimes, a coworker’s utterances truly defy well-known logic; most times our own opinions and experiences make us put up mental walls and fail to give others a chance.

Encourage people to speak their mind, otherwise, you fall into Steve Jobs’ unique take on the trappings of dogma:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

3. Ditch the traditional desk-and-chair setup for a more progressive décor

There’s nothing worse for discouraging collaboration among team members than sticking them at their own dedicated station and expecting team members to interact regularly. Build a “deskless” office environment that encourages openness and interaction.

This move will have a dual benefit of weeding out people who don’t work well on a team, as the constant proximity to team members will usually cause them to look for a job that better suits their introverted ways.

4. Use collaboration tools to streamline communications

I’d hate to promote a reliance on technology when it comes to bringing people closer together and encouraging an actual dialogue in the office. However, it’s a necessary evil and there are so many highly-touted collaborative tools for business out there that actually help to open up new lines of communications, you’re hurting more than helping your team by not using them.

5. Treat all milestones as positives

Do this even when an idea doesn’t work out, or an individual team member drops the ball. In order to encourage more collaboration, everyone needs to come together and recognize that each milestone is an opportunity to learn something new and drive the business to new heights.

As much as we may hate it at the time, failures teach us what not to do next time, or as J.K. Rowling so simply and eloquently puts it:

Failure means a stripping away of the inessential.” J.K. Rowling

Obviously, when ideas and actions lead to immediately favorable results for the company, those victories should be recognized and applauded, if with nothing more than a simple “hip, hip, hooray!” from everyone while the entire group is gathered.

Do You Have Any Great Ideas for Fostering a More Collaborative Team Environment?

Better collaboration among you and your team members will almost always lead to a better business, if you constantly work to improve the company’s creative processes.

Feel free to share your suggestions for encouraging more innovative collaboration from your team down in the comments. Remember, there are no bad ideas!

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