I just read a truly interesting HBR article that focused on the role of management versus team members themselves in fostering an environment of creativity and innovation.

Most of the discussions today in this space, at least in my experience, are focused towards leadership or management being responsible for innovation. That is – in setting up the environment

Very little of the focus is team ward. In that, the team bears some responsibility for its own behavior, energy, and focus towards innovation.

The HBR article had some survey data that puts “the blame” squarely on both shoulders – that of “management” and the “team” in establishing the right climate.

In my view, that’s the right focus since we all play a part in creating an environment of experimentation, innovation, and creativity.

Wrapping up

I wrote a blog post quite a while back that focused on the challenge of creating truly self-directed teams. In it, I wrote about management's responsibilities. But I also shared examples where teams, in fairly fertile agile environments, failed to live up to their side of responsibilities as well.

You see, innovation and creativity aren't something that just happens. I think it takes good old-fashioned:

  • Hard work
  • Commitment
  • Energy and focus
  • Persistence
  • Belief
  • Incremental experimentation
  • and a big vision (thus Jobs in the photo…)

All merging into a culture that values innovation and creativity.

Hope you read both the HBR article and my blog post and connect some dots…

Stay agile my friends!