How to Leverage Your Team’s Awesome Ideas
The Strength of Ideation
You know that super-creative person, the one that makes it seem so easy to come up with new ideas anytime, anywhere? It’s likely that person has the CliftonStrength of Ideation. He’s probably spontaneous and resourceful, too, because that’s how people with Ideation roll.
It’s fantastic to have this type of person on your team, because what team couldn’t use good ideas? At one workshop I held, a woman described Ideation as “having popcorn in your head,” because the ideas just pop, pop, pop on a regular basis.
Ideation at work
Susie*, an employee of one of my clients, has the strength of Ideation. She works in front-line customer service with over 500 business-to-business customers and consistently has great ideas about how to promote and market the business.
But sometimes ideas can be hard to sell. Not everyone envisions them as distinctly as people with the strength of Ideation do. When I met with Susie and the rest of her team, she said, “The owner of the company is so visual that he needs to see my ideas.”
The idea she had at the time was to create large vehicle magnets with the company’s logo to attach to the vans of the customers who transported their products. The idea was tough to pitch without a visual, so Susie had a magnet made and showed it to her boss. He loved it so much that he immediately ordered 100 more to send to their customers. Susie realized that, in this case, to make her idea come to fruition, she’d have to add a little Activator to her Ideation strength—Activators loooove to get projects started.
Tapping the power of Ideation
If you have employees on your team with the strength of Ideation, you might suggest they use an “idea box” or notebook, so they’ll have a designated place to store their ideas. They can have so many that it’s overwhelming—keeping track of each idea will allow them to work on one at a time without losing the others.
To make the most of those ideas, a good work partner for an employee with Ideation is someone who has the strength of Activator. This pairing works well because people with the strength of Ideation are fascinated by ideas and people with the strength of Activator are fascinated by doing the ideas. Once they learn how to harness these strengths, this combination makes a great team!
Because people with Ideation as a strength often have the ability to see connections between unrelated ideas, they’re an invaluable asset to most teams. To tap their creativity and get the most from an employee with this strength:
· Put her in charge of solving an internal or client dilemma. She’s great at thinking outside the proverbial box.
· Allow him to work in roles that embrace new concepts and processes.
· In times of change, call on her to innovate.
· Ask him to use his insight and resourcefulness to find new ways to serve clients.
· Include her in brainstorming sessions whenever possible.
How to get started
At Millennial Guru, we use CliftonStrengths to help each person on your team identify their natural talents. Then we give them the tools they need to turn those talents into strengths.
When people can use their strengths at work, as well as recognize the benefits co-workers with contrasting strengths bring to the table, they’re more motivated and you see better results. It’s a win-win!
Schedule an informational meeting today and we’ll show you how Millennial Guru can help you retain, hire and inspire your employees—and get the business results you’re after.
*Susie isn’t her real name. We respect her privacy; yours, too.