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Innovation. It's A Team Sport!

Kimberly Douglas, SPHR, CPF

How many species of fireflies do you think there are in the world?

Read on to find out ... and why you should care.

When I was writing The Firefly Effect, I had the opportunity to conduct research on the science of fireflies - and how these amazing creatures could provide great metaphors for my work with teams.

How many species did you guess? Five, ten, one hundred? Try 2000! That's right - there are that many species of firefly in this world - heck, there are 150 in the US alone.

So, why should you care? Well, if the simple firefly can be that complex, how much more unique and multifaceted are the members on your team. And in this critical economic environment, you need to find ways to capitalize on those differences to catapult your business results to new heights.

Marcus Buckingham says that great managers are like great chess players - they recognize the different talents and strengths of each of their employees, and then they use that knowledge to execute on the strategy. Do you see your people as complex chess pieces to be deployed to their best advantage -- or are they interchangeable checkers?

Innovation is truly a team sport. It must first begin with recognizing the unique skills and contributions of everyone on the team. In the coming weeks, I will be posting on my blog, The Whiteboard, specific ways that you can put these ideas into action.

To get a jump start on igniting innovation on your team, fill in this form. I will send you a copy of my article: "Operation Firefly: Nine Ways to Ignite Innovation Inside Your Company...and Light Your Way out of the Recession."

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