When you need to solve a really sticky challenge, getting a group of people to put their heads together for some dedicated time is a great way to go. At Inventium, we take group composition seriously because we know that the quality of ideas generated is a direct reflection of the people in the room.
zTo boost the creative output of groups, individuals should be handpicked to ensure a diversity of experience, knowledge, and opinions are present. Something that we do at Inventium when helping clients come up with breakthrough solutions is to invite people from outside the organisation who will bring an interesting perspective to the table.
However, recent research from the University of Rotterdam has demonstrated that selecting a diverse team may not be enough. To really unlock the creative potential of a diverse group, the members of that group must also be willing to see things from other people’s viewpoints. In particular, when team members were instructed to adopt the perspective of other team members, the relationship between team diversity and creative output strengthened. The positive effect came about because it increased the sharing, discussion, and integration of diverse views.
This research demonstrates that a key ingredient needs to be added to a diverse team if we want to optimise creative output. This important ingredient is the willingness of team members to consider viewpoints that may be different or counter to their own. You can add this ingredient in a couple of ways:
- Select people who are naturally empathic and openminded to participate in idea generation
- Instruct people to take the perspective of other people in their group because this will increase their group’s performance
By applying these tips, research has shown that you will literally double your innovation output from any workshop, meeting or “brainstorm” that you run.