Every team covets break-through performance and ideas. Yet, because of team dynamics and sub-par leadership behaviors, many organizaitons suffer from the mind-numbing affliction called “sameness.”


Have your team assess their competencies in the following areas – and set a course for more divergent, out-of-the-box thinking so performance can improve.


1. Self-Confidence. Do each of us have the ability to offer an idea, and then welcome others to dispute that idea, build on it, or question our thinking.
2. Response-ability. When a colleague offers a crazy idea, is our response the typical knee-jerk reaction of why the idea won’t work – or do we stay focused on the objective and how to make the idea work?
3. Attachment-free thinking. Staying attached to and staunchly arguing or defending our own perspective diminishes the strength of the team. Are we more concerned with being “right” or being successful?
4. The unspoken word. Rolling eyes, exhaling loudly, shaking our head often sends a message to the person seated across from you: You’re an idiot. (This reveals that there is an idiot in the room, but it may not be the one you’re thinking about.) People want to be great. Are our non-verbal cues diminishing or leveraging this fact?
5. Dancing in the haze. If you’re truly working to accelerate risk-taking and the entrepreneurial spirit, then embracing the nebulous is a must. Are we comfortable with being uncomfortable? Are we able to end meetings with more questions than we came in with – and still move forward aligned and decisively?


Once your team has assessed their competencies in these areas, the most important question to discuss is: How can we develop and model these behaviors even more?


What methods for fostering out-of-the-box thinking in your teams have created successful results for you? Share your thoughts and comments.



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