How to build the right team to drive innovation
Building a great team is the most important step when growing a business and creating disruptive technology. If recent circumstances have taught us anything, it is that in order to thrive we must be able to trust those around us and have the ability to pull together when it matters. David Heath, Co-founder and CEO at Cutitronics shares three key elements you need to build a high-performing innovative team.
Our access to an infinite amount of resources since the boom of the internet has driven an unprecedented rate of innovation in recent times. Look at the health and wellness industry; innovative technology such as the Fitbit and apps like MyFitnessPal have turned everyday people into fitness buffs, empowered with a better understanding of their own diet and exercise.
The 'quantified self' trend continues to snowball. The act of monitoring and logging personal data, then using this information for self-improvement is now considered a must-have by many consumers. Businesses and services are expected to innovate and evolve to meet demand.
But true innovation does not come from a singular idea. It’s a team sport and can only come to fruition with the right mix of people coming together to tackle a problem.
With this in mind, here are the top things to consider when building the right team to drive your company’s vision forward:
Finding the right mix of people who can all bring their unique expertise to the table is essential when looking at innovation. One of the key elements of innovative thinking is diversity. Studies have found that teams with more diverse backgrounds produce more creative and clever results.
At my own company, Cutitronics, we have brought together a team from a multitude of different vocational backgrounds - from global beauty brands including Estee Lauder, to the Scottish space industry. Doing this has allowed us to design and develop our unique device and digital solutions that will change the way in which consumers manage their skincare routines and are supported by beauty brands.
It is important for any new business to consider how knowledge can be transferred from other industries into its own. When recruiting, think of the overarching skills that can be applied to the role and which credentials can enhance your current offering. Gaining a 360-degree understanding of what solutions can be applied to a consumer’s particular problem will be paramount in delivering the best possible user experience.
Offering workplace flexibility can help show your team that you see them as well-rounded human beings. In today’s busy world, leaving space for personal growth has a great number of benefits, from reduced stress and higher morale, to manageable childcare options for all, which will, in turn, help attract and retain talent.
Implementing a flexible working programme for the whole team will help ensure they feel valued and appreciated. Clear, mutual respect within an organisation is a priceless attribute. It ensures a two-way dialogue and deeper understanding, helping you to inspire people to do their best. When individuals come together in a culture where everyone is respected, great collaboration and productivity grow to produce truly amazing results.
Building on the foundations of respect by providing a flexible working environment, a team can work harmoniously when the going gets tough and life’s challenges arrive. By setting the wheels in motion early for adaptability, people will band together to ride out the storm and create the best solutions on the other side.
As previously mentioned, the 'quantified self' trend is booming. It is vital that any organisation aiming to meet the true needs of each customer has a deep understanding of how these unique requirements will vary from person to person.
If you have recruited a team of experts hailing from different fields, applying their insight to your product or service will be a big step towards driving the innovation behind your business. By drawing on the wide range of backgrounds and experiences of your diverse workplace, you will be better placed to understand the complex needs of a broader scope of your potential customers and stakeholders. Understanding these brand advocates and then in turn helping them understand themselves can create lasting relationships for businesses.
The right mix of human and technology
So, the question of how do you build the best team possible to create true innovation comes down to these simple factors: Remember the human elements. Look at a person’s CV and at the expertise they can bring to complement the others around them. Consider how you can work around their current lives to ensure they feel valued to achieve the best results. Finally, when you have this in place, apply the personalised solution to your product or service. Following these steps will drive your business into the future.