Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity scares the heck out of lizard brains.
Employees who have an overzealous lizard brain aren’t particularly cooperative.
They are also not particularly innovative, as innovation means change, which is scary for a lizard brain! Also, defensive or dismissive managers, unhealthy competition within groups or poor job security all create an environment where an employee feels unsafe, thus allowing his lizard brain to dominate.
Programmer Mel Conway in the late 1960s said that, as a rule, companies will design systems that mirror their own organizational structure. While an abstract idea, we can apply this concept to many organizations and products. Are you selling lizards or digital products?
The way out? Connections!
The better your employees are connected, the more innovative your company will be. Employees with good relationships within the company have more opportunities to communicate ideas, gather helpful feedback and gain support and supporters for projects.
Talent clusters vs. traditional teams
Break down departmental walls and use talent clusters to promote creativity and collaboration. Talent clusters don’t limit the creative contributions of each member in the way that traditional teams might. In traditional teams, every person assumes a certain role; and as long as the team stays together, members may be stuck in the role of leader or innovator or expert, regardless of the project.
Much like farmers, managers can’t enforce creativity, but they can certainly cultivate it. If a manager interferes with or micromanages her employees’ creative processes, all she’ll end up doing is disrupting the process.
Want to learn more about talent clusters? Read more about in the Harvard Business Review!
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About the book
CEOs practicing meditation, the challenges of corporate politics, social differences between team members and customer satisfaction: it’s all connected. Using a holistic approach, Everything Connects (2014) will help you transform your working environment into one that understands such connections and supports as well as increases creativity and innovation.
- Faisal Hoque is an entrepreneur who founded MiND2MiND Exchange and B2B ForeSight. He has written articles for The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, the Huffington Post and Forbes. He was also named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Technology” by Ziff-Davis Enterprise. Having previously worked as a contributing writer at Fast Company.
- Drake Baer reports for Business Insider, covering leadership, strategy and organizational psychology.