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如何激发员工的创造力?不懂这件事的高管太多了

2017-07-03  东山高山...

透视MPW是一个在线社区,商界内外的一些大咖会在此及时分享有关职场和领导力的问题。今天的问题是:如何促进员工在工作中发挥创意?回答者为孟山都北美公司副总裁丽莎·萨法里安。

现在只要一听见英国摇滚乐队威豹乐队的歌,我就忍不住想起一位非常聪明的科学家。

我来解释下原因。几年前,我希望在手下跨部门团队里培养创新与合作的氛围。当时我们面对所在行业和客户的重大挑战。因为我们需要找到新思路壮大业务。

我选择最基本的方面着手。具体来说我的高招就是:让团队成员全坐在一起。

当时我们团队分布在20个办公楼里,都位于一个占地200英亩(合80.9万平米)的工业园。和现在不一样,那时候公司还没有视频会议,也没有Skype之类视频通话软件。我希望在公司内打造一支能力最强也最有士气的团队。用电邮和电话会议怎么能做到呢?

所以,我让团队成员挪地方。他们虽然没有明说,但都委婉地表示反对,理由是得离开自己的团队,在新旧办公室地点之间往返得花半天时间。

我对团队成员说值得搬。领导队伍水平提升后,属下团队也会迸发活力。搬到一处办公室之后好点子会源源不断,如有神助一般。

刚开始我深信自己是正确的,因为在一起工作大家能迅速深入讨论或者分享某个看法,感觉肯定可以激发新的创意。但没过几周,我就发现可能不是所有人都像我一样热情。刚开始大家积极组织走廊会谈,迅速做决定,谈话氛围也很轻松。但很快都变为闭门会议,负责人跟自己团队开会时也大多另找地方。

根本问题是:人人都需要更多时间。平衡工作、旅游和个人承诺计划的需求不是新鲜事,可我发现最严重的是团队凝聚力受到了影响。怎样才能让团队多聚在一起,形成必要的团结精神并发挥创造性,但不要浪费在无关的事情上面?

关键在于,这种方法能让我跟团队近,激发我的思路,但没有什么刺激创意的方式是放之四海而皆准的。不同的团队有不同的需求。我能做的就是趁团队成员有空的时候,帮他们彼此相处得更融洽,那样一来,他们才愿意敢于在同事面前表现脆弱的一面,也愿意分享更多点子。

接下来几次出差期间,不论是拜访客户还是参观扩建的场地,我们都尽力让过程有趣一些。开始我们去唱卡拉OK,然后去连锁汉堡店In-N-Out吃了一顿公费报销的“豪华”晚餐。候机的时候,我们还玩了一个小游戏,猜一猜各位团队成员的小秘密。

也是在玩那个游戏时,我们才得知,团队里沉默寡言、心思细腻的科学家以前做职业棒球运动员的时候,进场音乐会选威豹乐队的“倒些糖给我”(Pour Some Sugar on Me)。

经过几次类似互动,团队开展即兴头脑风暴变得更为自然。之前我希望大家坐在一起其实就是为了鼓励这种头脑风暴。很快团队一致认为大家都需要多一些自由的私人时间,比如周五下午不开会,周末不发工作电邮等。

简单调整以后,我们团队成员更加投入,创新的想法更多了,对公司业务也有正面的影响。

其中的关键便是,承认适合某个人的方法可能不会适用于所有人,但人人都能找到适合自己的方式。作为领导,我们只需要让下属自己尝试。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

The MPW Insiders Network is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for, “How do you give your employees time to be creative at work?” is written by Lisa Safarian, vice president of Monsanto North America.

I no longer hear Def Leppard without picturing one of the smartest scientists I’ve ever met.

Let me explain. A few years ago, I had an idea to foster creativity and collaboration on the cross-functional team I lead. We had major challenges facing our industry and customers, and I knew we would need to come up with new ways of thinking to strengthen our business.

I was taking it back to basics. My brilliant idea: We were all going to sit by each other.

We had been spread across 20 buildings on a 200-acre campus. And our company’s technology wasn’t what it is today—no videoconferencing or skyping. I wanted to create the most high-functioning, inspired team in the company. How could I do that over email or conference calls?

So I asked them to move. They had the decency to quietly voice their protests. This takes me away from my own team, they said. I’ll spend half my day driving back and forth.

It’s going to be worth it, I told them. Your team will be energized by how great our leadership team is going to be. The great ideas are just going to fly off of our floor, as if we’re generating them by magic.

I loved it at first. I liked being able to quickly get a gut check or share a thought, and felt like it was absolutely spurring new ideas. But within a few weeks, I could tell not everyone shared my enthusiasm. What started out as a lot of productive hallway meetings, quick decisions, and relaxed dialogue soon devolved into closed doors or meetings in other locations as my team went to their teams.

At the root of it: Everyone needed more time. Juggling the demands of the job, travel, and personal commitments isn’t a new phenomenon, but one that I could tell was impacting our cohesiveness. How could we spend more time together as a team to build the type of discourse and creative thinking we needed without taking time away from something else?

Here’s the thing: While it worked for me to be close to the team, and helped my thinking, there is no one-size-fits-all creativity infusion. This was a diverse team with diverse needs. What I could do was find them time and help them be more comfortable with each other so they were willing to be a little vulnerable and go out on a limb and share some ideas.

For our next few working trips, whether it was visiting with customers or touring a site expansion, we built in some fun. It started with karaoke, and then a swanky expense account dinner—at In-N-Out. Then, while waiting for a flight, a quick game of trivia with barely known facts about each team member.

And that’s when we learned that the quiet, thoughtful scientist on our team would choose “Pour Some Sugar on Me” as his walk-up song were he a professional baseball player.

A few of those types of interactions, and the casual impromptu brainstorms I’d envisioned when I decided we should all sit together, became more natural. Soon, as a team, we decided we wanted to help our teams find more time to spend in the ways they wanted, instituting simple ideas like meeting-free Friday afternoons and email-free weekends.

With these simple moves, we’ve seen our engagement and creative thinking spike, and bring a positive impact to our business results as well.

The key in all of this was acknowledging that what works for one may not work for everyone, but everyone can find what works for them. As leaders, we just need to let them.

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