Hallway Studio

November 20, 2014

Note: This is the third in a series of posts about what is needed on an innovative team. Previous posts were on empathy and inquisitiveness 

A new idea is exciting and addictive. You can see the possibilities everywhere. Every new prospect or client I encounter is deeply passionate about their new idea. The trap is that you try to go in too many directions at once and end up getting no where.

Innovative teams have the discipline to narrow the world of possibilities down to a single thing to focus on. Their discipline allows them to test, learn and iterate without getting off track. They focus on today’s problem of finding customers and meeting business objectives instead of tomorrow’s problems like scale.

That’s not to say that innovative teams never get off track, because they do. What’s different is that someone notices, they point it out and the team refocuses their effort.

We have a person at 3Pillar Global who is my favorite wrangler. She has an amazing ability to help clients focus their efforts on what to do right now and what to save for tomorrow based on business objectives. I’ve written about one of our favorite exercises for this. It also doesn’t take long before clients adopt her way of thinking and are able to move quickly.

When your building your team look for:

  • The ability to create a frame work that helps people focus in and make the hard tradeoffs
  • People who know the difference between today’s problems and tomorrow’s problem and communicate effectivelyl
  • People who can steer the group back to the right direction if they get off track

Image: The millennium clock tower in the National Museums of Scotland 

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