We had a great session in Bristol’s KN-UK last week on innovation with Dr Rob Sheffield. He’s highly recommended.
One of the things that always strikes me when we talk about creating the right conditions for innovation to take place in businesses, is the need for diversity.
“Innovation teams” might be useful, but wouldn’t it be great if innovation was something everyone got involved in and everyone thought more creatively about client needs and how to improve delivery of their work?
Two diverse people sharing knowledge creates far more for a business than the sum of the individuals’ knowledge. If you aren’t sure about this, have a look in the comments section where I’ll share some links.
So, in practical terms, how can we improve the chances of diverse people sharing knowledge as part of their everyday work/interactions?
A few ideas for organisations/leaders –
- mix up training sessions – if you run regular training lunches (and I know lots of law firms do) who can you invite to these to mix things up? Can your M&A team share experiences about project management? Can all your litigators mix in and share thoughts about tactics? Can your marketing team talk about personal branding?
- create client groups with multiple strands – can all those who work with hospital trusts get together occasionally, whether they support their complaints and litigation teams or their property teams? What about anyone across your business who deals with family-run businesses?
- and if you want a specific, dedicated project, the “RCT” will create a bit of serendipity in your organisation’s networks for a minimum cost – read more here.
And a few ideas for outside business –
- I run a free global RCT/virtual coffee connections for law firm knowledge people. If you’d like to join in, email me or comment below. Read other people’s comments about their experiences here.
- I’ll also be running a global virtual book club for knowledge and learning people from all sectors next year. Again, email me or comment below if you’d like to join in. More info here. Join law firm knowledge specialists from across Europe, mixed with leaders in learning from other sectors and people across the globe who are passionate about learning and knowledge.
- Join a community group or an alumni from an old employer or university or set up your own.
- Go to a conference or training session that is useful, but from a different angle or sector. I went to the UK Knowledge Mobilisation conference earlier this year and enjoyed myself so much I joined the committee to run next year’s! You can get your tickets here (not many left – it is fantastic value for money!).
What have you tried in the past to “mix things up” and bring diverse people together for knowledge sharing? How did it go? I’d love to hear what worked and what didn’t.
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A few thoughts on diversity and innovation and creativity:
HBR – How diversity can drive innovation
Forbes – The benefits of diversity for modern business innovation
Diversity is the mother of creativity