Give Employees Permission to Break the Rules

What if we told you we could improve your business productivity by unbuckling formality? What if we then told you that the best ideas are generated by the people you already employ? These are the people who already know your business from the inside out. They know your product, they know your market, and they’ve already spoken to your best customers. Your employees are your firm’s collective oracle when it comes to outrunning your competitors. Then why are they always so. Damn. Quiet. When it comes to new ideas…? 

Are you listening now? Doesn’t that feel better? Take a deep breath and read on. 

One Flavor Fits All

You might not have realized it yet but U.S. business culture comes in a variety of one flavor. Vanilla. That’s right. We love to think we’re at the space-age frontier of business management. And in the sense of stuff like computing technology and marketing theory, we’re not too far wrong. Sadly, when it comes to the simple stuff like open communication and team engagement we’re right back in the 1920s.  

Starched shirts and pressed ties are only one part of it. It’s the way we engage with each other using formal language, cold handshakes, minimalist gestures, and our obsession with “buzz words”. And we do it day after day to people we spend more time with than our own family. As acclaimed Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho, once said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” Not only is the archaic way we engage with fellow workers lethal to forming good working practices, it stifles creativity. That means you’re not getting your money’s worth in idea generation, so crucial for businesses today.

How Improvement Services Can Boost Your Business

Before we go deeper into some of the reasons why business culture has grown so stale, let us tell you a bit about ourselves and how we can help you.  

Adapt Consulting has a solid background in elevating project outcomes. We have spent over 25 years in both building and manufacturing industries, and seen many changes over that time. We are Improvement Strategists who excel at implementation. The Adapt framework is tailored to your business, which boosts productivity and engagement. Your engineering staff can focus on what they do best: project design and construction.  

Overarching their good work is our unique improvement services.  We bring fresh ideas to your project by utilizing the best resources you have: your team. Within a relaxed environment we are able to identify problems and tease out the best, most creative solutions from your employees. By applying our revolutionary methods and unique perspective we can unlock the creativity of your project team. The results are perfect turnkey project solutions provided by the people you’re already paying! You will see those results through tighter project times, streamlined processes and reduced costs.  

Unbuckling Formality: Don’t Be Afraid To Swear

How we interact with team members on an emotional level directly affects the success of that team. The more comfortable we are, the more likely we are to be engaged, motivated and start spouting out great solutions to big problems. But within the tight, formal confines of a typical office environment, we’re very wary of coming up with those fresh ideas. A lot of it comes down to psychology, as well as social mores.  

Stifling work environments often severely damage collaboration. That’s why it’s critical to break constraints and begin creating a sense of camaraderie and rapport. Simple transparency is often the key. Everyone has felt that relief when a great joke is told, or someone breaks the tension by being the first to swear. It’s almost tangible, and with the flood of pent-up relief comes the stirring of creative juices. Team engagement duly follows.  

Bottom Line: Get Comfortable

My point is to break the ice by saying (or doing) something genuine that makes you, and the people around you, feel more comfortable, open, and receptive. It could be as simple as sharing an embarrassing story, getting people to talk about themselves, asking the “dumb” questions… the point is to be vulnerable (and perhaps a little irreverent) to show that you really care and are not afraid to confront the uncomfortable head on.  

Rather than giving into the pressure to be overly formal, it’s far better to be open and honest. Your team will respect you the more for it, and will be more likely to be inspired by your actions. Showing simple vulnerability is a great way to motivate team players, build rapport and focus creativity.   

Ready to unlock your team’s creative potential, but don’t know where to start? We can help. Talk to an Improvement Strategy Expert who can help you optimize your team in a fun and engaging way. Click here to get started.

Quote of the Day:

“Old ways won’t open new doors.”

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