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Encouraging Innovation Through Balanced Freedom and Constraint

innovation4To become successful in business, one must learn how to go against the grain and innovate. Offering innovative products or services are surefire ways to attract customers because you deliver something that no one has ever tried before. That in itself is your business’ selling point.

As such, it is important to know how to identify and develop innovators who can help the growth of a business in order to achieve long-term goals. As the leader, it all depends on the business owner how he will encourage his employees to become creative through establishing the proper balance of freedom and constraint.

Several studies have proven that the creativity of a person depends on the amount of freedom and constraint that is given to him. If an employee is tasked to come up with an innovative product, the entrepreneur should know how to give just the right amount of limitations and freedom for the development process.

Too much freedom will lead the employees to reuse plans that were utilized before. On the other hand, too much constraint will limit the employees chances of coming up with creative (and potentially profitable) ideas. In this post, we are listing some of the most effective ways to encourage innovation while striking a balance between freedom and constraint:

 Provide a Vision and Set the Parameters

 To encourage collaboration within your team, you need to determine the target audience first! People can only be creative if there is an established goal and plan that they can work around to produce innovative results.

Give the details of what you want the product or service to provide the customers and what consumer needs must be satisfied. Educate them about the intellectual property rights they must be aware of and tell them the revenue that you want to achieve. Doing this will allow the employees to have a more defined approach in achieving the goals you have given them.


 Let the Team Work How They Want

After giving the parameters and target to your team, do not hold them back from working according to how they want to work. Let them encounter and face challenges on their own in order to harness creativity.

Micro-management will only limit people from going out there and develop creative, off the wall ideas. Ideas that may sound crazy but could just be the thing needed to make your plan work. If you meddle with the creative process, you may be inadvertently impeding the success of your plan.

 Avoid Unnecessary Challenges

Don’t make it hard for everyone to contribute their ideas. Ideally, only the eventual and true challenges must be presented to your team as they will only ignore or get frustrated over the inauthentic constraints that you give to them.

For example, do not cut down the budget for the project if there is already a set amount to finish it. If you continuously highlight the constraints of the plan, you are only making your team less effective as far a product development go.

by: Jeffrey Slayter

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