Good governance is an essential element for the success of any project or programme. It ensures that the project is managed efficiently and effectively, and that resources are allocated fairly and appropriately. However, it is equally important to foster a culture of creativity and innovation within the team, without compromising the governance structure.
One way leaders and organisations can encourage creativity and innovation is to provide a safe and supportive environment for experimentation and risk-taking. This can be achieved by setting aside specific times or resources for experimentation, or by creating cross-functional teams that bring together different skills and perspectives. It is also important to encourage open and honest communication, and to give team members the freedom to challenge assumptions and ideas.
At the same time, it is important to have a governance structure in place that supports innovation and creativity. This means setting clear goals and objectives that align with the overall strategy, and ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. It also means having processes and procedures in place to monitor progress, evaluate results, and make adjustments as necessary.
In their book, The Innovator’s DNA, Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal B. Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen analyze the skills and behaviors of successful innovators. They identify five key tendencies that set these entrepreneurs apart: associating, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting. These characteristics enable innovators to identify problems, generate ideas, and test those ideas in real-world situations. Have you noticed these people in your team? Have they got flexibility to operate?
The authors of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen, explore four models of innovation: basic research, breakthrough innovation, sustaining innovation, and disruptive innovation. They offer a flexible and informative overview of different types of creative entrepreneurship, and highlight the importance of recognizing and adapting to changing market conditions.
In his book, Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux, offers a guide to creating organizations that are inspired by the next stage of human consciousness. He argues that by adopting new ways of thinking and working, organizations can become more agile, innovative, and resilient. Laloux suggests that leaders can foster innovation by creating a culture of trust, collaboration, and experimentation.
In conclusion, good governance is essential for the success of any project, but it must be balanced with a culture of creativity and innovation. By fostering an environment that supports experimentation and risk-taking, and by providing the necessary resources and support, organizations can encourage their teams to generate new ideas and approaches. At the same time, it is important to have a governance structure in place that supports innovation and ensures that resources are allocated fairly and appropriately. By adopting new ways of thinking and working, organizations can become more agile, innovative, and successful.
So why not check how your project or programme is doing? Robust governance but no creativity and disengaged individuals or too much creativity and not capturing the deliverables. It’s all a balance of recognising the give and take of governance over much needed innovative disruption. Laloux uses the examples of penguins – ungainly and awkward on the land but fast and nimble in the water. He quotes Joel Barker as saying “What is difficult or impossible in one paradigm is easy even trivial in another’. Given the challenges organisations face this is the kind of leap we need to make with our projects and programs.