How to Create a Culture of Change Makers

Thursday, May 19, 2022

When we discuss culture, we are talking about a way of life. The way we dress, the food we eat, the music we listen to, the films we watch and even the games we play are all part of our culture. It is also about our shared values, beliefs, and traditions and this influences how we, as leaders, steer our businesses towards desired outcomes.

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to create an environment where people feel safe to speak their minds. This means encouraging team members to share their thoughts and ideas, even if they’re not sure they’re right. It also means actively listening without judgment.

When people feel valued, they feel empowered. And when they feel empowered, they enjoy the freedom to innovate, experiment, and take risks. Understanding this concept can lead to great things for your team and business.

How can you create a safe space for your team to become effective change makers? Here are some tips.

1. Give people the opportunity to share their ideas.

Ensure that everyone on your team has a chance to speak. Brainstorming sessions, roundtable discussions or simply asking for input are ways to start the conversation. Remember that each team member’s voice deserves to be heard.

2. Encourage feedback.

Ask team members to share both positive and negative feedback with each other. This practice will help them become better communicators and collaborators. This will encourage people to ‘say what they mean and mean what they say’, a healthy long-term practice.

3. Avoid judgment.

Don’t judge shared ideas prematurely. Instead, listen and give the person an opportunity to explain their thinking. As leaders, we should accept that a variety of perspectives exist outside of our own. Allow fresh perspectives, especially the challenging ones.

4. Be open to change.

If you’re flexible, your team members won’t be either. Let them experiment and try new things. This openness will encourage creativity and innovation. Remind your team members to think outside the box and invent new ideas. Be receptive to their suggestions and give them freedom to implement their own solutions.

5. Respect capabilities.

Always show respect for your team members. Treat them as individuals with their own unique thoughts and ideas. Encourage them to freely express themselves. Show your respect by never hindering the creative process.

As a leader, the goal is for your team to consist of people with the ability to change in their DNA. If they can be their genuine selves, the work will evolve from a dull job into a burning passion to create and innovate — and ultimately, this will drive results beyond your dreams.

Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.

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