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Building and Leading Innovative Project Teams

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Today, our world is at an inflection point; a digital crossroads, that will lead to new ways of working, significant disruptions, and incredible opportunities for creative destruction. We will need to build, nurture, sustain and lead innovative project teams. These teams will have to push the limits for teamwork, communication and collaboration. To succeed, project managers need to establish environments that welcome critical thinking, creativity, interdisciplinary skills, cultural diversity and an integrative approach to solving complex problems.

Innovative project environments have certain characteristics; they offer a haven for testing new ideas, for experimentation and for challenging the status quo. Team formation is a key first step. You want people with varied technical and professional backgrounds. You also want to ensure that individuals bring complementary skills to a team. For example, a four-member team could have one person who is a task master, one who is super-analytical, another who is great at problem solving and a person with superior administrative abilities.

Innovative teams encourage the cross-pollination of ideas while allowing for productive conflict. This results in a spirit of collaboration where ego is removed from the equation and existing methods are challenged and tested.

The road to Innovation demands that we avoid “group think” and we detach our personal worth from long-held beliefs and biases. The ability to do this is a key trait of project leaders.

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