In our last four posts, we’ve been discussing purposeful innovation. Our first post covered the four factors that lead to successful idea generation and implementation. From there we explored how sensitivity to the market makes a powerful tool for improving profits. Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo drives innovation in two ways: It spurs creativity and it provides the will to persevere. Last but not least, we explored how shared goals are powerful innovation drivers.

“Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained.” – Unknown

Trust issues are a major obstacle to the free flow of intellectual capital and the willingness to take risks at organizations. The sad truth is, the enemy is us. To drive purposeful innovation, organizations require an innovation-friendly ecosystem with trust at the center.

Why is that?

  • Trust drives sharing. If your key players are certain that their intellectual property will be appreciated and/or acknowledged, more sharing occurs. The greater the trust, the more information will be shared.
  • Trust increases speed. When you trust your team, you don’t look for ulterior motives. You don’t question each communication, and decisions are made much more quickly.
  • Trust makes collaborative victories more frequent. Radical solutions are more likely when you can collaborate in a safe, criticism-free environment.
  • Trust provides full access. Trust allows team members to open their intellectual inventory to others’s. It’s the best way for others to access the breadth of team thinking

Trust is the single most important success factor for purposeful innovation.

Trust gives rise to a community of purpose, a team who shares a goal. When people trust each other, they can work together successfully. They can argue without being emotionally limited, share information happily and feel secure to take risks. The future belongs to companies that have replaced the scarcity models of yesterday. The winners of the future listen to each other, share with each other, collaborate with each other, and provide opportunities to innovate purposefully. It requires courage – the acquired ability to move beyond fear – but it is this ability to move that enables progress to happen.