Coworkers problem solving with sticky notes on a whiteboard

As we continue to accelerate toward a future of work with greater artificial intelligence and automation, employees are being asked to embrace new job roles. The shift means that much of the task-based, number crunching work that people used to engage in will be completed by machines. Instead, the job functions that will be available will lean more heavily on skills like creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

To help staff make the adjustment, Emergenetics® Associates can apply a unique set of tools to empower individuals with the skills to problem solve effectively and boost innovation. It all starts with three areas of focus:

  1. Driving Collaboration
  2. Building Psychological Safety
  3. Boosting Innovation

#1 – Driving Collaboration

While we may not all be returning to the office full time, that does not mean collaboration should be ignored. In fact, we need to be more intentional about it. After all, we know that great ideas tend to come from cognitively diverse groups, not individuals working on their own, making teamwork an essential ingredient in successful problem solving.

Start small and improve cooperation for groups of less than 10, by hosting a Team Dynamics for Small Groups session to inspire greater understanding. Encourage the team to utilize the Emergenetics+ mobile app to connect with each other and implement their customized interaction tips to work together more effectively.

I also invite you to use your Attributes in Action guides, which offer tips to help you coach staff on how to collaborate more productively. The guides offer specific recommendations that employees can implement to resolve conflict and communicate better, which can reduce friction and lead to collective problem solving.

#2 – Building Psychological Safety

Sometimes, people struggle to come up with effective solutions to challenges because they do not feel like they are in a safe space where they can share ideas, especially ones that may impact tried-and-true methods of operating. They may also be concerned that raising untested concepts that result in failure could have negative consequences.

To reinforce psychological safety, use our 3-2-1 activity to help colleagues celebrate the diverse perspectives they bring. The discussion can promote a sense of belonging as coworkers celebrate one another’s strengths. I also encourage you to utilize Brainwork Made Easy to reveal some of the biases that may exist about different Emergenetics Attributes as well as highlight the importance of seeing things from other’s point of view. When individuals believe that their colleagues will appreciate and welcome their insights, they will be more likely to raise concerns and suggest improvements.

For a few more tips, I invite you to explore my post on applications of Emergenetics to enhance psychological safety.

#3 – Boosting Innovation

As noted earlier, the most innovative and effective solutions tend to come from a cognitively diverse collective. Logically, it stands to reason that when you address a challenge or opportunity by considering multiple viewpoints, you are more likely to surface the best options, identify potential obstacles and determine a productive way forward.

To improve innovation, bring attention to cognitive diversity through a group’s Dot Graph. Discuss where each person gets energy and the intensity of that energy so the team understands the Attributes they tend toward, and any that may be overlooked. That awareness can inspire your next steps.

Based on the makeup of the group, you can help them identify individuals to round out a WEteam who could join them for brainstorming or idea vetting. You can also provide tools like WEboarding, where each Emergenetics Attribute is listed on a virtual or physical whiteboard. Ask the team to approach the issue by flexing into each perspective, not just their preferences, and make notes that reflect the considerations of each Attribute. In doing so, they can reason through the challenge from a multitude of viewpoints and arrive at a more well-rounded outcome.

Effective problem solving is important for any organization. As you partner with employees who are increasingly being asked to solve challenges and move their companies forward, you can build the foundation for better decision-making by using your Emergenetics resources to optimize collaboration, psychological safety and innovation.

Additionally, I invite you to share our resource The Hybrid Teams Handbook for Managers with your team leaders. The activities and recommendations in the guide can provide them with even more ideas to create an environment that will support problem solving and performance.

Image of the Hybrid Workplace Teams Handbook book cover

Discover how Emergenetics can boost collaboration in your organization or get in touch with our staff by filling out the form below!

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