Do Most Agile Teams Lack Creativity and Innovation?
Even if plenty of agile concepts and principles are rooted in iteration, innovation, and adaptability, it’s easy to get stuck in the mud after you’ve spent years in the same environment. Even the most creative teams can eventually grow tired and find themselves doing the same things day in and day out.
A lot of that needed innovation starts with strong leadership. Many agile teams are bringing unique solutions to the table from all levels of the team. From management to the actual testers who work each and every day to improve quality, different voices are being heard, and different ideas are being presented to solve problems.
But for those teams that aren’t being creative, Selena Delesie, an international leadership and transformation coach, keynote speaker, and trainer, sees a pretty clear through line.
“It goes back to how we're choosing to be and if we're able to be authentic and real or if we're afraid,” she explained in a recent interview with StickyMinds. “When we show up in that authentic, real space and open to possibilities, we're uniquely innately creative and innovative, and a lot of teams are still struggling. A lot of companies are still struggling because fear is the predominant control mechanism, and it's really hard to be creative and innovative if you're afraid to offer your ideas forth.”
How do you fix that? How do you reduce and eventually eliminate the fear of putting forth ideas, of suggesting new ways to enhance the team, of being able to speak up even if your ideas might not be the most popular?
It takes time, the right people, and leadership to maximize your agile organization. But before you do anything else, it’s critical that you take a step back and rediscover why you’re doing what you’re doing.
“Ask your product or project manager, whatever their title is, or even one of your sponsoring executives, what is it really that we're trying to accomplish here? What is the end goal? What is the problem that we're trying to solve? And getting really clear on that and don't take the first answer,” Delesie continued. “Beat it down and go down to, what is the core? Because the core of any business and any product or service that we're offering is to try to solve the problem.”
You can’t solve the problem unless you know what that problem is, and you can’t rekindle your creativity if you just don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Pinpoint your team’s purpose, let everyone on your team contribute, and rekindle the innovative nature at the core of agile.