Innovative Team image

5 secrets to truly innovative teams

Behind every innovative new project is an innovative team.

While teams typically include specialists across all aspects of business, it is often not the lack of expertise that is the problem when projects fail to innovate, it is the lack of cohesive creative thinking within the team itself.


As a company that has delivered creative thinking training for businesses, across a variety of sectors, PermissionToPlay has summarised the top skills and practices that make up truly innovative teams.

#1 Innovative teams see potential in every situation

Innovative leaders and teams consider everything an opportunity. This means, where some see problems and obstacles, you see potential in every aspect of your working day. Problems are best solved when a growth mindset is adopted, before the actual work has begun. When your team looks at problems in ‘Opportunity Mode’, they quickly develop a positive and creative unified mindset. Rather than looking for one solution, they create a number of ways to achieve their goal.

The essence of being creative is seeing the potential in things. Start with yourself, then explore outward.

Kevin Mann, Creativity buff

#2 Innovative teams encourage participation from all

Innovative teams embrace diversity of thought within a group to bring a mix of skills and perspectives to the table, each with an equal voice. While each team member will have their own area of expertise, they can also bring a wealth of life and career experience to the table that can fire up new ideas in the group. No person’s thoughts are considered pointless, no matter how insignificant they might seem, that’s where the creativity starts!

Team Meeting
Work place discussion

#3 Innovative teams strive to do better

An innovative team seeks to constantly improve on where they are now. They have the desire to always make things better than they once were, to see if there might be a simpler, more imaginative, less time-consuming or costly method to achieving their goal. A successful team doesn’t accept done as done until they have explored other ways to do it better. Later, they always review what worked well and what didn’t to help them develop new ways of thinking that keep their innovation moving.

#4 Innovative teams put others at ease

In order to share ideas, a culture of openness and trust is required in innovative teams to ensure each member, no matter what their role or status, feels they can have their say and contribute ideas. A successful innovative leader will encourage participation from each member of the team and identify and foster ways to help them work at their best. Trust is a key factor here so that people feel it is safe to raise queries or offer suggestions without fear of rejection.

#5 Innovative teams prioritise open communication

Innovative teams communicate their message of innovation to ensure others are ‘bought in’ to considering and adopting new ideas. A great team understands the value of securing the support of external partners and collaborators – they don’t keep things to themselves. Communication is a crucial skill when it comes to innovation, both to communicate and articulate an idea in the first instance, then to embed this into the project itself.

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.

Steve Jobs

PermissionToPlay delivers creative thinking training that helps teams gain the skills, mindsets and confidence to solve problems differently, generate original ideas more quickly, and build a culture where innovation can flourish.


If you would like to find out more about how our creative training packages can benefit your business, contact us today or call us on 0330 311 0034.