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What do all startups that drive growth by embracing strategic thinking, inspiring creativity and supporting talent have in common? Team collaboration.
Market competition is thick. Startups that embrace inventiveness and creativity rise, and such innovation happens when leadership and teams unify in pursuit of a shared vision within a culture that highly values collaboration.
Here are six ways to establish the foundation for collaboration and innovation within your startup:
- Establish a company mission
Entrepreneurs want their work to have value beyond material gain—and so do employees. They want to work with meaning and purpose, with the knowledge and confidence that they’re striving toward defined company goals and objectives.
Does your team have a clear and compelling vision? Inspire engagement and organizational achievement by establishing firm targets and by painting a vision of your company’s overarching goal.
- Promote a culture that encourages collaboration, creativity and innovation
With a company vision established, innovation more freely thrives when leaders embrace and support team forward-thinking and experimentation. As you establish and cultivate your new business, encourage creativity within your team by investing in inventive initiatives. Most importantly, be positive, and practice an open-door policy. Communicate openly, and applaud input from all levels. Listen attentively and give constructive feedback.
- Embrace collaborative tools and technology
Our digital age has ushered in a wide variety of collaborative tools entrepreneurs can leverage to gather, share, develop, enrich and refine ideas. Such tools are important for fostering collaboration.
From project management and teleconferencing to team coding, here are some examples of intuitive, easy-to-use collaborative software you might want to try:
- Quire: This cooperative, communal project management tool combines a Kanban board with a nested task list to deliver optimized teamwork and digital collaboration in real time. Its system allows team members to effortlessly prepare and coordinate assignments in a tree-like structure supported by UI.
- GoToMeeting: This popular video conferencing tool empowers both internal and external real-time collaboration. Businesses can schedule meetings, conduct conferences and share screens with clients, colleagues and customers via the internet.
- Slack: Offering open communication through file transfers, instant messaging and private channels, this platform is very user-friendly. Its many features and integration capabilities make it quite popular with developers and designers.
- Quip: Available in both a mobile and a desktop app, this collaborative tool lets users work live and import various file types. Team members working remotely will especially appreciate its chat, checklist and auto-save features.
- Embrace individuality and self-expression
Collaboration is all about unity, and works best when diverse ideas and perspectives are brought together to answer a question, resolve an issue, or overcome a challenge. Creating a safe space early on for diverse viewpoints within your new business means championing individual expression over uniformity. Your employees’ unique potential and contributions are why you hired them in the first place.
Fledgling companies who are willing to create a collaborative work environment from the very beginning—where creativity and experimentation flourish—win. Innovation happens when collaboration is supported through adopting shared goals and objectives, nurturing and rewarding a creative culture, and investing in collaborative tools and team building activities. Prioritize collaboration and innovation at your startup and you’ll win, too.
Originally published July 14, 2019.