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  • Jente Smit

Padawan Blog #3, by Jente Smit

Dernière mise à jour : 10 févr. 2021

HOW TO GET CREATIVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM…

How can you include someone like me in your team and give them creative confidence? It seems like a challenge, but Steffen and Michiel manage to thaw me more and more, and I feel that I am growing. But how do they tackle this in concrete terms and how can you, within your team, allow people to build up creative trust?


PROGRESS THROUGH LEARNING AND DEVELOPING …

During my internship I got the opportunity to learn new skills through my mentors, so I could contribute to projects with my own and also new knowledge. They showed me that as a trainee I was really considered to be their employee and that I could certainly contribute to their business. During my first weeks, I got already the change to participate in a Pitch for our ‘Brussels Bike – BeSpoke Project’ and I facilitated a workshop for an external client to come up with a retail vision. Innovation Jedi work as external experts where they guide end-to-end innovation processes for clients, here too I was quickly integrated into teams and presented as an innovation management expert, which was fantastic!

GIVE ACCOUNTABILITY AND SHOW THAT CONTRIBUTIONS + TALENTS MATTER…

n my first week I had the opportunity to follow all the projects that were running. Afterwards I was able to choose which tasks I wanted to work on, because it was important to use my own talents. These specific tasks helped me to grow in the area I was interested in. I am also guided to subdivide tasks into smaller steps, in that way I slowly but surely gain confidence as they start to master each step of the assignment. People’s confidence (and motivation) will generally grow when they’re given the chance to put their skills into practice and show mastery.

"DON'T GET READY, GET STARTED!"

I learned that you need to stop planning and just get started — and the best way to do that is to focus on the huge overall task and find a small piece you can tackle right away. The first step will seem much less daunting if you make it a tiny one and you force yourself to do it right now. By doing fieldwork, you will get out of your comfort zones and dive into the world. You have to deal with unexpected findings, with uncertainty, and with irrational people who say things you don’t want to hear. But that is where you find insights—and creative breakthroughs. One aspect that must also be taken into account is the follow-up of certain tasks. During my internship I received several reviews to see where I stood and what further steps I saw within my process. After all, it was important to be able to complete tasks on an internship, instead of leaving with different loose ends. The reviews were mostly organized as part of a lunch, which again promoted a loose atmosphere.

SHOW SOME SUPPORT AND EMBRACE FAILURE.


My mentors regularly try to check with me whether I need help with something and it’s always possible to speak to them about it. If I'm facing a tough challenge, I can meet with them to look for opportunities to cede control and they will leverage different perspectives. Another way to demonstrate your support is to actively praise a team member and provide positive/constructive feedback when someone does something well. We all like to feel appreciated and it takes so little to say “Thanks, that was a superb job you did.” I can continuously test ideas with them, instead of just passing judgment with put-downs like “That will never work'. They are always opening with the positive elements. Such a feedback typically starts with “I like…” and moves on to “I wish/would…” or uses suggestions signals such as “This is just my opinion and I want to help,” will make listeners more receptive to your ideas. In a rapidly changing world, employees and their passions can best be reached when people feel valued and empowered to think, act and innovate in ways that are most obvious to them. A lot of people think we can’t risk our business-world ego. As a result, we self-edit, killing potentially creative ideas because we’re afraid our bosses or peers will see us fail. We stick to “safe” solutions or suggestions. My mentors build up my trust to let me know that it’s ok to make mistakes. When you remove the fear of failure you make people feel safe. There are very open for new initiatives and stimulate me to keep curious, even outside my professional domain. They allow me to be entrepreneurial and to test my own ideas and ideals. I can explore and unleash my passions and I’m encouraged by discovering how I can best fit within the team. Passionate workers like Steffen and Michiel are always looking to provide and create impact through long-term sustainable growth and they therefor allow their employees to discover their own passions, which is great!

 

We've had the pleasure to welcome Jente as the first ever intern of Innovation Jedi in 2019. Not only did she do a great job and bring to the team and the projects but in addition she made the extra effort to share her experience in her blog. As we are not that good in communication (.. as in running innovative projects) we would like to share what she lived (and how she lived it) with you as it probably gives a better idea of what and how we do it rather than plenty of marketing blabla. Enjoy reading .. and thank you very much Jente!


Her site https://www.simmit-innovation.be/about/

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