Learn to say “yes” to ideas in the digital world

I would like to share some thoughts about why creativity is important, and how to foster it in your digital team.

There are many critical aspects in managing digital marketing teams. Unfortunately, I have observed that many teams are stuck in non-productive patterns. The result is that objectives are not met, due to poor communication and lack of knowledge about sharing and supporting new ideas. Staff members are hesitant to be creative, and it is not the individual’s fault; it is a flaw in the culture and a lack of awareness of how creativity, ideas, and innovations work.

What is the purpose of your website?

Most organisations have, or should have, a mission regarding their website. To fulfill the mission it is vital to have strong leadership and management to drive the mission forward, by articulating it so that everyone understands it.

Stakeholders tend to have different interests and agendas

Looking at digital efforts from the human resources perspective, you have the content creators, web editors, e-commerce managers, sales people, business analysts, technical experts, developers, designers, image editors…you name it!

So there are numerous key functions to keep a great website live. Each team is also likely to have their own agenda about what needs to be done, and how it should be accomplished. Many digital teams I know about find it challenging to achieve effective collaboration.

People have different ways of looking at problems and diverse views about what the priorities and solutions are. This often creates conflicts, and these disagreements can drain the energy in the organisation.

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Learn how to say “yes” to ideas

To avoid the problem of inter-departmental tension, I would like to introduce you to the concept of saying “yes” to ideas — to keep the creativity level high and the flow of ideas continuing. This approach is used in many successful organisations. Are you familiar with Pixar Studios? They’re using this method, and all of their staff are trained in how to promote creative flow.

In essence, this concept means that when someone has an idea, you should say “Yes, and…” to the idea and let the person continue to tell you more about their idea.

Too often people are in the habit of saying “Yes, but…”. This “Yes, but…” often continues with “Yes, but we did this last year”, “Yes, but I am not really sure if that will work”, or “Yes, but we are so busy so at the moment we are not able to do that.”  All of these “but” comments drain people’s energy and make them less motivated to share and explore their ideas — and make it less likely that their ideas will become reality.

When an idea is in someone’s head, it is just an idea. It’s when you are exploring and implementing the concept, and doing something about it, that you are truly innovating! To effectively execute an idea you need your colleagues to support it. The best way to gain this support in the early stages of developing an idea is to be positive and utilize “Yes, and…” energy.

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When you and your team know what your mission statement is, and you all have agreed that this is the way you are moving forward, great ideas will start to come forward more often.

Learn to say yes to ideas. Creativity

Image: Daquella manera / Flickr

Letting in opportunities

Digital teams have endless opportunities to try new tools and techniques, but they’re also likely to have limited resources.

When individuals get into the mind-set of saying “Yes, but…”, they are inclined to turn down ideas that should be acted upon. In the digital world, there is often that additional 10% of ideas that will provide the extra push to convert your visitor into ravings fans, thereby driving sales growth.

You’ll achieve higher conversion rates and drive more traffic to your site. Your site will become a portal of live and constantly evolving information, which customers are likely to visit on a regular basis.

I have worked with many different digital teams and it’s made a huge difference when the internal language has changed. When you say “Yes, and…” you get amazing results!

I’ve also worked in more negative environments. In those situations everything seemed to take forever, and the results were not impressive. Team members and leaders said “Yes, but…” to each other all the time.

Why it is worth it

Every time you can do something that makes your website visitor’s experience easier, clearer, and more engaging, you will earn more money. When an improvement is implemented, it is finished and people don’t have to think about it any longer.

Taking action creates space for new ideas and improvements, and you and your colleagues are more likely to be in a productive flow.

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The end result

These changes ultimately mean that your current and potential customers will have a better experience. An easy and painless user experience is crucial to the success of all websites and digital platforms. When a site is cumbersome and frustrating, your prospective customer will leave your site and go to a competitor. They will spend time and money there instead – which is a marketer’s worst nightmare.

When you and your colleagues start saying “Yes, and…” to new ideas and stop saying “Yes, but…” you are creating positive energy. You are creating a culture that encourages and nurtures new ideas; people will feel empowered when someone is listening to them.

I encourage you to give it a try. Say “Yes, and…” and let the conversation flow. Your colleagues will love you!

How was that? Does it make sense? Please comment!

This post was also published at Web Manager Group blog


Sofie Sandell is the author of the book ‘Digital Leadership – How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results’, to be published soon. 

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