Why is self-confidence a problem for innovation teams?  

I’ve recently gotten into pickleball. I’m by no means a crack athlete (I never played sports in high school), but I need the exercise, and it’s a fun thing to do with my family. 

Recently, I decided to get a better paddle. Would that help my game? Sure enough, I felt like I improved the very first time I played with it. While a better paddle did help…I think the bigger impact was the confidence it gave me. 

Innovation team members can lack confidence ‍

Innovation teams also suffer from a lack of confidence, and it’s a problem that holds them back. Here are a few reasons for the lack of confidence.

It’s not clear if the company values innovation

If leaders in the organization don’t let the team know new ideas are welcome, then the chances of a team creating a breakthrough product are almost nil. But having a culture that encourages innovation means more than just lip service. Teams need encouragement and a clear path for developing and presenting a new product idea. Otherwise, they will wonder “What if no one wants to hear my ideas?” 

Imposter syndrome

Even the most confident person you know suffers from imposter syndrome, and it can drain your self-confidence. Your brain asks you “What if my ideas are no good?” or even “What if people laugh?” 

Giving clear direction of how to develop ideas, and how to work on them with a partner can help quiet the imposter voice and give confidence.

Lack of experience

When you have done something several times, you are way more confident you can do it again. So the best way to gain experience and confidence is to just get started. “Hmmm. I’ve never done this before.” is then replaced with “Ok. Let’s do it again.”

They are not sure they are doing it right ‍

The biggest factor in lack of confidence is when people are unsure what process to follow. You don’t want them to worry. “What if I’m not doing this right?” Instead, they have the confidence to think “If I follow each of these steps, then I’ll get a result I can be proud of.”

It all comes down to this

Having an approved process for developing ideas gives everyone on your team confidence that they are doing the right thing, in the right way, and that you value their effort as well as the results.

PS - Feeling a little more confident now and looking to get started?

Our team members lacked confidence in creating new ideas, so we wanted to help. So we created a step-by-step framework that anyone on our team could use to change “possibly good ideas” into a solid product that has already been battle-tested and de-risked. Get started with our free mini-course

PPS - This is the 4th post in a series of the 10 problems all innovation teams face. [read the 5th thing innovation teams struggle with]

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