Every company relies on the fact that different employees bring a variety of talents, gifts, and strengths to the table. Because of this approach, true diversity can be found that moves the company forward. Societies, on the other hand, are unlike successful companies in a sense that instead of focusing on strengths, use their energy on fixing or even accepting the weaknesses of their members. Unfortunately, some companies seem to follow the latter path, allowing their employees to “defend their position” and concentrate on appreciating their deficiencies rather than virtues.
Strengths-based innovation does not ignore people’s weaknesses. On the contrary, knowing what we are good at gives us an opportunity to also comprehend what assets we lack. Only people who realize what their advantages are can push a company forward.
Probably the simplest solution to detect the strengths of a company’s employees is to organize workshops focusing on exposing the strong points of those invited to such seminars. Of course, an expert needs to lead such a workshop, and he needs to possess certain skills to help him to facilitate the recognition of the abilities in people.
Another interesting approach to allow employees to realize their weaknesses in certain areas is to organize training sessions, and then give the participants a task to complete. The task needs to require a diverse pool of skills in order to be carried out successfully. One group of participants should consist of people with no suitable skills to solve the problem, while the other party needs to have all the attributes necessary to come up with the best solution to the problem. The exercise is a perfect opportunity to illustrate that collaboration, as well as certain skill sets, is essential for the success of any company.
There are many ways to promote strengths-based innovation. It is up to the managers in a company to keep experimenting with various approaches and see what works and what doesn’t.