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Shared values build stronger teams

Updated: Aug 21


This year, I joined an innovation Meetup as both a participant and presenter. Product marketers, academics and technologists come together to unlock and play with different approaches to innovative thinking. Recently a number of teens from Jarvis Collegiate joined the group and these guys are inspiring! They attend high school during the day, go to Ryerson for marketing classes at night and build business ideas in their free time.

It is the diversity that creates a tension and the shared values that keeps the team in a conversation where conflict can occur and ideas flow.

Last month they asked me for advice on their latest “ big idea”. Happy to help, I did what I do best and called out to my network. Immediately, people volunteered their time and office space for a brainstorm discussion. What had us put our hands up were our shared values of learning, innovation and service. The different experience, skillsets and ages (15 – 50+) allowed for a dynamic conversation.

In the end, we squashed a lot of the ideas. The teens took it all in, were grateful for the advice and left to go back to the drawing board with some valuable learning and encouragement.

My take away? We all use different criteria’s for grouping people and working through ideas, when we use shared values, people tribe together naturally and the commitment is strong.

As Bruce Nussbaum points out "diversity is a needed entity for innovation". It is the diversity that creates a tension and the shared values that keeps the team in a conversation where conflict can occur and ideas flow. To better understand your team values try using the Mountains and Valleys exercise from Tribal Leadership. We often group people together by generation X, Z and Millennials, shared values can cut across generations and the diversity is deep.

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© 2020 Jill Fagan