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Insight for Innovation ®

Here, you will find thought-provoking (and perhaps smile-provoking) resources developed for product innovation professionals. Your feedback is not only welcome, it is actively encouraged. Feel free to comment on the Fresh Insights blog, download articles and peruse the original cartoons. Thanks for looking in.

July 13, 2011

On the Same Page? Building Team Consensus in NPD

I apologize in advance if this new cartoon offends anyone.  But I post it here to make a point about building team consensus around proposed innovation solutions.  That is:  It’s hard.

Reaching concurrence on direction taken in new product and package development is a key driver of project success.  That’s because solutions that are imposed on team members in dissent face challenges that erode collaboration and impede implementation.  Dissenters feel they aren’t being heard, or their opinions don’t count.  Or that the chosen solution poses execution risk for them.

I’ve observed that there are a handful of issues that can pull teams apart, and they are typically in place long before a key decision point.  What are these insidious forces?  And what compensating measures can defeat them, and hold teams together to ensure consensus when it’s needed?  The chart below is my effort to put them on the table.

No, I’m no Industrial Psychologist (though I came close early on).  But after years of study and work with client teams in all kinds of companies, these seem to be the make-or-break issues for collaboration.  Your take on it is welcome.

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