You need innovation to get to Fantasyland
When I hear the term ‘innovation’, I automatically think about new apps that have been invented to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Big and bold innovative ideas such as an application that can identify the content of your fridge and provide you with suggestions for meal preparations or your next shopping list is one example that springs to mind. On the other hand, the term ‘innovation’ might be less associated with a change in process, thus amending your way of thinking and the way you make sense of your environment. However, actually changing the way you gather information, store and connect it to your knowledge and existing thinking patterns will result in changing the way you approach tasks and structure your daily life. For me, this process is actually the groundbreaking innovation. Only this can make technological innovations such as ground-breaking apps possible.
At CA Technologies we constantly strive to think outside the box and question the current way of doing things – in order to do things better. CA’s mission is to eliminate the barriers between ideas and business outcomes, and to do so we need new ideas, processes and strategies to achieve those outcomes for our customers. Within Talent Acquisition we work together globally to diversify perspectives and ideas in order to reform our processes.
The journey to Fantasyland
We started to scrutinize the way we were doing things and realized that it actually can be quite difficult to come up with new ways of thinking. During the last couple of months, we introduced the term ‘Fantasyland’ as, in my opinion, it perfectly describes the optimum state of your processes and technologies that you strive to achieve as a group. But how do you get yourself and your team members to Fantasyland you may ask? Here are 5 different options:
- Identify the Plant in your Team.
According to Belbin’s team roles inventory, a person who falls under the plant category tends to be ‘highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways’. Utilise the plant to disrupt current thinking patterns and look at things from a different angle.
- Set the Scene.
Before you set up a group session to collect feedback and ideas, stress that everything is allowed in Fantasyland. Give examples of scenarios and explain what Fantasyland actually is – an ideal corporate environment where you have unlimited tangible and intangible resources and no technical limitations.
- Encourage Idea Ownership.
Ownership of ideas is vital. Prompting participants that if they created their own business or department, what would they do or what would they set up?
- Reveal Traditional Thinking Patterns.
If people do fall into old patterns of behavioral routine, it’s important to gently remind them of the points above and ensure they realise the opportunity they have.
- Identify the Scope of Fantasyland.
This might sound contradictory, as there is an everlasting strive for perfection in anything we do. You have to set a clear scope for Fantasyland in order for you and your team to know your area of focus. With resources, timeframes to abide by, it’s paramount the team does realise and consider the boundaries that do exist.
I hope this list provides you with a good starting point. The more you practice new ways of thinking and continuous improvements to processes, the easier it is to both switch between analyzing your reality and plan innovative ideas for Fantasyland. It’s crucial to you and your team’s development that you continuously encourage Fantasyland-thinking. Of course, at some point you have to face reality, the technical limitations and existing restrictions. However, it is important to never lose sight of the bigger picture. With time, you’ll be able to create an environment that nurtures out of the box ideas and bring you one step closer to making Fantasyland a reality.
Our mission as a Talent Acquisition team has been to innovate the ways we do things, seeking continuous development and improvement, questioning routine and standardized thinking. And of course – the overall goal is to be the best in class. The efforts that we put into achieving this goal are paying off. Not only have we received positive feedback for our recruitment process from candidates – we’ve also received recognition from external parties like the Talent Board for the Candidate Experience Award “With Distinction“. This motivates us to continue our journey and strive for further development and innovations in the field of Recruiting at CA Technologies.