Sunday, March 2, 2008

12 Ways to Bring an External Perspective to Your Team

Teams and organizations can often get too insular and unable to think outside of their own boxes. Leaders need to encourage team members to look outside for new ideas. Here's 12 ways to ensure your team members are getting their daily dose of external perspective:

1. Send team members to external training, networking events, or conferences

2. Forward newsletters, articles, research, and best practice reports to your team

3. Set up training for your team to take together, using internal or external instructors.

4. Bring in external guests to participate in brainstorming or other activities with the team.

5. Bring in temporary group members, for job rotations, or contract positions.

6. Arrange reciprocal visits with other groups or organizations.

7. Bring in a guest speaker to present a unique perspective or expertise. (Remember to look outside your industry or specialty.)

8. Arrange a field trip to visit the site of a customer, a customer of one of your customers, or even a competitor.

9. Arrange a field trip outside your industry to observe best practices.

10. Meet with independent inventors or entrepreneurs in your field.

11. Surf the Web to view competitors’ sites.

12. Bring in consultants to provide different perspectives.

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