How to Inspire your Content Team to have Better Ideas

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Manager, marketer, or entrepreneur, one of the most challenging prospects you will face as you navigate the tricky terrain of creating engaging content, is churning out worthwhile content ideas, more so on a steady basis.

For most content curators, idea creation is a painstakingly arduous process, one that overtime becomes ineffective and challenging to execute. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way – the one-man way – your content team can join in on this task to make it a more fluid and seamless process. Here’s how to inspire them to do just that.

Start by defining what’s holding your team back

It’s highly unlikely to find a content creation team with team members who don’t have ideas of their own. Most times, however, these ideas fail to reach the spotlight usually because there’s a hindering factor playing out in the background. As a leader seeking to optimize your idea generation process, the first step is identifying this hindering factor.

Hindering factors could take on many forms, from experience these standout in the typical workplace environment.

  • A dearth of confidence amongst team members
  • Nonchalant attitude
  • Micromanagement on the side of the team lead
  • A culture of idea rejection

The trick to singling out the particular limiting factor is to establish a discussion round table, one where you step back and converse with your members as a peer rather than a team lead. Once you’ve identified the problem it’s a simple case of taking steps to remediate it.

Create an atmosphere of freedom

If someone is doing the heavy lifting, why bother? We’d imagine that’s the thought process of your team when you shoulder the entirety of the idea creation process. If that’s the case then it’s about time you transfer the responsibility (or part of it) to team members. Step back, take a breather, and give your team the room to come up with ideas on their own.

Doing this strengthens their ability to function independently – and where independence thrives, so also does creativity and innovation, all key to deriving stellar content ideas.

Working as a team

Two good heads are better than one, ever heard that phrase? While it’s easy to assume that a content creation team will always function as a composite whole, in reality, fragmentation and isolation are the paths most members will take. When you transfer the reigns of idea creation to the team, you will find that most team members will take on the approach of brainstorming individually to come up with ideas.

That method is, however, counterproductive. If brilliant ideas are to flourish, then it’s important that your team thinks as a collective. Ideas can be derived solo, but the task of determining which is a better fit in terms of organization-specific goals and objectives should be undertaken by the group and as a team.

Constructive criticism

Criticism comes in various forms, and you’ve probably heard that constructive criticism is the way to go. That’s because constructive criticism is a positive reinforcement mechanism that actively applauds positives while highlighting the negatives if present.

Note that the process of criticizing constructively involves highlighting what’s wrong. Your team needs both sides of the divide – accolades when due, and reprimand where necessary, it’s called criticism for a reason. One mistake many managers make is to overly deemphasize the wrong. In practice, that only broods a lax idea creation atmosphere.  Your team needs to understand what’s wrong with an idea, if there’s anything wrong in it, just never make it the point of emphasis over the positives.

Idea creation is best undertaken as a continuous process

Unlike the start-stop process of creating content, designing an idea is a, endeavor that must be orchestrated seamlessly if it is to work in the long term. That’s a roundabout way of saying your team must integrate the process of deriving ideas into their daily workflow as opposed to earmarking specific periods for brainstorming.

The latter approach, overtime, mount undue pressure on the team. The former, better known as rolling ideation, allows your team to create ideas on the fly, without pressure and without the limitations that come with organized sessions. Rough ideas derived through the week can then be fine-tuned at scheduled team brainstorming sessions later on.

In sum, inspiring your team to join in on the idea creation process is all about creating a positive environment where creativity, freedom and team spirit all thrive. As a team lead your job is to provide this enabling environment and then check the excesses by giving constructive criticism