A work environment for creative thinking

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Leaders influence others’ perception of the climate for innovation. Which affects how much discretionary effort team members give. And, in turn, affects innovation performance. Using the Situational Outlook Questionnaire (SOQ) we measure the 9 dimensions of innovation climate:

  • Challenge and Involvement – The degree to which people are involved in daily operations, long-term goals, and visions
  • Freedom – The degree of independence shown by the people in the organization
  • Trust and Openness – The emotional safety in relationships
  • Idea-Time – The amount of time people can, and do, use for elaborating new ideas
  • Playfulness and Humour – The spontaneity and ease displayed within the workplace
  • Conflict – The presence of personal and emotional tensions (a negative dimension – in contrast to the debate dimension)
  • Idea-Support – The ways new ideas are treated
  • Debate – The occurrence of encounters and disagreement between viewpoints, ideas, experiences and knowledge
  • Risk-Taking – The tolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity

Here are average profiles from 3 anonymised teams that improved their SOQ scores over a 9-month period. Note their scores, compared to high and low benchmarks for other teams.

SOQ scores from sample teams

Read the book

Read how work teams applied the SOQ to their innovation challenges in our book: How Leaders Learn to Boost Creativity in Teams. Chapter 5: Work Context – A Healthy Climate for Innovation

Watch the video

A short video overview of the Situational Outlook Questionnaire

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