GENERATION OF INNOVATIVE SPIRIT IN PROJECT GROUPS
Совместная статья с Галиной Черноваловой, написанная для Пражской конференции 2014 года и опубликованная в сборнике статей. «Innovation Management and Company Sustainability» Proceedings of the 2ndInternational Conference26 – 27 May, 2014.
GENERATION OF INNOVATIVE SPIRIT IN PROJECT GROUPS
Galina Chernovalova – Denis Pestov
This article concerns the following issues: the trends in today’s economy, theprinciples of
effective project groups building-up and increasing of their effectiveness by generation of
innovative spirit, development and use of the employees’ innovative potential, expectations of
today’s employees from the company and possibility of self-fulfilment within the company,
the principles of the necessary subculture generation.
Key words: project groups, innovative spirit, innovative potential, instruments of generation
1 The world is changing
We are living in the world, which Americans call a world of VUCA, meaning volatility,
uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. That is how the modern world looks today while it’s
not going to change. Meanwhile this is a very interesting time for creative people, since the
old work models don’t work any longer.
We have passed to the era of ideas. In the past to change something one should had
money, good offices, power. Today the progress is the work of madmen, since they have ideas
and courage for bringing them into life without fear of failures.
To win in the VUCA world one should not focus on the new. The new is already out
of date. Today not the new is important but the real, the current. We are passing from the era
of information stream to the era of inspiration. Rational thinking leads to conclusions.
Creative thinking leads to new meanings, new expressions and consequently through new
actions to new results. [http://www.adme.ru].
Dynamics of development of the world economy of the XXI century is determined by
the existing post-industrial production type, which is different from the previous phases of
development by existence and possibility of effective use of intangible assets when producing
material benefits. The key success factors increasing the competitive ability of companies
under today’s conditions become the scale of use of new knowledge, core competences and
HR qualification, as well as the speed of the advanced technologies and management methods
Today when there is a great challenge for the Russian economy to transfer from
mainly rawmaterials development model to innovative model based on knowledge, companies
are more and more seriously dealing with “soft” factors that influence business: development
of managerial competences, upgrading of corporate culture and improvement of team
We observe the following trends:
Globalization of business and appearing of large number of new players on the
market leading to an increase in the speed of changes, while knowledge exchange
and depreciationmatter are of progressive significance;
Modern young employees strive to build a career passing from one company to
another seeking a better place for self-fulfilment.
The world and the market are now governed not only by technologies but also by
ideas. One begins to mutually give rise to the other. Increasingly evident transfer of business from the era of diversification to the era ofspecialization takes place. The companies have stopped accumulate all possible processes and move out some functions. “Highly specialized professions serve as separate functional organizations where professional knowledge and experience are accumulated. The company
affords ground for professional advancement of all employees instead of select people for
existing positions”. [Kjell Nordstrцm, Jonas Ridderstrеle, 2002].
As a consequence of the aforesaid, increasingly significant becomes building of
effective project groups as teams of specialists handpicked for solution of specific business
and management tasks. Those can be as uncharacteristic for certain activities, as well as
fitting the company development strategy. Project groups let solve not only standard tasks but
also complicated ones based on innovative ideas. We are observing situations in companies
when even having adequate resources the project groups are put into managed constrained
conditions. We can put forward an assumption that existence of large volume of resources,
including in the first instance the financial resources, in some cases decreases the innovative
potential of the project instead of increasing it. Certainly more complicated dialectical
connections exist between the parts of the overall economic potential. But one thing is Proceedings of
doubtless: resource availability significantly affects the result of activity but does not
determine directly the innovative potential itself.
“Perfectly engineered and absolutely individual human brain is far of excess of the
traditional production means — raw materials, labor and capital. Try to give a name of just
one modern major company succeeded based on muscle power of its workers only”.
It is believed that the more serious changes, which is an organization, the more
extensive theresources needed to carry them out. However, in many organizations, we
investigated the use of resources decreased, not increased. [Kim and Mauborgne, 2012]
2 Basis for the formation of project teams
The mentioned problems and inconsistencies show us the necessity to seek new
approaches for determination of the idea of “innovative potential” allowing not only to educe
the essential and specific characters of this issue but also giving understanding of what should
be undertaken by the management for the development and implementation of the innovative
potential necessary within the certain period of history. In this view, in our opinion the core,
the sense and the peculiarity of the innovative potential is determined by the desire and the
will of the owners, managers and employees to perform the innovative activities i.e. to
generate inside an innovative “spirit” meaning their possibility not for reactive but for
proactive response for the situation, and demonstration of not situational but inadaptive
For fulfilment of such type of activity the project group should include a number of
specialists having such personal and professional qualities.
In this view the attention should be focused on creation of situation where each employee
has opportunity to show his capabilities. Here we face the vital question: what does the
employee expect from the company?
In most cases young and promising employees see their self-fulfilment based on the
following focal points:
possibility of continuous personal advancement;
possibility of choice;
comprehension of actions and results;
possibility to keep self-esteem;
admitting of individuality;
easy relationships, absence of strong hierarchy; Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference
actual making of non-standard decisions and demonstration thereof.
Capability of taking into account these circumstances and creation the relevant
conditions determines the possibility to attract creative and initiative participants into the
groups. It isnecessary to create for them such sites that allow showing and developing their
innovative qualities and talents, gaining in return necessary results through the maximum of
their resource potential.
The project management approach fits the bill of the Russian business due
toparticularities of the Russian culture, such as tendency to teamwork, orientation for informal
relationship, and can be used as an instrument of management. This is to a large extent the
way of development of the Russian companies’ competitive ability. «Russian main skill — to
connect the unconnected!» [Alexander Fences, 2012].
The main principles of creation of the innovative spirit in project groups can be the
Initiative exchange with resources for the sake of the common goal reaching instead
of the “backscratching” approach.
Prevalence of non-financial motivation of the participants.
Generation of high personal responsibility of each participant for reaching of the
common goal and results.
Readiness for dedicated actions for the sake of the group interests.
Free-will self-discipline and self-control, which are understood as the necessary
condition of reliability.
Initiative feedback to the participants. Patency of communications.
Absence of double standards.
Readiness to take personal responsibility for failure of the group in combination
with admission of the merits of the others and the team as a whole in case of
Creation of high degree of confidence to each other among the employees based on
variol experience of effective working partnership and bright corporate group history.
[Stephen R. Covey, Rebecca Merrill, 2012] The above mentioned principles allow companies to generate and fulfil strategically
important decisions within a short time and to have competitive position in the form Proceedings of the
ofefficient teams having an innovative spirit. Thus, a research scientist, William Miller
believes that innovative abilities inherent in each. [Dandong E, 2006] It should be taken into account that generation of the innovative spirit of project
groups should be of spontaneous nature, as it often happens. It is necessary to form a
subculture corresponding to the general philosophy and the concept of development in
accordance with the number of the following principles:
The principle of interactivity.
The principle of individualization.
Stimulation of activity.
The principle of freedom of artistic expression.
The principle of operational efficiency and flexibility.
Patency and reciprocity of communications.
The principle of cross liability.
The principle the innovative on-line activities.
Conformance of the activities to the high goals and mission.
The principle of constant development and possibility of self-development.
The principle of actualization of the work results here or now.
Thus the issue is the activities aimed for forming of a given group of people into a
charged and aimed business team open for new and longing for achievements.
At the present time inadequate attention is paid for the basics of the innovative spirit
generation in project teams, which include the following methods and instruments:
Special-purpose corporate events with clear understanding of tasks and results.
Collaborative active recreation, sports and trainings with non-typical practice
allowing running diagnostics of frame of mind and other essential characteristics.
Elaborate and worked out system of instant exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Carrying out of problem meetings and conferences.
Creation of internal corporate instruments for innovative spirit support and
Discussions as an active form of work, in which the employees of the group orderly
and purposefully exchange their opinions, ideas and assertions.
Play methods. Using of various types of games, such as professional simulation,
imitation game and role playing game for solving problems relieves and trains skill Proceedings of the
of having a viewon the situation from different perspectives and by the eyes of the
other participants, whichhelps better understanding of their values and motivation.
Brainstorm. There 3 main types of brainstorm: “classic brainstorm“, “critical
brainstorm” and “monostorm”.
All the above mentioned methods properly used allow building necessary creative
environment, which consequently brings the innovations that the company needs. For
generation of the truest innovative spirit it is viable to combine different methods, instruments
and process organization forms in order to reach the maximum effect by their use.
Not strongmen by creative leaders win in the modern world. Presence of such people within
the company is the essential condition for generation of the innovative spirit and effective
work of project groups. Such people inspire others not only for small ideas and fulfilment of
the intended, but for challenging innovations allowing companies to fulfil crucial projects and
strategies promptly and effectively.
2. Kjell Nordstrцm, Jonas Ridderstrеle “FunkyBusiness”, Sweden. Series “Books of
Stockholm School of Economics in St. Petersburg”. Translation Copyright© Stockholm
School of Economics in St. Petersburg, 2002, p. 26.
3. Kim and Mauborgne.Blue Ocean Strategy. Harvard Business School Press. 2005.
Publishing Agency «krpa Olympus» 2012, p. 90.
4. Alexander Fences «Live in Russia. Guide for adults. «Publishing Agency «krpa Olympus»
in 2012. 288 pages, p. 96.
5. Stephen R. Covey, Rebecca Merrill“The Speed of Trust” by Alpina Publisher, 2012. 213
pages, p. 4.
6. Dandong E. Innovation: how to identifytrends and benefit / E. Dundon. Lane from English.
SB Ilyin; under Society. Ed. M.B. Shifrin. -M.: Top, 2006. 304 pages, p. 39.