In her PhD research at the Department of Education, at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen (UiB), SLATE Postdoc Ingunn Johanne Ness conducted research on how multidisciplinary groups develop innovative ideas.
Ness says that she was able to access to authentic innovation processes and based parts of her research on cases in the international Industrial concern, Statoil. This activity was profiled in an article entitled, "Finding the way to good ideas" in the Work & Leadership part of one of Norway's largest newspapers, Dagens Næringsliv. Read the article (in Norwgian)
Journalist Margrethe Zacho Haarde explains in the article that being a member of the innovation and development group was part of Ness’ field work. Ness followed three innovation and development groups over a 2-year period, including this one at Statoil. Her observations of the innovation and creativity process in the multi-disciplinary groups led her to develop a model for a successful innovation process. (see image of the 6-step model)
Ness says that it was interesting to realise how little relating to traditional, formal notions about creativity as an individual trait actually applies to innovative processes.
Instead working together across specialisations and departments was critical for success; there is no place for prima-donas with big egos in successful groups, she says, rather it is about collaboration and working together, listening to one another, respecting one another, and learning as well as appreciating things about each other’s special competency.
Success involves commitment to team-work.
The keys to successful innovation processes include: expert knowledge among the group members, good leadership, and awareness on the relational processes involved in such multidisciplinary group work.
Ness identified three crucial factors: openness, curiosity, and respect for one another. Innovative ideas do not happen automatically!
Ness is now employed as a post-doc researcher and research theme leader for Creativity&Innovation at SLATE.
Read more about Ness' work:
Ness, I. J., & Riese, H. (2015), "Openness, curiosity and respect: Underlying conditions for developing innovative knowledge and ideas between disciplines", Learning Culture and Social Interaction, Vol. 6, No. September 2015, pp. 29-39.
Ness, I. J., & Søreide, G. E. (2014), "The Room of Opportunity: Understanding phases of creative knowledge processes in innovation", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 26, No. 8, pp. 545- 560.