Open MindedThe ability to collaborate calls for the willingness to accept the new – whether this is new attitudes, structures, ideas, etc. and intrapreneurs will definitely be demonstrating their open-mindedness. The important thing is that they are not the only ones.

Open-mindedness is generally considered to be an important attribute in leadership as it lends itself to balance and fair play whereas an unwillingness to consider new ideas reduces ambiguity which, from an intrapreneurial perspective, limits options for creativity.

Encourage new thinking

Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas – a cornerstone of intrapreneurship as your corporate entrepreneurs incorporate the thinking of others in the development of an idea.

For some, being open-minded is easy whereas others feel that it is more of a challenge (many will be unconscious of that fact that they are close-minded whilst others my recognize this trait but feel that it is acceptable).

Benefits

Reduce confrontation – when you are close-minded, you are entrenched in opinion – and this gives you something to ‘defend’. It is more common to hear an open-minded person accept a different point of view as they are willing to listen to other people’s opinions about someone or something.

Open your mind – someone with an open mind is free to accept opportunities to experience new people and experiences. We say that ‘travel broadens the mind’ but we need to be willing to travel in the first place.

Raise your tolerance – when your mind is closed to new cultures and ideals, then you become intolerant to different ways of thinking. For example, racial and religious intolerance stems from a fundamental unwillingness to accept other points of view. From an intrapreneurial perspective, by accepting different opinions and ways of behaving, we tend to be sympathetic to other people which creates fantastic (internal and external) communities.

Become trustworthy – people that are willing to be persuaded to new ways of thinking are seen to be more balanced. This means that the perception is that when they tell you something, it is not because it is aligned to their closed view (therefore, has hidden agenda) but is based on balanced opinion (perceived as fact).

Fail – we say it time and again, lose the fear of failure: make mistakes. Being open-minded means that you accept your own failures as well as the failure of others – you are more able to recognize potential mistakes made.

Admit you’re wrong – how hard is it to say that we’re wrong? Or that we’re sorry? It is very hard but it is a lot easier if we lose the ego, have a balanced view, see both / all sides of an argument… and it gives us the strength to admit that other people may be right.

Boost your training – if you are open-minded, then you are not only learning new things from the people around you but you are also honest enough with yourself to say where you can benefit from skill improvement.

Be confident enough to say you don’t know – it’s liberating – and you then realize that so many other people have fantastic knowledge – and are willing to impart it to people who will listen.

Become a fantastic communicator – people with an open mind can be persuaded to different points of view – they are seen to be reasonable. In conversations, discussions, meetings… the open-minded person is the one that people will want to talk to as they feel that their views will get a fair hearing. Close-minded people aren’t listening; merely waiting for an opportunity to disagree with people who do not have the same views as them.

Build creativity – intrapreneurs are willing to consider new ideas and they need to be surrounded by people with this core asset – if your team is close-minded, then nothing will evolve; merely stagnate. This also means that the intrapreneur may not be the one leading the latest adventure as they are willing to listen or to consider suggestions.

Embrace change – people with an open mind are willing to accept many different types of behavior, review of organizational structure, new terms & conditions of employment, etc. Corporate strategies change – and this filters down the organization. Change will happen and close-minded people may struggle with this as they are less-equipped to change their own behavior or ideas easily in order to deal with new situations which translates into being unable to try or think of new ideas or methods.

Open-mindedness is an important employee trait as it shows a willingness to listen to other ideas and opinions and consider the possibility that you are wrong or may change your own perspective. Open-mindedness is a core skill for idea formation, conflict resolution, problem-solving, adaptability to change and the ability to work in ever-changing teams.

If you are interested in building collaborative intelligence in your organization, contact me and let’s talk.

Are You Open?