By Susan Jedrzejewski
Creative collaboration happens when you discover new ways of thinking while interacting with others. Different people have different points of view. When those different perspectives are leveraged, creativity thrives.
Think of collaboration as a fuel that ignites creativity. As individuals, we are all innately creative, but when people come together for a common goal, the team dynamic can act as a catalyst, providing inspiration and encouragement. Creative collaboration helps you arrive at a better solution in less time, supporting the age-old adage that “two minds are better than one.”
Here are five tips from the Innovation Institute for building creative collaboration:
1. Remove the hierarchy.
Interact with each other as equals. While a chain of command is necessary to run an efficient organization, it’s not always the key to unlocking creative ideas. When it comes time to collaborate, get rid of the “us” and “them” mentality because good ideas can come any level.
2. Embrace diversity.
Research shows that diverse teams produce better results. Different cultures, backgrounds, and personalities provide diversity of thought, which stimulates creativity. A difference of backgrounds can even include mixing together experienced workers full of institutional knowledge with new hires who bring energy and fresh perspective.
3. Get the best of out of others.
Actively solicit ideas and give everyone the opportunity to share. This promotes an open exchange of ideas while establishing trust and mutual respect. In the long run, you’ll cut down on self-censorship, gather momentum, and gain more traction as a team than you could as an individual.
4. Suspend judgment.
Not all ideas are good ideas. Bad ideas are part of the creative process and should be expected and accepted. Plus, no one can be right all the time. The greatest value of suspending one’s judgment comes when there is a brilliant idea that blossoms from a seed of someone else’s bad idea.
5. Don’t settle too soon.
The absence of curiosity implies there is nothing left to learn, so remain open and curious to alternate solutions. Even if the first idea is clever, be sure to explore other options before you land on an idea. You can always go back later.
CREATIVE COLLABORATION IN ACTION
The Innovation Institute provides a platform for groups and teams to apply concepts of creative collaboration and leverage diversity of thought. We recently delivered a customized team-building program for Glen Raven, a global fabric manufacturing company that has embraced innovation throughout the years.
The session provided a unique teambuilding program that reinforced the company’s core value of innovation. Innovation Institute artist facilitator Shaun Cassidy led the experience for over 100 individuals at the colorful offices of Wray Ward, a Charlotte-based agency devoted to producing creative marketing communications.
The Innovation Institute’s experiential session challenged participants to work collaboratively while incorporating individual ideas into a larger concept. The result was an energetic program that created a space where ideas flourish and credit is shared.
Companies like Glen Raven and Wray Ward are embracing creativity and innovation because they recognize the value of both to their bottom line. Creativity is core to the success of their businesses and extends throughout their entire organizations.
Is your team or organization ready to collaborate creatively and boost the bottom line like Glen Raven and Wray Ward do? Contact us to discuss how the Innovation Institute can help.
©2017 McColl Center
for Art + Innovation