How Collaboration Leads to Innovation
Seldom does the expression, “two heads are better than one,” resonate more than when you’re running a small business. Collaboration can help you see things in new light and lead to innovative new ideas.
Here are six ways collaboration can lead to innovation.
It tempers your brilliance
It’s human nature to love your ideas, even if they’re incomplete or flawed. By sharing them with others, you’ll know soon enough where they need to be refined or adjusted – to make them really shine. After all, it took two Wright brothers to get a plane off the ground, not one.
It rewards diversity
In a marketplace that’s going global, success can depend on cross-cultural collaboration. A diverse workforce and customer base can help you look beyond borders and cultural barriers and get to the root of the problem. Surround yourself with the unexpected and be surprised at how “new” things look. The Wall Street Journal offers these ideas to build a diverse workplace.
It can lead to original thinking
Bringing others in might seem like a slippery slope to “groupthink,” but in the age of business social platforms and collaboration tools, the opposite is likely to occur. Today’s employees are far more comfortable sharing their ideas and thoughts in public work forums or leveraging other ideas to form new ones.
It accelerates the spread of thought leadership
White papers, briefs and other thought leadership tools flow continuously throughout the online and social workspace. This ambient, organic collaboration means great ideas can continue to find their way to your business’s doorstep, where they can evolve and enhance your work.
It elevates good ideas by leveling the playing field
Everyone from the night watchman to the top salesperson can weigh in freely when your culture values collaboration. In this kind of environment, where ideas matter more than titles, each employee can feel free to contribute their best, day in and day out. This Forbes article provides ideas on getting employees to contribute.
It can happen with or without you
Creating a collaborative culture might require a hands-on role at first, but once established, you can dip in or out as you see fit. In fact, in a truly collaborative environment, new ideas will make their way to you when they’re ready – for approval or your own perspective.
The burden of generating new ideas doesn’t have to fall completely on your shoulders. In fact, by putting more than one head together and collaborating, shouldering the load can be easier and enlightening.