Collaboration is the Path to Innovation.

I recently heard this great talk from one of the brilliant folks at Pixar.  At Pixar they are very clear about the difference between cooperation and collaboration–something we in our culture confuse with each other all the time.  Cooperation is about getting a task done.  And this task could be done alone yet, done in cooperation with someone else it gets done more efficiently and successfully (usually).  Think a car manufacturing line–example-one person puts on the headlight and the next person then puts on the headlight casing or frame.  The outcome is a car is built–task complete.  You get the idea.  Collaboration is about creating something way bigger then either you or I could do by ourselves.  A collaborative dialogue or interaction sole’s purpose is to expand on an idea and enhance it into a bigger “thing” then we could have possibly done alone. It is not task focused but rather “innovative focused.”  This might be obvious but everyone is now talking about being more innovative.  The path to innovation is collaboration.  We must stop telling people in our organizations to “be more innovative” but rather create environments whereby more collaborative conversations can happen.  I was just reading about this again about Apple.  Their offices are designed in such a way that “collaborative opportunities” present themselves all day– on the way to lunch, to the bathrooms, etc.  So, think about what you want to create– and rather then saying to yourself I need to be more innovative, go have a conversation with someone and be supportive and collaborative with each other.  Collaboration is the path to innovation. Just ask any improvisational actor!  (hint-go take improv classes–it will change your life in terms of being more creative in your life and your business.)

1 Comment

  • Adora English Reply

    Rick,
    I took an Improv class a couple years ago, and remember that mega-bolt of energy it gave to me, and my business. Thanks for the reminder, I think it’s time for me to sign up for one again. Great info on creative spaces— thanks!

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