A Philosophy of the Moment · Found in the Field · Ideas of Curiosity · Innovation & Creativity

What is collaboration really? Hint: It is not ‘sales’

Found this, by Terrie Glass, at: https://www.zelosllc.com/insights/are-you-losing-by-winning

Snippets from, ‘Are you losing by winning?’:

‘The future will belong not to the most successfully competitive, but to the most creatively collaborative. Leaders can build great collaboration among their staff by focusing on one core belief and one fundamental skill. The belief: I must be as equally committed to the success of my colleagues as I am to my own success. The skill: I must be able to discover the needs and interests of others and connect my own to theirs… We tend to consider collaboration when we are in need. But great organizations are full of people who look for ways to collaborate all the time. They do this because they know that excellence is held back by internal competition and turfism. They seek to move beyond a self-preserving posture, to one that genuinely engages with others to understand their challenges and consider collaborative strategies that will help others meet their challenges…. We think we know others’ needs or interests when, in fact, we may only know their “position”—their stated goals or their opinions. Their needs and interests are usually unspoken. Skill in asking powerful questions and listening deeply for the answers are the keys to uncovering this critical data. ‘

What will you do to listen deeply? To connect to the ones who can help you move in tandem, with them, towards shared goals?

Exploring these topics ahead of our publication of ‘Turfism’.

See editorial calendar, linked from New S P A C E.

Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field

How to make Zoom calls more interesting?

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… this sense of safety has contributed to our members sticking together (and sticking with our membership) even though we were closed or only open limited hours for the majority of this year. After a LOT of experimentation with an online membership this year, we have discovered an absolutely magical Zoom call format that is hands-down my favourite call every month for what our members walk away with every time AND for how easy it is for me to facilitate. We call them “Hive Mind Hot Seats”.

Up to 3 members can sign up ahead of time for a 25 min turn in the hot seat, where they get to pose a question or ask the rest of the group for feedback on something they’re working on or dealing with (they can bring ANYTHING to the table, work related or personal). Then I simply facilitate the rest of the group as they all chime in and provide their ideas, experience and feedback to the person in the hot seat. It’s absolutely amazing to watch. I barely say anything the whole time. I just make sure people who have raised their hand have a chance to speak, and I keep an eye on the time. That’s it. Our members do the rest. And EVERY TIME, whether they are in the hot seat themselves or not, everyone ends that call with a new perspective for something THEY are working on. Even though the people in the hot seats often ask work related q’s, very personal things do naturally come up. Ie, personal fears, doubts and inhibitions. Personal habits that aren’t working so well. Spousal challenges. And everyone rallies, offers support, holds space. NO ONE judges….

‘… gives members a sense of safety and relieves pressure… a sense of purpose. Together, a sense of belonging.

‘One thing I would love to be able to do better is address deeper challenges some members are facing, like clinical depression. Curious what other operators are doing to help members who live with these kinds of challenges on a regular day, let alone during a global pandemic. We have a couple of members who slip into deeply depressive episodes, and I feel helpless when that happens.’

 

What do you think about this? Should we try it for one of our zoom calls in S P A C E?

 

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A Philosophy of the Moment · Innovation & Creativity · Strange Geometries

‘Creative anarchy’: Make space for creativity to flourish

The blatant, unadorned opinion of the author(s?) of this blog post about creativity and innovation is cool to discover. Creativity is important but you have to really allow people to go for it, with a ‘creative anarchy’ kind of vibe. I like this. I agree.

 

Allowing for true creativity to flourish at work. How do you do it?

Here are a few snippets.

…’What this means for an organization trying to spur innovation is that the first focus should be on creating an environment where individual creativity can flourish. New ideas and organizing principals for the organization will emerge from that creative cauldron which can then be turned into innovations that allow the company to serve their customers better…

‘Three concepts are very commonly associated with creativity: imagination, problem solving, and struggle. Associated with imagination are words like unconventional, spontaneity, intuition, giftedness. ..  Problem solving includes concepts like intellect, ability and organization. And struggle is associated with the concept that creativity is hard – ideas have to be wrung from one’s brain through a process of conscious and unconscious struggle…

‘Rampant creativity is in many ways frightening because it is a powerful force that once unleashed is hard to direct and organize. So most companies focus on stimulating innovation because it is, as we noted above, creativity directed at a goal. That is a conceptual mistake in my mind… The first part of the mistake is that an organization’s innovation must be directed at some agreed-to goal. That may be well-and-good for incremental innovations. But incremental innovation alone will not suffice to keep a company growing and healthy in a turbulent economy where discontinuous technical change is now endemic in any given marketplace.

‘Companies always need to encourage some amount of radical innovation which, by definition, is outside the normal processes and agreed-to mission. That undirected creativity is what ultimately identifies “crazy new ideas” that become the basis for the next billion-dollar opportunity. A large organization to thrive in today’s marketplace must therefore tolerate some amount of “creative anarchy” where individuals operate in an open marketplace for ideas that managers can’t always see, can’t control, and will absolutely feel uncomfortable with.

 

This is what I think, personally, about how to design an environment for creativity, and innovation

So yeah. People don’t like to change too much if they are happy with the status quo. Let us agree that many, many people are loathe to change. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t, et al. And so you will find in much of literature the unhappy and dysfunctional relationships that people simply do not want to get out of because it’s too much effort to change something. Right?

Right, but they can change and if they change they can get on to something better. Letting themselves is key.

Of course. But they also need to be able to see beyond the mere ‘this is what we are going to do because this is where we said we are going to focus’ thinking which is highly limiting, and ultimately, deadening.

True creativity and true innovation go together. When people are free to explore without inhibitions, then cool, new, wonderful things can be made. The question is, will you allow that to happen, for your employees? Or will you stay closed, and ‘safe’, with mediocrity as the highest you can get to, bar-wise?

 

Last word

The blog post author, again:

‘I will argue that such a company will never be a truly innovative organization, it will fail to adapt quickly enough to the continual and ultimately discontinuous changes in its marketplace, and it is at high risk of ultimately failing in its mission.’