Collaboration is a key driver of successful innovation, according to Andrew Papageorge, author of the new book, GoInnovate. Working together, a group of diverse people tend to challenge and stimulate each other to come up with more creative solutions. “Very few successful innovations can be achieved without collaboration,” he explains.
But, he also points out that collaboration can be very challenging, because it requires you to have a high level of self-knowledge and an openness to the ideas of others. Papageorge identifies three skills that are critical to successful collaboration:
1. Reflection: “In reflection, we become observers of our own thinking. Reflection allows us to bring mental grooves to the surface — to help us recognize the rose-colored glasses, see their impact in our lives, and find ways to clear the glasses by creating new mental models more in harmony with reality.” Reflection can also help us to ask more intelligent questions, such as what do our customers want? What may our competitors do? and What will the world look like if our planned innovation is successful?
2. Inquiry: “Inquiry is a quest for knowledge or information, with the purpose of getting to ‘the truth,’ of not being ‘right.’ Once we understand ourselves better, we must understand others better. We do this through the practice of inquiry, exploring the points of view of other people and the reasons behind them, so that we can better understand their thinking.”
3. Advocacy: “Advocacy is promoting or supporting a point of view. In order to help our team make the best decisions, we should state our own opinions, and at the same time help others to state theirs.”
Too often, Papageorge explains, we are so focused on ourselves that we often miss the larger question: “What are we, collectively, able to create? The answer is that collectively we are able to create and shape our destiny.”
The author closes this chapter of his book by outlining some of the key benefits of successful collaboration, which include improved decision-making, shorter innovation cycle times, improved knowledge sharing, improved productivity and work quality, and greater flexibility.
For more information on this intriguing, self-published book, please visit the GoInnovate website.