The Seven Keys to Creative Collaboration

Author: John Spencer | Source: Youtube. Posted: September 9, 2017.


It’s easy to think of creativity as a solitary endeavor. But some of the best creative work is collaborative. This 5 minute video explores seven keys to successful creative collaboration. While focused on “design teams”, it easily applies to a network’s facilitation and working groups.

    Key Ideas

  1. Ownership: Members need to be empowered from the start. The worst kind of collaboration is the type that feels top-down, where the group
    follows rigid instructions and works as a team but never has true agency and creative control. But when they are empowered, they are able to solve problems,
    generate ideas, and create systems that lead to success.
  2. Dependability: This sounds simple but creative collaboration requires members to hit their deadlines and develop creative endurance.
    Trust: The greatest collaborative projects I’ve done have been with my wife, who I trust more than anyone and who knows me at such a deep level. We assume the best in each other, even when there is conflict. This piece is critical because out of a place of trust, group members are then able to be transparent and even vulnerable.
  3. Structure: The structure should be loose and flexible but you need to have structure in creative collaboration. This is why I love design thinking. It’s a flexible framework for getting the most out of the entire creative process.
  4. Shared Vision: I’m not referring to vision statements that you put on a wall or slap onto a website. I’m thinking more in terms of a shared desire, goal, and picture of what you will produce. This why it’s important that group members are given the chance to brainstorm individually before working with their groups in the ideation phase.
  5. Fun: Humor is one of the most overlooked areas of creative collaboration. However, when you look at some of the most innovative teams, they joke around. They laugh. As we’ll explore later, this sense of relaxation and play can actually boost both convergent thinking and divergent thinking.
  6. Candor: This is one of the key takeaways from Creativity Inc., a book by one of the co-founders of Pixar. It’s the idea that groups need to be honest about what’s working and failing through the entire design process.

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