How Fostering Collaboration Can Boost Innovation
Collaboration involves people working together to attain a particular goal or to complete an allocated task. Some of the greatest ideas are born through this process. When you think about innovation, it is a collection of ideas either from the past or present.
And for you to create something extraordinary, it takes joining two or more of these ideas. Working together often gives a significant output as opposed to having lone geniuses do things independently.
Collaboration and innovation have a mutual relationship. What does this mean? Before you boost innovation, there is a need to cultivate a culture of collaboration in your team. The way to foster cooperation is by ensuring that all team members are well equipped to be able to participate. When you do not have a functional team, you risk failure at innovation. Therefore, the way to nurture collaboration is through:
- Enabling a creative environment
- Promoting cohesion
- Utilising individual member strengths
- Communicating your expectations to teams in a concise and clear manner
- Appreciating input given to you
Once you have a functional team, how then does collaboration boost innovation? Here are tips on how this happens:
1) Builds meaningful connections
To successfully innovate your startup, you need more than just a good plan and this is where collaboration comes in. You need teams and people to nurture and champion for your idea.
In certain instances, you may also require financing to see your plan through. Collaboration works to expand your circle such that people with varied expertise and resources help you achieve that goal.
2) Scales up activities
When you work together chances are that you will speed up things. Cooperation functions to enhance patterns of interconnected ideas such that something cutting-edge is created in the end. Working with a team ensures that concerns about ideas are addressed promptly.
Moreover, collaboration helps you validate your idea and assess whether it will add value once it is approved. By so doing, you save on time you would have spent going through plans that have no merit. That is how you end up pioneering in something significant in the long run.
3) Encourage a culture of knowledge sharing
This stimulates innovation and growth. When knowledge is shared and managed properly in the workplace, chances of valuable information getting lost or underutilised becomes low, employees gain access to valuable information easily, and that enhances collaboration, growth, and innovation.
When sharing documents in the workplace, it is best that you convert to PDF all word files. PDFs are easier to download and read on small devices such as mobile phones, they are hard to edit which makes the information contained therein safe from unwanted tampering, and they don’t come in multiple versions like MS word docs.
4) Enhances acceptance
Innovations take time to gain acceptance. Often, they come into a vicious environment where everyone tries to highlight their shortcomings. There is not great innovation that was never met with backlash.
Having a team on your side will help you navigate these 'shark waters'. Collaboration with a like-minded team will help you propel your idea through doubt and the existing resistance. It will also give you the energy to keep on pushing through even when the outcomes are unknown.
5) Hastens idea implementation
For an idea to be called an innovation, it has to be implemented. There exist numerous ideas that will never materialise into innovations because people keep to themselves. Collaborating with other people will help your plan reach the implementation stages.
Although a challenge, you must develop a diverse team to help see your idea through. While you do so, you have to find a way to get this team to work together for a common goal. There are ways to get teams to work in your favour. These include:
- Exercise openness so that you get everyone to get a glimpse your vision
- Set realistic expectations for your team
- Hold meetings with specific agendas revolving around your potential innovation
Collaborating will have your idea polished in that when it is finally implemented is becomes a success.
In any working environment, the goal is to have a dynamic team that is always reinventing new ideas to make you relevant in business. The hallmark of this is to turn those plans into profitable ventures for your organisation.
To realise such achievements means that teams have to work together to boost innovation. While collaboration may have its challenges such as unforeseen conflicts as well as differing opinions among groups, it is a necessity for innovation.