We ran into someone last week who mentioned that one of the reasons they don’t collaborate is because they fear distraction. It is a real risk, however there are certain measures one can take to ensure there is a balance between innovation and distraction. Innovation is disruptive and if you are pushing away from your comfort zone you will make mistakes and will have to be prepared to lose control. THECUBE has created a metaphor for innovation, which explains how we view innovation.
Innovation Vs. Distraction
Choose your collaborators wisely. Your collaborative group should be of people who help innovate the idea rather than making it grow out of control. There are certain elements to consider:
- Create a diverse collaborative group
- Find the core of your group, by finding out their interests and why they would like to collaborate.
- Set objectives to the group thinking sessions and make sure that you have achieved them at the end of the session.
- Assign someone to be an observer. Their role is to ensure that the arc and core of the idea is still intact.
- Define the core of your idea. There will be many pivots and changes throughout the innovation process, however the core of your idea should stay the same.
- Ensure that the group is being disruptive – in other words they should challenge your idea. The challenge should help strengthen the idea and keep it healthy. This will protect your idea from being homogenized and generic.
- Keep an open attitude- anyone can add value to your idea if you are listening. Even a random comment in a newspaper can contribute to your idea if you are open and paying attention.
- Collaborations can help build connections for your idea- you never know who is connected to whom.
- Collaboration can help position yourself as an asset, not only adding value to your idea but to yourself.
- Make sure that you have a strategy with clear objectives rather than just setting a schedule.
- Stay on course rather than in ‘control’. Control is perceptive and there is very little we can do about it. You don’t want to control your idea so much that you smother it out of a market. It has to have room to breath and pivot towards the direction of the market.