To start deliberately establishing cultural practices, process improvements and the tools necessary to take innovation to the next level, we learned that Collective Creativity, coined by Linda Hill, is the next generation methodology and toolset that delivers fast and valuable breakthroughs for organizations.
Innovation is hard work, but both the steps and the continuous nurturing of this space will be easier and eventually fruitful with the help of Collective Creativity.
What is Collective Creativity?
Simply put, it is the creativite activity that stems from the contribution and collaboration of individuals. It is the human-centric form of coming together and cross-pollinating ideas for disruptive solutions to form—it churns innovation.
“The unavoidable paradox at the heart of innovation is the need to unleash the talents of individuals, and in the end, to harness those talents in the form of a collective innovation that is useful to the organization.” —Linda Hill, Author of Collective Genius
After working with 60+ Fortune companies in supporting their innovation goals, we identified eight common components that has helped these leading organizations achieve their breakthroughs. Here they are:
- Creative Stimulation: there needs to be proactive inspiration of a creative mindset within your organization for achieving results
- Everyday Innovation: innovation is not a one-time event. It should be set up as a continuous practice of motivating employees to create cross-divisional challenges
- Innovation Community: by making innovation an everyday effort, it is also crucial to pair tools and other cultural practices to create a genuine innovation community
- Collective Commitment: making it known that members collaboratively owning results and committing to implementation, will change the game for your organization
- Safe Space: the creative enviornment of fearless experimentation should be in place for every individual to feel they have the voice to speak up and contribute
- Innovation Flow: the development of intrinsic motivators that spurs ideas—do you reward and provide the right resources to inspire your members?
- Collective Genius: there is a misconception that innovation comes from sole geniuses. Recognize that leaders can help converge slices of individual genius into collaborative breakthroughs
- Human-centric Innovation Engine: the right digital tools designed with a deep understanding of how human creativity works, will help your organization keep up with, and even lead innovation in today's age of technology
A real example
Here is a quick breakdown of one success story after working with Telenor. The telecommunication company was able to source for volumes of ideas on a new customer service effort after their CEO decided to open up the challenge for the whole organization. This drastically reduced time investment for their initial ideation phase.
Furthermore, the breakthrough solution came from an employee far removed from the boardroom—it came from a mobile clerk who knew the customers' pain first-hand. And guess what? They created their innovation community by continuing the bottom-up process by setting up a team that would lead strategic innovation challenges on a monthly basis.
Here is a tangible outcome from their first effort: Telenor achieved a $100k/month new revenue stream as well as 400,000 customers for their new service within four months.
This is just one of the many stories we were able to be a part of. We compiled eight company use cases in a free ebook you can receive right below. Each cornerstone—innovation community, safe space, creative stimulation—that we mentioned is displayed in these actual examples along with practical tips across a spectrum of industries, business functions, and innovation areas.
The best practices of the eight enterprises we showcase includes: GE, Telenor, Microsoft, Cisco, Danone, Vodafone, OECD and Allianz. We hope our learnings will serve as an inspiration for leaders to apply the tools and principles of Collective Creativity in their own organizations, to deliver great breakthroughs. Enjoy, in the spirit of innovation!