4 Benefits of Collaborative Innovation

4 Benefits of Collaborative Innovation

Community User Blog | Posted by Dorothy Garlough - July 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Collaboration is defined as working together, joining forces or teaming up. It is the pooling of resources, talents and the best that a team has to offer. Innovation, on the other hand is defined as a new idea, product or process that adds value.

So what is collaborative innovation? Quite simply, it is a team working together to create new innovatations. The collective talent and resources of a group who are diverse yet focused on a common interest will inevitably lead to new paths within business. Corporations recognize that new innovations are key to what drives them forward within today.s global economy. With razor thin margins, competition fierce and changes occurring at lightning speed, leaders are seeking people within and outside of their business community that can innovate collaboratively.

There are four key benefits to collaborative innovations:

  1. New ideas shared- With teams work together, pooling intellectual revenue, more ideas will naturally be forthcoming. In the early stages of collaboration, many ideas are generated. The challenge is to determine which ideas are the good ideas and to put resources in place to drive the marketable ideas into reality.
  1. Building on others ideas-With creative brain power from multiple individuals, new directions on the ideas can be improved upon. People with different expertise, diversity and backgrounds can elaborate in a different ways, adding their take on how the idea can be developed and why. It is important that everyone shares openly, not withholding valuable information that might lead to breakthrough.
  1. Buy in - When people invest a part of themselves into an innovation, their interest is peaked and they will strive to have their work a success. They take ownership, pride and active interest in boding its success. It is vital in collaborative innovation that the whole team is recognized for the innovation, not just the person who had the original idea. Otherwise, people will lose motivation to be a part of the team. Remember that others contributed meaningfully to the final innovation.
  1. Engagement translates into success . Even collaborative innovations that are not ultimately successful in the market will translate into raised engagement within the workplace. Engagement translates to greater loyalty, quality and when collaborative innovation.s products achieve the desired outcome, the result is profitability.

Leading collaborative innovation is a skill. Leaders often bring in outside experts to facilitate envisioning forums and even executive strategy sessions. Doing it right is important to enable the contributors to produce their best work. This will catapult the innovation into a triumph for the corporation and leave the team feeling victorious.


Camille Boivin
August 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Great post, Dorothy. I love the term 'collaborative innovation'. We once interviewed a highly in-demand freelance project manager for Sister Leadership. One of her tips was to use a white or black board, so that the group could work collectively on a problem, and put their ideas 'out there' without judgement. I've also heard of teams writing on the walls! ~Camille

Dorothy Garlough
August 2, 2013 at 1:00 am

Very good suggestions Camille.  One further method to help spark engagement is the post it window.  Covering the window space with colored post it notes for each idea unleashes not only creativity for new ideas but also makes it fun.  Of coarse, the best ideas come when we have a mindset of play!