By definition an innovation is something new, original and significant – it helps us solve problems or break into new modes or markets.
Creativity and innovation often emerge amidst the chaos of uncertainty, responding to the tensions created by changes in structure, knowledge, need, perception and meaning. However, these same tensions can trigger fear of change, keeping us hunkered down in habitual thinking, relying on “tried and true” approaches. To think differently about a challenge—creatively, innovatively—we often need our individual perspectives pushed, challenged or altered. Before we can be open to new thinking, we may need to understand the limits of our current thinking.
Thoughtful inquiry with diverse perspectives is key to pushing the boundaries of our understanding. As social beings, working together to identify and test assumptions, and explore limitations and illuminate blind spots, increase our capacity to internalize and integrate what we learn. When shared and shaped with others, new and creative ideas are more easily turned into action. The shaping and implementation of innovative ideas relies upon the collaboration skills of those vested in the outcomes.
Fostering a culture of collaboration requires a shift in how people work, generate solutions and engage stakeholders. A sophisticated skill, collaboration asks people to work across traditional boundaries, moving away from siloed thinking to attend not only to personal interests but to outcomes benefiting the whole. Done well, collaboration has the potential to tap communal creativity and unleash true innovation and concerted action.
GLI offers several high-leverage, targeted services that support leaders, teams, organizations and communities in discovering innovative solutions through practiced collaboration. Explore the links below to learn more about the different ways we can help.