Passion and Purpose are Levers for Sustaining Collaborative Innovation
Collaborative Innovation (CI) at its best is more than just an act of diverse individuals bringing their skills and expertise to the challenge of solving a problem. Done well, CI incorporates the whole of the individual and applies it to the task at hand. However, traditional CI approaches suggest only three important factors for success:
1. Tools that allow strategic communication about innovation
2. The capacity to continuously vet ideas, so that the best ideas bubble to the top, and those that will fail become quickly evident
3. Leaders that work to eliminate any barriers that block innovation
Yet, expanding this list to include the qualities that participants bring to the CI process allows silos to be shattered within the organization and within the individual. Instead of focusing only on the skills, subject matter expertise and experience of individual participants as the benchmark qualities for inclusion in the process, what shift could be achieved if an individual’s passions were also considered? Passions are deep drivers of behavior that are integral aspects of personality.
Since personality impacts nearly every human interaction, especially when individuals are working closely on the kind of high stakes, fast-paced projects emblematic of CI initiatives, instead of ignoring the elephant in the room, I suggest leveraging it. Doing so would allow participants to bring their skills to the table and the insights born of their years of experience, while also liberating them to bring passion-driven perspectives to the discussion. Rather than being constrained in their approach to the issue, or restricted in their thinking, it would invite participants to connect the deeper aspects of who they are, and the diverse insights born of their passions, to the solutions they are seeking to develop for the organization.