Collaboritude: The Four Foundations for Collaboration and Innovation

Collaboritude - what is it?  It’s a new word which came to me in one of those 'aha' moments. It stands for “the necessary attitude for successful collaboration and innovation”.  It’s about accessing the ‘power of play vs. power plays’.  Here’s a brief background and the four keys to collaboritude:

After being asked to design and facilitate an inhouse team-building course on developing ‘creative collaboration’ last year, I attended the IDEO “Experience Innovation” workshop at the Human Synergistics annual conference on culture and leadership.   Both of these experiences helped me to embrace my playful, creative self in opening up to new ideas and solutions.

Remember to  ‘PLAY’ to cultivate your collaboritude.

Play is a state of open-mindedness, non-judgement where there is no right or wrong, you have permission to be free, you open up boundaries and allows more risks. Your authentic self feels safe to come out and it can generate lots of laughter. Play encourages inquiry, experimentation,  and exploration. Collaboration and Innovation thrive in an atmosphere of safety and non-criticism and democracy, where everyone’s voice is heard.

According to the National Institute for Play  (NIFP), the practices that organizations need to be developing for their increasingly complex information work are those which infuse the state of play into their workers’ attitudes. They need to learn how to do the work of their organizations in a play state.

However, the NIFP has found that executives require sufficient immersion in the science of play before they understand and value it. The intellectual and scientific basis of play can provide the understanding – and permission – to deploy new play-based practices in their organizations. But, they must also value the new practices; without a positive play ethic, the climate for innovation is spoken of as important, but is not acted upon.

Here’s an acronym to finding your most creative, innovative self and spreading that attitude in your own teams:

1. Presence (P) - Develop your foundational capacity through cultivating awareness of the present moment (here's an exercise to develop and practice your Leadership Presence )

2. Listening (L) (receptivity - non-judgement - openness - interest) - Remember to listen to yourself and others with an accepting attitude. Here are some tips onThe Art of Conversation for Leaders to practice being more open to and interested in others. 

3. Authenticity (A) (contributing...trusting impulses...self-acceptance) Here's a tip on Connecting With Your Authentic Self and Others.

4. YES! (Y...non-resistance, going with the flow, accepting what IS) There’s a game you can try with a partner which will build your capacity to ‘go with the flow’ and to experience the necessary non-resistance for creativity to flourish.  Start a conversation about an imaginary trip you are planning to go on together.  The only rule of the game is that you must each respond to each other’s ideas with ‘Yes, and....’ before adding your next idea.  See how your energy builds and the imagination frees up.  In contrast, try the same exercise, and this time the rule is you must begin every reply to each other’s ideas with ‘yes, but...’  Notice what happens to the energy of dies!

Enjoy building your Collaboritude...and if you have any other tips, please do share them. We can all play together and help each other build our collaboritude.  With our collaboritude, we have the foundation for the greater collaboration and innovation which we are all seeking together.