We as humans are wired co-creators, it’s in our DNA. We love to do it, but somehow, we lost the habit along the way. All of humanity’s great achievements were done through dreaming and co-creation, from setting foot on the moon to creating the internet. The smartest organizations have since embedded co-creation in their culture, and leapfrog others, innovating at a relentless pace. Stuff simply gets better when done together, becoming the multiple of everybody involved. Nothing truly great was ever conceived and achieved by a single person. To progress, we must stand on the shoulders of others. You can choose to stay on the sideline of history and do things the old way – which is actually not that old anyway.
With the industrial revolution and specializations came silo thinking and a profit focus which basically killed original and meaningful creativity. It also took critical minds away from creative processes. This is basically the start of how we ended up in the mess that we currently live in today. Still, mankind has also created many beautiful things, but just imagine what it could have been if we had taken the effort to allow many more perspectives on board when we were creating pesticides, SUVs, and air conditioning systems. Are these solutions really the best way to grow food, move people or cool homes?
Most probably, in a fast-paced world full of complex challenges and purpose-driven people, you simply cannot survive without co-creation. Will you be able to solve every problem yourself? Probably not: in an interconnected world, you will need to collaborate with customers, clients, even competitors.
What is co-creation exactly?
Many professionals in the worlds of business, politics, non-governmental organizations, and education call for “more collaboration”. How this should actually take place, however, or who should be involved and why are usually left quite vague. We intend to help you blow away the fog.
Collaboration literally means “working together”. This could mean anything from building a brick wall to bringing a man to the moon – and back. Co-creation is different. It is about bringing things into being, together, forming them out of nothing. You can dream up something that wasn’t there before. And make it happen. It holds a promise which is almost unbelievable: are we actually able to create something new, right here on the spot? Is it actually possible to set up a structured process that makes creativity happen? We can answer that affirmatively: YES. With a fresh set of perspectives (people) brought together for a specific task, in the right setting, you will always end up with unexpected (new) output. Always.