Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Cocreation: Beyond Collaboration

Creativity is an essential ingredient in cocreation - photo and workshop by Carolina
(Co)creativity workshop by Carolina. More pics on FB
by John Baxter, Realise: http://realise.jsbaxter.com.au/beyond-collaboration/

I’ve just touched down in Adelaide from my South-East Asian trip, including the Ci2i Global Lab.

There are too many ideas and amazing experiences to share, but I can offer a few thoughts before I launch myself back into it all.

In particular, there were some insightful discussions at Ci2i about the Great Big Question - what on earth is this ‘cocreation’ thing anyway?

I don’t bring back clear answers - but I can report strong agreement in thinking about cocreation. This surprised me, given our diverse projects and backgrounds, from Ugandan community projects to the boardrooms of McDonalds.

You can see this common ground for yourself by looking through the session notes, exploring cocreation vs collaboration and the core values of cocreation.

I loved the way that Nathalie described cocreation. She worked for decades in knowledge management, enabling collaboration in organisations. She watched collaboration spread through management practice (and theory), taking the way we work up to a new level. And she has the feeling that now, cocreation is the next level.

But it’s early - we are still trying to understand what that really looks like, and how it differs from the present.

That’s certainly not the only way to think about cocreation though. At other times the discussion was not so much about methods as about philosophy. We talked about things deeper and more fundamental, intricately interlinked, and much more global that I had realised. This will be worth writing about when I get the chance to process thoughts.

Whatever way you look at it, there is definitely something ‘to’ cocreation.  It might not be a silver bullet, but it definitely has deep implications.  Ci2i has given strength to my conviction that it is worth the effort. Which brings us to next steps!

As we wait to see what formal plans emerge for the Ci2i network, I am focused on articulation. Even those who ‘get it’ use the word in different ways.

It’s harder still for those for whom cocreation is just one potential concept among many relevant to their work. I don’t want to try to be definitive, but something useful is not too much to ask. Right?

I need to do this for the sake of my own business and the people I work with, but if there’s interest I’d be pleased to facilitate collaboration on something that represents a broader articulation. So I am waiting to see what people say. ; )
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