It’s not about Me, it’s about We.

For those that want to be truly innovative, may I suggest that you focus on the collective and not wholly on your individual perception of what you think is brilliant. Yes, you may believe that you alone are the source of many wonderful and creative ideas, but how do you know that they actually are, unless you share them with someone else and seek their objective feedback or opinions?

To be creative, you need engagement, and ideally this should be done within the same room or space, not remotely. In fact, a recent study conducted by Stanford University indicated that face-to-face meetings generated more ideas than if the same interaction was conducted virtually. For those of you that work in a creative environment, this is yet another good reason as to why you and your fellow staff should be working in a communal office, or studio, and not from home. Put simply, physical collaboration breeds and promotes optimum creativity.

The ideas of the “Me” might seem to be good, but when combined with those of the “We” and then with the “They”, the outcome just seems to work better and is ultimately more successful.

For example, consider coffee. You may grow what you think are the world’s best coffee beans (the “Me” idea). Whether they are deemed good or bad, depends on how they compare with your competition and this is typically achieved via the process of discussion and comparison (with the “We”). Of course, you do have a choice in this decision. Should you elect not to, you will never know the outcome, but then again, you may be happy in your ignorance. But to really check the validity of the beans they need to transformed into an actual hot, steaming cup of coffee manufactured via a range of intertwined process transformations that eventually require the application of a coffee pot, water and heat (the sum being the “They”). The final test being the actual coffee consumption, but even then, people have different tastes and expectations. Although very much a simple example, it does demonstrate that ideas need to be worked and tested via interactions with the “We” and the “They”, not just based on the perceptions of the “Me”.

The COVID pandemic forced many employees to work from home, many of which are still reluctant to return to the office for a variety of practical and personal reasons. However, should you want to be at your most creative, the power of the “We” needs to be considered even though the benefits of the “Me” may seem most enchanting and persuasive.

Another factor for consideration is the ability to visually see and engage with the powerful ideation catalysts of experience and mentoring when physically situated in the office, rather than being electronically portrayed via a two dimensional image personified in a video conference. Yes, a picture can say a thousand words, but a real life interaction tells a more powerful and enriching story.

So if your objective is innovation, the answer is simple. Move past the “Me”.

 

 

 

 

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