Collaboration in the Process of Re-Imagining

I have argued that we see the world through what we understand, informed by our experiences, and enlightened by what we have studied. Thus when looking at how to re-imagine a work process or activity – or a relationship, business model, life, or even a room layout for that matter – we can see what we’ve been trained to see, but are blind to what we can’t.

One easy “therefore” of this principle is to study to become better. To learn to see more. To increase competence and capability to see beyond our own history. To identify, for example, the trends and topics that are interesting and could have an impact on the domain of focus. And to then select one for a deep-dive: read everything you can, talk to as many people about the topic as you can, attend the conferences, and follow the movers and shakers. To become more of a generalist.

But there is only so much time in one day, and thus while the easy “therefore” above is a path for everyone, it’s not a path for everything.

A second easy “therefore” – or perhaps it is simple rather than easy – is to build a cadre of collaborators. Of individuals who bring different eyes, different ways of seeing, different back stories to the domain of focus, and even different uncertainty. A group where trust in intent is greater than the natural friction and disagreements that will erupt as sight lines cross and clash. Where the fight is about ideas that should prevail, not people who can’t see. Where there’s an acceptance (and active embrace even) of discussion and progress that follows the squiggly line.

Collaboration. Multiple people. Who are different. With different experiences. But with something common that draws them together and provides a common intent. To see together what doesn’t yet exist.

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