Co-creation is an approach to innovation wherein new ideas emerge from highly present collective engagement.
Co-creation is a process that facilitates meaningful engagement and creative exploration of key issues. When grounded in presence (awareness), high levels of trust generated by evolved teams (authenticity), willingness to take risks (courage), and an eco-centered mindset (thinking of the whole) (PACE), co-creation transforms organizational culture and can generate breakthrough innovations.
Breakthroughs require stakeholders to undergo a journey together from the world of their existing expertise into spaces of new potential. This is notoriously difficult, because it can require letting go of the very things that got us hired and have led to our success…expertise. It requires leaders moving from a position of dominating space to holding the space for others. And it requires developing core capacities such as empathy and awareness so that teams can engage each other co-creatively. If and when people call forth the courage, amazing things happen.
The featured image above depicts the co-creative journey from the Known through the Unknown to create the New. As the image illustrates, this is a rollercoaster with highs and lows, moments of incredible flow and moments of profound frustration. Sometimes breakdowns are needed to generate breakthroughs. When a team goes through this journey collectively, they come out with renewed within and between themselves, armed with deeper respect, understanding, and insight. Co-Creation is the vehicle for this transformation.
The value of co-creation in business, or any organization for that matter, is illustrated in a few impactful books written by people who use co-creation to enact change. Here we will feature relevant works, starting with two books that inspire.
Leading from the Emerging Future presents a model for societal and organizational change that relies on co-creation and the capacities of presence, empathy, and openness to emergence. MIT and the Presenting Institute have collaborated to offer an EdX course based on this book. Check it out HERE.
CCI hosted the Hong Kong hub for this course, which then led to the ongoing CCI Sessions wherein we all help each other grow as professionals. This work shows how powerful co-creation can be as a force for solving many of the challenges we face in the world today.
Riding the Creative Rollercoaster looks specifically at the creative process and the qualities of leadership required to hold spaces for innovation. The author, Dr Nick Udall, is co-founder and CEO of nowhere, and is the current chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership. For over 20 years Nick has worked alongside the CEOs and Executive teams of global corporations catalyzing business breakthroughs and organizational transformations, by design.