Conscious Co-Creation—A Step Beyond Collaboration
By: Ethan Schutz
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Winter about the concept of Conscious Co-Creation and how it is made possible with The Human Element®. In our discussion, we started by establishing that Conscious Co-Creation doesn’t just happen. It requires a readiness to change, dedication to self-awareness, and an ever-increasing effort to eliminate our own defensive behaviors.
Collaboration is often the goal for our Human Element clients; they want to ensure that their teams are able to reach win-win scenarios. We like to push a step further, supporting them to achieve co-creation, the full realization of collaboration. Teams can collaborate, create win-win situations, even when the relationships within the teams have tension, but they may have to work at it. Conscious Co-Creation happens when teams don’t even notice they’re collaborating – it just flows, it feels natural. They work together more easily, are open with one another, see issues as merely challenges to overcome together, and build closer relationships. This co-creation naturally results in improved accountability, creativity, and efficiency.
Consider how you were as a child in group activities, whether it was a school play, a dance class, or an athletic team. There were probably times when there was no tension, just excitement; you worked together to create something with ease and eagerly fed off of one another. This came naturally, not just from your head, but from your feelings and your gut. That is the concept of co-creation at play.
The Human Element® approach is designed to bring teams from collaboration, or even chaos, to Co-Creation. We begin with helping people become more aware of what’s really happening for them. Then through a series of experiential activities, they build closer and closer relationships as they become more aware of their own behavior and how they feel about themselves. The approach helps them free themselves of the things that get in the way — politics, secrets, lack of accountability, self-protection, fear — and focus on the work with full energy and commitment. This, in turn, shifts their viewpoint, and often the way they feel, to set the stage for co-creation.
There is no substitute for experience. We find that when we support teams in working together over time, it allows them to work through their real issues and build relationships that allow co-creation to flourish. When we slow down, it becomes easier to engage in the conversation and work through issues that were difficult at first.
Watch the video to learn more about the theories and practices that make Conscious Co-Creation and The Human Element® the solution progressive companies rely on to help improve teamwork, create meaningful corporate culture change, and get results.