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Collaborate to Innovate
FountainBlue's July 14 When She Speaks program, on the topic of 'Collaborate to Innovate'. Please join me in thanking our esteemed panelists.
This month's panelists represented a wide breadth of backgrounds and experiences, but had much in common:
They are flexible and open-minded, always adopting a growth and learning mindset.
They are customer and other-centric, always curious about the perspective and insights of those around them.
They are driven by business cases and by producing results which serve the stakeholders.
They are creative and resourceful as they focus on facilitating collaborations and innovations.
They challenged us to better collaborate and innovate. Specific suggestions are included below.
Become More Self-Aware
Have the self-awareness to understand where you are, where you want to go, and the courage to take steps in the right direction, guided by respected others.
Develop a high EQ, so that you understand the people aspects of the business, which is often much more difficult and more impactful than the technology side of the business.
Fully think, speak and act with the mindset that collaborations will lead to innovations, and drive adoption of that philosophy, and deliver results which meet strategic objectives.
Humility and open-mindedness helps build a culture which invites participation and input from a diverse range of perspectives, something which is a key ingredient for innovation.
Be More Strategic
As you look at becoming more collaborative and innovative at work, take ownership of your career integrating what you love to do, what you do well, and what the market/customers need.
Collaboration does not necessarily always mean consensus. We don't necessarily to have full alignment on all details in order to successfully jointly create something together. (However, watch out for people who can't disagree and commit.)
Think and Act Bigger
Follow market trends and track what's hot, what will serve a growing range of customers. For example, robots which automate work that is 'dull, dirty or dangerous' will be on the rise, so innovating solutions in this area would serve a current and future market need.
Leverage partnerships and allies to better understand and deliver to the needs of a larger swath of customers.
Be clear on your company's value-add/SuperPower, but also clear on its weaknesses/Kryptonites, for this will help drive a win-win strategy for successful collaborations.
Make your SuperPowers contagious, helping others around you also develop those powers. Invite others to share their SuperPowers as well.
Make a stand, build a case for collaborating to create a larger platform, tool, standard or infrastructure which would benefit all. (This amazing panel has done this in extraordinary ways!)
Build win-win, trust-based partnerships where all parties win, and reliably deliver to your commitments.
The bottom line is that we can all better collaborate and innovate if we choose to have an open mind, an other-centric mindset, and a focus on delivering products and services which better address the needs of our customers.