Archive for October, 2007|Monthly archive page

Working Collaboratively on Creative Projects

Thank you to everyone for the wedding wishes – they are much appreciated. As many of you pointed out, weddings are in fact large creative projects, and form a good starting point for looking at collaborative projects.

Creativity Quotes
Clearly no group can as an entity create ideas. Only individuals can do this. A group of individuals may, however, stimulate one another in the creation of ideas – Estill I. Green, Vice President Bell Labs Innovation Research Company

Throughout history, we have pulled off amazing feats as a result of our ability to collaborate and build upon our collective efforts. As a species, when we coordinate and play to our higher purpose, we are pretty amazing – Stephen James Joyce, Collaboration Consultant & Author

Working Collaboratively on Creative Projects
Collaborative creative projects differ from most of our other projects in a few important ways. Above all, a creative project has a personal touch. Even if it’s a functional work, as most projects are, it’s not utilitarian – and that gives it a very special uniqueness.

Another key difference is ownership. Usually when we work on projects, there is one ‘project leader’ whose vision and plan we follow, and we add our own skills as and when needed. But when we’re working on a creative project, each person’s expression must be represented in the final outcome, without being diminished by other contributions or alternately dominating the final picture. It’s a challenge of balance and respect.

Whether you’re decorating your reception area or making an album for a family member, collaborative projects succeed best when a clear goal is agreed on at the outset. This is not the ‘final blue print’ but an idea of what you aim to achieve, what emotions or concepts you want to communicate, and, significantly, what characteristics bind you as a team.

For example, you may be scrapbooking “holiday memories” as a family, or defining your company motto of “great service”. When you identify your team characteristics, it becomes easier to see your own unique expression, what makes you part of the team, and the role you play inside the group – allowing you to express yourself in harmony with everyone else.

And lastly, an important difference between collaborative projects and individual creative work is that collaborative projects are more public, and tend to be created for an audience – even if it’s just one person in the form of a gift.

Unlike personal poems or a musical experiment we may be working on, these projects must be looked at with an end product in mind, but at the same time provide a public space for each person’s unique expression. In this way, they are an excellent means for promoting both idea sharing and teamwork, and innovating new solutions to creative challenges.

The discussions that arise as we work on these projects allow us to get to know each other in a much more meaningful way, spur us on to reach new levels of achievement, and ultimately help us define ourselves and our strengths and talents – without competing against each other.

Ideas for collaborative projects:
· Making an album for a family member
· Decorating your reception area, or play / recreation area
· Making a commemorative art work such as a quilt or mosaic
· Starting a musical project or band
· Planning an event – such as a Wedding J

May working with others stimulate you to discover more about yourself.