Collaboration is a peak performance goal in business. There is a reasonable belief that through collaboration we can harness the best of ourselves to achieve something great.
Diversity in business is seen as a much lesser priority.
The value of diversity is rooted in two principles:
- Equality (gender, race, age, disability, religion etc.).
- Richness and breadth of ideas, experience and points of view from diversity.
I assert that collaboration is not a peak performance goal but a step in the right direction.
The peak performance goal, I assert, is co-creation, which is beyond mere collaboration.
Collaboration doesn’t address or imply unity or trust, just shared communication between individuals or teams. In fact, collaboration also means ‘working with the enemy’.
Co-creation on the other hand requires unity and trust, just as nature requires it to create new life.
In our times of disruption and the desire to provide unique and new services or products, we must be creative, as well as innovative.
Diversity is a valuable tool in being creative and innovative.
The breadth and richness of perspective available from a deliberately diverse, unified and trusting workplace is a competitive advantage few businesses could match.
Co-creation is enhanced by effective diversity.
The traits required to achieve effective diversity and co-creation are simply courage, better practice and continuous learning.
I believe that what’s currently preventing diversity and co-creation (and even collaboration) is fear, habits and ignorance.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear from you about this important topic.