What does collaboration mean to you? Does it involve a group of colleagues from differing areas of the company; do you invite a select group of suppliers to work with you on a project; or are you ready to take ideas development into the wider sphere, perhaps by bringing in customers or even rival organisations.
Whatever the answer, one of the key elements of successful collaboration is that you rule nothing out and nothing in. Yes you may have development groups with people moving in and out as needs dictate but the moment that you set confining parameters on where your ideas are coming from is the moment that you cease to collaborate to create real solutions. In essence, when collaboration sits as an intrinsic part of your innovation culture then you remain open to ideas which can come from anywhere.
An example of this came to light recently in a story about a woman who noticed that the body odour of her husband who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease had changed subtly some six years before he was actually diagnosed. A chance mention to scientists has enabled them to start working on the possibility of tracking down a molecular signature which would lead to a quick, easy and early diagnosis for the disease.
When you are open to collaboration, amazing things can happen.