Thou Shalt Collaborate

November 2, 2021

Innovation is a team sport. In his 10th and final commandment, Moisés Noreña shares his ‘top 10 list’ on how to foster collaboration as an innovation leader:

10. Always include people from other departments in your ideation sessions.

9. Ask for feedback from people who will be impacted by your idea when pitching your business case.

8. Listen and build relationships with innovation vendors or consultants. 

7. Never ignore unsolicited ideas that are offered to you.

6. Look for opportunities to work with outside partners who can bring new ideas or technologies to your projects. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

5. Never say no to students or classes that want to do a project with you.

4. Make connections inside and outside your industry at conferences and trade shows—even with competitors.

3. If you have had great wins, let others know how you leveraged others to accomplish it.

2. Share your ideas with others and improve on them, based on their feedback. Openness can feel risky but is always worth it.

1. Help people that come to you for advice or feedback without expecting anything in return. 

Collaboration is not easy. It requires us to know how to listen well, give and take, build off of others’ ideas, and communicate effectively. There are many ways to practice these social skills, says Noreña, such as taking an improv class or involving someone else in a project you would typically do alone.

In the spirit of collaboration, Noreña reached out to fellow innovation experts he has learned from to share their own top commandments for conscious innovation. Watch the video to hear advice from Nancy Tennant, Paul Earle, Randy Voss, Gregg Fraley, Tom Stat, Andrea Kates, Todd Starr, Hari Nair, Brian Christian, Luiz Cunha, Michael Perman, Barbara Rand, and Woody Bendle.

“Conscious innovation… is about giving birth to new ideas and products and services and processes that make life on Earth better, safer, healthier, and more peaceful for everyone,” says Noreña. “You can do it and you don’t have to do it alone. We are all doing it together.”

(This video is also available in Spanish.)