The word of the day is “collaboration.”

Rap - Freestyle

Remember on Sesame Street when they always had a word of the day? I feel like today, if my day at work were an episode of Sesame Street, that word would be “collaboration.” Let’s face it. It’s a buzzword. *Giant eye roll* But kinda like cliches, buzzwords are buzzwords because they’re important. Because they’re a means of expressing something that’s important to us.  And, well, collaboration is important. 

I was in a great Twitter Chat this afternoon - #SWChat. If you’re interested in ideas and technlogies that are pushing the workplace foward, I highly suggest you check it out 1PM PST every Thursday. Today the topic, of course, was “Building A Collaborative Culture.” What’s the word of the day again? Heh heh.

And then this article made it’s way across my desktop - How do you Create a Culture of Innovation?  Okay, not our word of the day, but you know what? I think the two go hand in hand. Like best of buds. Like beer and pizza. Truly. 

Collaboration sows the seeds of innovation. 

If you’re reading this and you don’t live in the Silicon Valley you probably don’t know that most every start up environment has an open office space. What that means is no cubicles. Truth.

At my first job at a start up, I sat desk to desk with the CFO. You know, like you sat desk to desk with your BFF in 5th grade and passed notes under the desk? Same gig. What a trip. You think that kind of set up doesn’t breed collaboration, you are kidding yourself. Just think back to how many times you got in trouble for talking to the kid next to you in school?

Collaboration gives voice to ideas that live in solitude and it unlocks new ideas that would have otherwise never come about. Work it out. Stop trippin’. Get off the acid. F’real. Think back to school again. If you had been sectioned off from your peers, you think you would have had half as much fun or learned half as much all by your lonesome?

There’s a reason they didn’t sit us like that back then, and there’s a reason we should be seated like that now.

Listen, I’m an introvert. I need me my 3 foot bubble. Space. I believe creatives in particular need space away from others to birth ideas. But I believe we also need others to give ideas their fullness of shape and form. And if you are so arrogant as to think that you don’t need others to carry along your vision, then your ship is going to sink fast. No woman is an island. No man either!

Seriously though. Collaboration is crucial. You don’t dangle the daggone carrot infront of someone’s head, you put your head together with theirs. That’s what motivates. That’s what innovates. Believe it.

Photo from endo on Flickr.