Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Almost all of the recent books, blogs, and papers supporting innovation highlight the importance of collaboration. Why? For many years, the sole inventor was told that people working together can lead to groupthink–too much consensus and convergent thinking. While these ideas have reason, they can easily be overcome. Collaboration is a central theme to innovation because of associations.
Collaboration increases the chances of ASSOCIATIONS between ideas that result in an innovative combination.
The European Journal for High Ability references the Scientific Genius by Dean Keith Simonton, where he says “gifted products involve productions of a large number of associations, more or less randomly or blindly, and the chance occurrence of ‘configurations’–happy combinations that represent just what is needed to solve the problem in question. The gifted achiever is especially good not only at producing associations, but also at recognizing that a configuration has occurred, and grasping that it offers a solution.” While the above quote references a gifted achiever, it is relevant to groups because the more people involved, the larger number of associations will be made from different perspectives. The inventor may not even originate the idea, but he might combine his half idea with an another’s idea to realize an innovative “configuration”. To say it in other words, our half ideas associated with other’s half ideas can make whole innovative ideas.