Words like ‘co-creation’ and ‘collaboration’ are often bandied about, but are they more than simply buzzwords? Well in fact, if they are implemented in the right way, they are not just a nice idea, but key to designing services. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Collaboration breaks down silos in organisations; it brings people together and helps them to define and work towards a common purpose, whilst gaining an understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
- Collaboration encourages empathy; it allows people to appreciate and understand other points of view and to look at a problem from different angles. Collaborative activities are only as good as the mix of people involved. Collaboration within one team or department can be beneficial, but when it comes to designing services, having key decision makers, front-line staff, and customers in the same room, unveils far more varied insight.
- When people feel involved, it helps them to take ownership of a problem and can increase their commitment to working to find a solution. Collaboration can be motivational if done in the right way, and being mindful of this as a facilitator is important. Creating safe spaces in which everyone has the opportunity to share their ideas is vital.
- When collaboration is done well, commitment doesn’t end once a solution is decided upon, it can live long into implementation and delivery of a service; another reason to involve those who are responsible directly and indirectly for service delivery, as well as those who control the purse strings.
- It is possible to extend collaborations beyond those who were initially involved. By sharing stories of work and techniques, and making public the things that others will find most valuable about what you have done, you offer an opportunity for others to join the conversation, offer feedback or learn.
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