November 25, 2020
We have no limits to our collaboration these days, thanks to the internet. If we can't meet at a community event or in a conference room, we can collaborate through virtual meetings, shared online workspaces, or social media groups. This makes innovation a destination easily reached by anyone who wants to put their heads together. Our unique personalities and backgrounds are what build our personalized approaches to problem-solving and implementation, and honoring these differences is what cultivates an environment that propels innovation, a tool that creates new ideas and builds off old ones. It's these individual variations that paint a well-rounded perspective of our obstacles and solutions without our biases getting in the way. When we commit to embracing the team mindset, we open a non-judgemental space for new ideas, and a shared success that can be enjoyed by all.
One mind is frequently not enough to tackle large-scale problems or create new ideas that will benefit the masses. It's the different points of view that build a supported structure everyone can stand on securely. Innovation through collaboration demands new ways of thinking, like with LEGO when they faced potential bankruptcy in 2003. At this time, kids were getting into video games and playing with computers, and LEGO's toy sales were dropping dramatically. After hiring a new CEO, they built an ambassador program that formed a bridge between their customers and the company. This gave LEGO a new lens to look at their customers through, showing potential for shifting a portion of their focus away from children and, instead, onto young adults. In response, LEGO released LEGOMindstorms, programmable toys with sensors meant for their older market. But hackers got a hold of this and began customizing the system for use in ways LEGO had not intended. LEGO fought these hackers before realizing the hidden potential these coders were presenting: collaboration. By allowing these intelligent hackers to play with their system, they benefited from crowdsourcing, the ability to collectively improve their software through the work of genius people all over the world. As of 2015, LEGO had become one of the world's most powerful brands by embracing this culture of outside collaboration. They proved that collaboration is often essential to success and continue to push this model today. LEGO has recently taken this collaborative culture to another level by introducing LEGO Digital Designer, a free software that allows users to design their own toy and order it if they desire.
Collaboration teaches us how to learn from each other and encourages us to come together when solving common issues we all face. We each have something of value to offer one another, and by working together as a team, our collective brainpower feeds the nature of innovation. We must inspire each other by creating an environment of hope and trust. Together, we can move this world toward sustainability, prosperity, and growth by continually challenging our ideas and not being afraid to look for a destination even when the path isn't yet in sight. We at Hive Mendocino always put collaboration before competition because we know that together we will rise higher than we would on our own.
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