The Art of Collaboration

In an his article yesterday on interdisciplinary collaboration, James daSilva, highlights  a BIG THINK- featured video of journalist Jonah Lehrer on the importance of bringing “outsiders” into the fold if really big, hairy ideas are the true goal of a collaboration. Although outsiders are non-experts in a given field, they are the ones who artists recognize as being capable of bringing “fresh eyes” to the problem at hand and look at it in an entirely new way. Quoting Lehrer, daSilva writes, “I think we come with this tacit assumption that if you’re struggling with a really hard problem, you’ve got to give it to the guy who knows the most, to those expert insiders…but when it comes to creativity innovation, sometimes knowledge is a blind spot.” What is needed is not only an expanded view of the problem by opening it up to diverse individuals but also an expanded vision of inherent  possibilities for future success.  “Collaboration thrives,” writes Vera John-Steiner in Creative Collaboration, “on diversity of perspectives and constructive dialogue between individuals negotiating their differences while creating their shared voices and visions.” John-Steiner also seems to be saying that there is an aspirational quality whereby the new idea will be carried along  on the foundation of those who are vested in its success.

Note: The article notes SmartBrief Leadership as a partner with Big Think. Read James da Silva’s full article:

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