Thinking in isolation is like viewing a picture of whales breaching rather than seeing it actually taking place. Sharing thoughts brings out ideas that likely never would have seen the light of day without the snow-balling effect of collaboration.
When facilitating the self-employment program for Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot, I love having several participants in the room and watching the fire-storm of thoughts incubating an idea or concept.
Think-tanks, brainstorming sessions, whatever you want to call them, develop an energy for losing the box and creating solutions for specific problems or ideas. This is very useful when trying to identify markets or names for your new business.
While this works well for business start-ups it is also valuable once the business is growing and established. Engaging your employees in the process not only serves to give them a feeling of acknowledgement but brings in information from those actually performing the tasks.
Including those on the front lines grounds the discussion as they see the issues that impact the customer or client, your source of income! Depending on the culture of the organization, they may never share a solution unless asked.
Communication is the first step in the process, collaboration is the second. Once the appropriate solution or idea has been identified, empowering those who are closest to the issue to implement it is called leadership.
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