Systematic co-creation. Another concept for the leaders and managers to wrap their heads around.
I do believe, however, that this one is here to stay. It’s a concept that is probably going to establish firm, deep roots in the future of work.
At its core, systematic co-creation is involving all the stakeholders of a community towards solving a problem holistically. It’s about engaging each of their strengths and abilities to create mutual value.
These problems could be at an organizational level, a community level, national, and even global.
For instance, let’s say one branch of multinational faces the problem of lack of diversity in their workforce. For a global company, skewed diversity charts signal a blunt competitive edge. They’re not as competent or innovative as their competitors with truly diverse, worldly teams.
Instead of an organization coming up with a solution single-handedly, systematic co-creation would involve the coming together of the local government, NGOs or the civil sector and most importantly – the members of the community themselves – to address the problem in the most effective way possible.
Together, all these forces could create a sustainable human resources model whereby the company has a great pool of diverse, able community members to pull into their team, the NGOs and government can address unemployment or social issues and the people in the community have more job opportunities to explore.
Every party is systematically encouraged to bring its strengths to the table, and the solution ensures a win-win for everyone involved.
But do we really need another way of doing things?
Yes, we do. Here’s why we need systematic co-creation:
- Problem-solving is different now
Problem-solving is no longer a linear process. People and societies have ever-evolving needs. They are more informed, exposed to influences and information, and more connected.
Every solution needs to be fresh, innovative, and agile. Putting the load of solving societal and global problems on just the public sector is no longer going to cut it.
- We’re wasting so much human potential
Unutilized human potential is quite different from unemployment. People can be employed and take home a paycheck and still not be utilizing even a tenth of their potential.
With global goals like the UN SDG, this is not a time for human potential to go unused. Whether it’s working with the unemployed or the people in glass buildings that are crunching numbers and delivering PowerPoints and going home unfulfilled, systematic co-creation can be a great way to activate people to take charge of a mission and tap into their true potential.
- It’s a sustainable model
Governments all over the world are struggling to manage their people and resources optimally.
Turning to a method that allows them to share their burden and make other members of the community responsible for driving change with them is undeniably helpful.
It makes problem-solving more sustainable, responsible, and holistic.
Now, all of this sounds great in theory, but…
How do we create an environment for systematic co-creation?
- Change rigid mindsets
Even the most powerful tools are useless in the hands of those who don’t know how to use them.
From my years of experience, I have learned that the public sector especially needs to open up to the idea of a more open style of innovation.
Systematic co-creation is perhaps harder work than running a campaign that scratches the surface of the problem, but the long-term results are too significant to ignore.
The veterans and fresh blood alike need to come together and acknowledge the power of working with the whole community they are serving to solve a problem.
- Get buy-in at every level
Within the private sector, systematic co-creation is going to need buy-in. There will need to be torch-bearers and trail-blazers who believe in the power of the method.
For systematic co-creation to work, implementation is just as crucial as the ideation and planning. Once again, the application of the solution, too, needs to involve everyone, so that the value-creation cycle doesn’t break.
With all the work that we have been doing in the global mobility sector, it’s pretty clear that the solutions to our biggest global issues lie in collaboration.
Global companies have a huge impact on the countries and communities that they operate in. They have the power to drive change as much as the public sector and policy-makers do.
As we work with some of these changemakers to build robust, diverse and happy workforces worldwide, I can’t help but think of the bigger picture.
I can’t help but imagine the capabilities of a diverse, able team when immersed in systematic co-creation to solve problems that are much bigger than them.
Just one more reason we need people to thrive, no matter where in the world they choose to live and work.
What are your thoughts? Is systematic co-creation the way forward? Do you see yourself or your company making an impact in a mutual-value economy?