Collaborative problem solving, discovery-driven learning and integrated decision making

Framing my research with this question; what facilitates and supports users’ creative collaborative experience in virtual spaces? Linda Hill, management professor, discusses leadership using Pixar and Google as case studies. What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance?

The point I’d like to draw from this talk is about the collaborative process that these organisations share and as Hill puts it, “…creating the space to share and combine their talents and passions.”

Robert Hargrove, a CEO consultant, defines collaboration as “an act of shared creation and/or shared discovery: two or more individuals with complementary skills interacting to create a shared understanding that none had previously possessed or could have come to on their own. Collaboration creates a shared meaning about a process, a product, or an event.” [1]

I like this definition because it uses the words discovery and process. Creative collaboration is very much a process of discovery through discussion and debate of diverse ideas, testing and refining the ideas and reconfiguring them into new combinations.

This is highlighted by Hill breaking it down into three capabilities:

Creative abrasion

  • Marketplace of ideas through debate and discourse
  • Diversity and conflict
  • Collaborative problem solving

Creative agility

  • Test and refine the portfolio of ideas
  • Pursuit, reflection and adjustment
  • Discovery-driven learning

Creative resolution

  • Combine ideas to reconfigure them into new combinations
  • Inclusive and integrated decision making process

Going back to Hill’s point about leaders creating the space to share and combine talents and passions. My research explores how, through technology, virtual spaces could facilitate and support creative collaboration. Roy Ascott said “telematic interactivity offer extraordinary collaboration opportunities to artists,” [2] telematic interactivity being the virtual space created for collaboration.

My question is, what facilitates and supports the creative collaborative experience in interactive virtual spaces for multidisciplinary teams? Hill’s points on collaborative problem solving, discovery-driven learning and integrated decision making are areas that will contribute to framing this question.

Collaboration is the act of working together to produce a work and importantly, a process of discovery and learning. The internet is a tool for collaboration. Online collaboration offers opportunities to network, research and create relationships. It expands the realm of collaborative opportunities and vastly increases interaction with others. The focus of this research is understanding users’ experience when participating in collaborative scenarios to help better design collaborative virtual environments.

[1] Hargrove, R., Mastering the Art of Creative Collaboration, 1997
[2] Ascott, R., On Networking by Roy Ascott, 2011