“Yeah…I’m going to need you to come in and collaborate…”`
I have found that people often have very limiting views when it comes to what collaboration is all about. Some think of it as an activity. Others think collaboration is something that starts in a meeting or as a line item on an agenda where the boss gets everyone together and says, “Okay team, I want you to collaborate around this project and have it on my desk by 2pm tomorrow.” Rarely have I seen teams or individuals inspired to greatness in that environment. I can’t imagine a record producer or band manager coming to me and saying, “I want you to get the band together at 2pm this afternoon, write a hit song that will touch people’s lives, change the world, sell millions of copies and have it on my desk by noon tomorrow”. If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is.
Collaboration doesn’t start in a meeting or as a line item on an agenda. It’s not just an activity. It’s a state of mind and it starts with YOU and your mindset. What do I mean by that? When someone is in what we call the collaborative mindset, they are open to the possibility that every interaction they have has the potential to be a collaborative moment.
As a songwriter, my receptors are always firing. Everybody that I meet and encounter I view as someone who can share some kind of perspective, thought or idea that can spark something creative in me or add value to my thought process. In fact, some of the greatest gems I get for song ideas actually come right out of the mouths of other people! I rarely miss those ideas because I’m always open to the possibility.
The next time you feel pressured to come up with the next great idea or solution, try taking a different
approach. Here are a some pointers:
- Don’t put undo pressure on yourself by watching the pot boil trying to create “genius”.
- Get out into the world and really observe what’s going on and really to listen differently to the people you encounter. You will be amazed at how simply being present can impact your thought
- Make an effort to listen differently and get input from unusual suspects (the people you wouldn’t probably ask).
- Let the world around you do the heavy lifting. That’s what it’s there for. Specifically, don’t try to make the news. Just report it.
And THAT as we say in the songwriting game, IS the hook.