Innovative solutions are what most of the companies look for, but when developed collaboratively they can bring even more tangible results. This is the central idea of value co-creation, a concept that assumes that the best initiatives come from people’s shared experiences.
Co-creation replaces unilateral processes of product design or solution development for collective projects and can bring benefits for everyone involved. It brings together different areas or people who would hardly be gathered in the company to discuss a common project. It can create positive impacts, such as:
1.Motivation: When people are encouraged to think about new ideas, they feel recognized and are more likely to engage in future co-creation projects.
2.Empathy: the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is one of the main targets of this kind of project. Even when the experiences are different, the dialogue is only possible when people understand each others reality.
3.Continuous development: sharing experiences and knowledge is a fundamental key for the whole group and company development. Value co-creation makes it possible.
4.Better ideas: Co-creative brainstorm has the capacity to be even more productive than the same processes of sharing traditional ideas. Thus, it is possible to choose the idea that best fits the business reality.
In Brazil, companies such as Natura practice value co-creation in their projects. The Natura Campus project is a place for collaboration and relationship building with science and technology institutions, companies and entrepreneurs, to create innovation and shared values.
Value co-creation can also be used in educational institutions. Educators and managers need to deal with a variety of issues on a daily basis. They involve students and parents and can, therefore, be very complex. In such cases, value co-creation may be the best solution, since working with shared initiatives allows feedback to the institution and to those who work in it.
Recode, an organization focused on digital youth empowerment, developed a project that brought together teachers and students to think about classroom practices related to the use of technology. The participants were divided into groups and produced contents collaboratively to be used in school to encourage the use of technology in education.
This is just one example of how institutions can invest in co-creation and how this kind of initiative has a great power to transform realities. In addition to search for innovative solutions, other positive effects are generated once the school community is included in the decision-making process in the school.
Co-creation is extremely promising, but how to turn theory into practice in educational institutions? The answer lies in methodologies such as design thinking, which considers co-creation sessions as fundamental parts of the process to develop new products or solutions. A session can be held as a workshop, for example, and should follow some steps:
1.Mapping: Have a diagnosis that shows what issues should be studied by the group. It is not only a more assertive work, but it also ensures focus on the activities.
2.Profile: get to know the participants in order to plan the activities according to the skills and effort abilities of each one. Only then will it be possible to keep the engagement during most of the project.
3.Engagement: To ensure the group’s dedication, participants must identify themselves with the project or problem. It is important to argue the relevance of co-creation moment and how the educational institution can benefit from collaborative work.
4.Examples: participants will not have the same experiences. Therefore, it is important to have similar references and examples that make sense of the activity. This is an important step even for the brainstorming process.
Were you able to learn how co-creation can transform habits and also help in the learning process? You can start by developing specific projects and then expand the methodology to other areas. Co-creation as a policy of action can bring innovative results! To continue learning about methodologies that support creativity and collaboration, read more about design thinking, which has transformed the business and education areas.