The Future of Work is Continuous Co-Creation

4 min read

Building innovative companies is impossible without continuous co-creation.

What is co-creation?

Co-creation is an activity involving people with different functional and/or subject-matter expertise to create something together.

When people with different expertise provide input to create together, different perspectives are brought together to solve problems better than siloed functional teams.

This is how it works today.

1. You participate in a co-creation workshop with a diverse group of people.

2. Post workshop, the facilitator synthesizes the output as a report and sent it to your team.

3. When new information came to you, you can't update the content since the collective information is locked in PDF.

4. You finally got hold of the PPT or excel file and updated it by yourself with your own perspective.

5. You emailed the new version to your teams.

6. A few read it. Some don't even bother opening the email. One or two of them violently disagreed.

7. So you set a meeting with the same people. Only a few attended. And after rounds of discussion, they are finally aligned.

8. You attended another meeting to show the new information. It turns out they don't agree with you. You had to explain yourself as they are now misaligned.

9. The co-created output is never updated over time or updated in silos, clashing with different functional perspectives.

10. You and your teams are back to working and thinking in silos.

The result? Company-wide misalignment of perceptions, expectations, information, and execution.

Co-creation activities has always been this way - conducted on an ad-hoc basis and co-created information is never maintained over time, but locked in print or digital files that are distributed with limited ability to update it.

This is not the future of work that should still be happening in 2020s. Especially when it concerns going from 0 to 1 and building innovative products and companies.

Co-creation should not happen only during a workshop on an ad-hoc basis, but should be an ongoing activity.

What does continuous co-creation means?

It means co-creating with cross-functional teams across levels on a regular basis beyond the initial workshop.

This is enabled using interactive tools that facilitate real-time co-creation with participants.

This is how continuous co-creation works.

You participate in a co-creation workshop with a diverse group of people.

Co-created content is created real-time with interactive digital tools in a well-structured manner.

Post workshop, the information is stored in a data repository, centrally shared, and accessible by anyone to update it.

When new information came to you, you update it and/or together with others.

As information is continuously updated and maintained over time, a shared knowledge base is established.

This shared knowledge aligns teams across functions and levels to receive, update, and share information continuously.

You now have aligned teams with a synchronized single source of truth.

The result? Company-wide alignment of perceptions, expectations, information, and execution.

Continuous co-creation is a fundamental part of the future work where information needs to be stored, shared and updated between cross functional teams across levels on a regular basis beyond co-creation workshop, using real-time interactive digital tools.