Ways to Improve Creative Collaboration

  in  Communications
A team will always be made up of people with differing personalities, but allowing for differences in approach will help to create a team that is able to work together seamlessly. Creating an environment in which employees are open about their problems, willing to help others, and unafraid to share ideas will lead to much more creative content.

Collaboration within a team works best if the company's values related to creative collaboration are clear; it is thus important to recognise and uphold these values. The following activities have been shown to improve creative collaboration within teams, and ought to foster greater group cohesion.

1. Help seeking
Help seeking ought never to be discouraged; to create an open, positive environment, employees should always be encouraged to raise questions with their coworkers. While employees are typically rewarded for finding solutions on their own, encouraging help-seeking ensures a healthy team dynamic and may bring about creative insight that would not be realised by an employee thinking alone.

2. Help giving
The other side of help seeking, help giving should also be encouraged. Help giving often requires approval from higher-ups, but if a company would like to take a more creative approach, it should enable employees to give help when necessary, which will, in turn, encourage shared creativity. While it might mean an employee spends some time working on projects not directly related to their own, help giving is a positive behaviour and will often lead to increased levels of satisfaction for both parties. It also means that employees are able to spend time learning about ideas they may not have initially considered from others, which will, in the long run, help to create a highly creative environment.

3. Reflective Reframing

Reflective reframing involves taking into account the things learned from the processes of help seeking and help giving. Those seeking help should engage in the process of reflective reframing in order to apply their newfound insights from others" help, and those giving help may also benefit from learning about the help seeker's problems and how to avoid these in the future. Thinking about other people's problems from a creative perspective, and truly engaging in the process of solving them, may again lead to creative insights that would not otherwise have been realised.

4. Reinforcement

Reinforcement of the positivity of the aforementioned behaviours is important. Reinforcement tells employees that what they are doing is valid and important, and encourages them to continue behaviours that help to foster collaboration. Employees who are taught that they will always be supported if they wish to seek help or give help will have far more of an open mind with regards to problems and solutions than those who are not, so help seeking should never be met with negativity.

5. Use of Collaborative Software

The right technology can help greatly with fostering creativity through collaboration. Online Proof approval software, in which different parts of a project are brought together with ease, can help employees work together without the difficulties that traditional, paper-based projects often bring. PageProof, a cloud-based service, allows its users to gain a global view of a project and work on it collaboratively, rather than separately; it's simple-to-use online proofing technology allows for a stress-free way for teams to manage their work.

Another useful tool to improve collaboration within a team, Trello is a project management tool in which users can create cards for tasks that need to be completed. Visually appealing and easy to use, Trello helps to organise, by degrees of importance, what needs to be completed for a project (or multiple projects) and allows users to easily identify which steps must be taken.