I will be at DIA 2012 this week, and hope to post about sessions and new offerings of interest as I encounter them.
There is an inherent tension in this year’s meeting theme, “Collaborate to Innovate”. Collaboration at its best exposes us to new ideas and, even more importantly, new ways of thinking. That novelty can catalyze our own thinking and bring us to flashes of insight, producing creative solutions to our most intransigent problems.
However, collaboration often requires accommodation – multiple stakeholders with their own wants and needs that must be fairly and collectively addressed. Too often, this has the unfortunate result of sacrificing creativity for the sake of finding a solution that everyone can accept. Rather than blazing a new trail (with all its attendant risks), we are forced to find an established trail wide enough to accommodate everybody. Some of the least creative work in our industry is done by joint ventures and partnered programs.
So perhaps the best way forward is: Collaborate, but not too much. We must take time to seek out and integrate new approaches, but real breakthroughs tend to require a lot of individual courage and determination.