With co-development, mobilize the collective intelligence of your teams

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Co-development is about relying on collective intelligence to solve a problem. This method inspired by innovation is now widespread for management and more general “problem solving”. Relying on the group to find solutions, the method promotes both individual learning while creating reflexes to work better as a team. A method totally in line with the post-covid trend at a time of responsible innovation and missions related to the Reason for Being as revealed in the Innovation Blossom 2021 study .


1) In co-development, there is co “with”

One of the main benefits of co-development is to create a community of peers connected through a shared experience. Concretely, a workshop brings together ten participants to discuss various issues (problem, project concern, etc.) that a participant, “the client”, would like to share and explore with the rest of the group, “the consultants”.

The group decides jointly on the subject and the client and all the other participants will act as consultants. To do this, they will help the customer to better understand his problem through a question-and-answer session and by offering solutions. These sessions should be part of a series of meetings for everyone to experience the roles. It is therefore the strength of the collective that is unfolding.


2) In co-development, there is “development”

The framework and the conduct of the workshops are essential to remain in the efficiency studied and described by Adrien Payette and Claude Champagne. To maintain the framework, which differentiates these workshops from a discussion around the coffee machine, an external facilitator is needed, who will ensure that the different stages, timing and role of each are respected.

Co-development is akin to a training approach but is unlike traditional training. In this sense, it is innovative. There is not on the one hand a trainer carrying and depositing knowledge, a knowing who brings “the theory and the cases to be treated” and on the other hand learners.

Co-development is a learning approach that relies on interactions between participants because the consultants and the client are all considered contributors even if they are not subject matter experts.


3) The soft skills essential to co-develop

The group must respect a few rules which depend on behaviors to be respected, soft skills to be expressed and which will develop during the series of successive groups.

To begin with, humility is necessary in order to dare to recognize a problem and that this problem is likely to be presented by the potential customer. For the consultants, it will be a question of not trying to solve the problem but to agree to provide a solution among others, which will be chosen or not.

Then empathy must be mobilized so that the consultants can put themselves in the customer’s shoes. Kindness will allow all participants to express themselves and all questions or suggestions for solutions to be welcomed and encouraged. Finally, assertiveness is required so that everything can be expressed without aggression. Solidarity is is at the end the souvereiugn soft skills so usefull in this period of change.

A number of positive behaviors are therefore put to the test which already in themselves create value and therefore performance.

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