3 Keys to Collaborative Creativity

Major events take time. Every three years our national church body plans and executes a National Youth Gathering, drawing in the vicinity of 25,000 youth and adults. The host city varies. The next one, in the summer of 2013, will be in San Antonio, Texas. The event includes Mass events each night of the gathering, concerts, activities, and a worship service that includes all 25,000 people.

I was recently asked to help plan and write the worship service for the 2013 Youth Gathering. That meant flying to St. Louis to collaborate with a group of people preparing a year in advance for two hours on a Wednesday morning in July. As we did this very exciting and invigorating work together, I realized that there were three components to the collaborative creativity that was flowing in the room.

In that one room where we worked for about 8 hours, there were people who brought experience, wisdom, and fresh perspective:

  1. Experience: Those with experience had been here before. They’ve worked with others. They’ve been through numerous Gatherings. They knew the right questions to ask and the specific suggestions to make.
  2. Wisdom: Those with wisdom knew the proper theological and technical questions to raise and input to make. Wisdom made sure that we would do things decently and in order, in a theologically sound way, while being grounded in the things that are important.
  3. Fresh Perspective: Those with fresh perspective brought new questions, different thoughts, and insights that built on the experience and wisdom of the others in the room. They hadn’t been through this before, so their insights were a bit different.

In a collaborative process, experience, wisdom, and fresh perspective bring forth a creativity that isn’t gimmicky or over the top, presents an end result that is professional, and brings an energy that is fresh and renewing. The next time you get together to create an event or project, how can you bring these three components together in the same room?

What key component do you see in a collaborative process?

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