IDEOU

Cultivating Creative Collaboration

Build a culture that inspires innovation

 

“The goal of creative collaboration is to explore unknown directions and to develop new possibilities. It's not about knowing the answers—it's about learning through exploration and experimentation.”

Mike Peng, IDEO Partner & Managing Director

$499

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VIDEO LESSONS
See case studies from IDEO's 40+ years of work with global organizations across diverse industries.
VIDEO LESSONS
See case studies from IDEO's 40+ years of work with global organizations across diverse industries.
5-WEEK ONLINE COURSE
Self-paced with recommended deadlines for assignments and a time commitment of roughly 5 hours/week.
5-WEEK ONLINE COURSE
Self-paced with recommended deadlines for assignments and a time commitment of roughly 5 hours/week.
TOOLKIT
& CERTIFICATE
Receive a downloadable guide with frameworks, activities, and supplemental resources from the course and a certificate upon completion.
TOOLKIT
& CERTIFICATE
Receive a downloadable guide with frameworks, activities, and supplemental resources from the course and a certificate upon completion.
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
Get coaching from experts and join a global community that shares feedback and resources and forges long-term connections.
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
Get coaching from experts and join a global community that shares feedback and resources and forges long-term connections.

Cultivating Creative Collaboration

Course Overview

Effective collaboration is about much more than harmonious agreement or efficiency. Today's complex challenges require teams to navigate ambiguity, unearth bold ideas, and embrace a new way of working—one that harnesses the power of diverse perspectives and creative thinking to push past the obvious, safe solutions to the truly innovative ones.

In this course, gain the skills and techniques you need to foster creative collaboration and unleash the potential of a team. You'll learn IDEO's methods for guiding others through uncertainty, encouraging them to forge ahead into new territory by intentionally designing for moments where ideas can be shared, built on, and evaluated in a safe space. This course will help you:

  • Establish the cultural conditions that teams need to thrive.
  • Design and guide the creative process, cycling through iterative phases of convergence and divergence.
  • Greet tension and conflict as an opportunity for evolution.
  • Get to innovative solutions by sourcing a diversity of perspectives.

Introduction Learn how creative collaboration harnesses the power of diverse perspectives and creative thinking to develop innovative solutions.
  • Learn about the three key behaviors and mindsets of creative collaboration: learning, curiosity, and vulnerability.
  • Assess your team's level of psychological safety.

Play VideoVideo: What is Creative Collaboration?
Article: Defining Creative Collaboration
Play VideoVideo: Essential Collaborative Behaviors
Video: Mentor Moment
Meet Your Learning Lab
Assignment: Take Stock of Current Conditions
Peer Feedback
Discussion Group
Explore More


Build a Foundation Create a culture of belonging and maintain the team dynamic through a set of agreements.
  • Learn why it's important to define and agree on team norms and expected behaviors.
  • Get tips and techniques to cultivate a sense of belonging through small, consistent actions and rituals.
  • Examine the three key behaviors of every successful creative leader: self-awareness, authenticity, and intentional language.

Video: Align the Team
Video: Mentor Moment
Gallery: Tools for Project Kick-Off
Video: Culture & Creative Work
Article: Ritual Primer
Video: Mentor Moment: On designing rituals for belonging
Video: It Starts with You
Assignment: Craft Team Agreements
Peer Feedback
Explore More


Choreograph the Work Set the conditions for creative thinking with an intentionally designed creative process.
  • See how to unite a team around a central question to guide the work.
  • Learn about two different types of thinking—divergent and convergent—and when to use them in the creative process.
  • Design a meeting to put your skills into practice.

Video: The Creative Process
Article: Five Key Elements of Any Meeting
Video: Design for Divergence
Article: Better Brainstorms
Video: Design for Convergence
Article: Tips for Virtual Collaboration
Assignment: Choreograph a Meeting
Peer Feedback
Discussion Group
Explore More


Tackle the Hard Stuff Embrace tension and constructive feedback as an opportunity to unlock new ideas.
  • Get five techniques for managing emerging tensions and provoking them when necessary.
  • Learn how to conduct IDEO's process to promote healthy team dynamics through open conversations at key moments.
  • Practice giving and receiving feedback through two frameworks.

Video: Diverse Perspectives and Tension
Video: The Power of Conflict
Video: Mentor Moment
Gallery: Mood-Meters
Video: Navigate Tough Conversations
Article: More on Radical Candor
Gallery: Flight Tools for Mid- and Post-Project
Assignment: Harness Tension
Peer Feedback
Explore More


Activate Others Empower others to grow their own skills and spread the energy of creative collaboration.
  • Review the different leadership approaches you can adopt to encourage creative collaboration.
  • Create a plan to empower others by spotting opportunities for micro-generosities.

Video: Pass It On
Assignment: Final Reflection
Peer Feedback
Discussion Group
Explore More


Why Take Cultivating
Creative Collaboration

IDEO has decades of experience leaning into creative tensions to develop breakthrough innovations across a variety of industries. Learn how we craft and support the values, structure, and rituals that allow people to step out of their comfort zone and into new territory. This course can help you improve your team's performance, spur out-of-the-box thinking, and work through ambiguous challenges using a process that harnesses tension and uncertainty to deliver innovative ideas.

Who Should Take This Course

No matter where you sit on a team, you can guide others to move towards more creative collaboration by embodying and demonstrating the mindsets and actions that are critical to this kind of teamwork. Leading for creative collaboration is less about decision making and more about cultivating the right conditions, structure, and processes to support creative problem-solving. Take this course if you are an emerging or established leader looking to refine your abilities, or an individual contributor looking to guide a group through a collaborative project.

Sneak Peek of the Course

Allowing tension to surface at key moments in the creative process is a good indicator that team members feel comfortable sharing their perspectives. In this sneak peek of the course, learn an exercise to encourage your team to share their opinions, embrace the tension that naturally arises, and build a robust dialogue about the pros and cons of different ideas.

About the Course Community

TEACHING TEAM
Design thinking practitioners with teaching and facilitation expertise support your learning journey through guided discussions and assignment feedback.
TEACHING TEAM
Design thinking practitioners with teaching and facilitation expertise support your learning journey through guided discussions and assignment feedback.
DISCUSSION SECTIONS
Live video-call moments facilitated by the Teaching Team are a meaningful way to build relationships and dig into the content.
DISCUSSION SECTIONS
Live video-call moments facilitated by the Teaching Team are a meaningful way to build relationships and dig into the content.
LEARNING LABS
You will have a small group of peers to rely on throughout the course for support, feedback, and in-depth conversation.
LEARNING LABS
You will have a small group of peers to rely on throughout the course for support, feedback, and in-depth conversation.
Michael Peng

Learn from IDEO Partner and Managing Director Michael Peng

Mike Peng is a Partner at IDEO and the founder and Managing Director of IDEO Tokyo. In his role, Mike helps oversee IDEO in Japan and greater Asia, leading key client relationships, guiding projects, and mentoring design teams.

Mike is a visiting lecturer at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID), Tokyo University, Keio University, and Kyushu University and previously worked as an adjunct professor at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, teaching public policy, urban planning, and nonprofit management students how to use design thinking to solve complex problems.

Prior to joining IDEO, Mike worked as a senior lab informatics analyst at Johnson & Johnson. Mike graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in cognitive science and an emphasis in neuroscience. In his spare time, he plays tennis competitively (his high-school court is named after him!) and is an amateur hip-hop dancer who finds solace in reality TV and celebrity gossip.