Collaboration Tip #5: DON’T Just Invite the Usual Suspects

Who to invite to your co-creation party? Whether you’re trying to jumpstart a community garden or start a world wide community, the right invites can make all the difference. The key is figuring out what you want from your event. Is it all about fun? Is it meant to be very productive? Thinking about the desired results from an event determines whom to invite.

DON’T Invite only Usual Suspects

Innovation rarely occurs among people steeped in a field talking to other people steeped in the same field. This kind of discourse produces incremental improvement. In short, you’re not going to get breakthrough ideas come out of a meeting of people with similar backgrounds and expertise.

DO Invite across Sectors



If you’re looking for breakthrough ideas, you need to invite unusual suspects – people from multiple disciplines and/or completely outside the field. Even if a meeting is centered on a very focused theme, invite people across sectors to bring fresh new perspectives and ideas. For example, if your collaboration is about cyber-security policy, it’s not enough to bring technical experts and policymakers together; you need to invite academics, law enforcers, and lawyers. Or even go beyond them to hackers, mathematicians, and even convicted-but-reformed criminals. These types of collaborations have a higher rate of success because of the many voices they bring together to envision a solution for the problems they face.



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