Tangible results at CHAP Innovation Collaboration Day

Francesca Cowley, Project Coordinator at 100%Open, a collaboration facilitation firm, shares her thoughts about the CHAP Innovation Collaboration Open Day in London, in September 2019.

The concept of collaboration beyond its dictionary meaning is a fairly new one for me. Prior to starting my current job, I must admit my mind never dwelled on the importance of collaboration and the benefits it can bring us, beyond bringing two great things together and creating an unexpected outcome.

However now, so much of the work we do at 100%Open is focused around getting the ‘suits’ to collaborate with the ‘sneakers’ – a term we believe encapsulates what we aim to achieve through Open Innovation.

The aim of this project with CHAP was to use the one day workshop to forge inter-organisational collaborations, around the themes of integrated pest management, soil health, digital agronomy and controlled environment agriculture.

The programme was split into three stages, explore, extract and exploit.

  1. Explore: This was centred around preparing the delegates for collaboration by identifying their co-lab styles, our online test which you can take for yourself. Along with other online tests this serves to prime individuals for the task of collaboration by pre-identifying potential obstacles and changing your mindset to a more open one.
  2. Extract: Our one-day workshop was based around creating potential collaborative innovation projects to take forward and develop post-workshop.
  3. Exploit: Often, the process of innovation experiences a lull, better known as ‘the valley of death’. After the invigorating process of generating collaborative projects the excitement can often wear off and projects can grind to a halt, so this phase was concerned with coaching of delegates gearing towards grant funding applications and new collaborative mindsets and approaches.

Now as I mentioned before this is all relatively new to me: prior to the workshop it seemed to me that the only way to get a range of specialists in crop health and agriculture together in a room and end up with them walking away with viable projects to take forward would be by waving a magic wand and hoping for the best.

However, fortunately I was proven wrong, and I think one learning I will take from this project is to be less sceptical.

It is clear to see why so many people have faith in this process because it repeatedly produces tangible results. Not only did the delegates form collaborations with individuals from organisations very different to their own, but they then also pitched these ideas and created action plans for applying for funding and creating ongoing working partnerships.

For more information on CHAP’s Innovations, go to Capabilities and Solutions or  email enquiries@chap-solutions.co.uk

Please note, the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of CHAP. 

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