Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation

We know that Einstein developed his theory of Relativity, and his discoveries in Quantum Physics. It is often assumed that he did it alone, and I did get the impression of it to be that way. Yet the truth is that he had a long-term collaboration with his friend Marcel Grossmann, a brilliant mathematician who helped him with the mathematics and calculations required to publish his papers on the theory of relativity. Marcel Grossmann’s father helped Einstein get a job in the Swiss patents office.

Another very unusual collaboration was between Swami Vivekananda and Nikola Tesla, who met in the late 1800’s, and found that they shared common interests. Swami Vivekananda introduced to him the Vedantic wisdom, and the terms of Prana and Akasha (Vital energy and the Ether). Tesla assured Vivekanada that he could prove the relationship between energy and matter mathematically. The Vedantic cosmology inspired him and he would turn to it to get insights into the research that he was doing.

Today often people from diverse backgrounds come together to collaborate in coming to solutions or creating new projects. The complexity and different points of view and experience allows a richer and more dynamic formation of ideas and action.

In the more recent model of ‘Theory U’ , developed by Otto Scharmer through his book ‘Theory U- Leading from the Emerging Future”, uses the process of collaboration in leadership to co-create new realities, through letting go of old problems and patterns, sensing, being guided by intuition, crystallizing a new vision, prototyping a new idea, and finally creating a new reality. This process is done through a circle of collaborators who hold a space for the idea to form, shape and be tested, before it is launched into the world.

Perhaps if we are to survive as a integrated planet, we need to consider a blend of collaborating, creativity and innovation, and move from Ego to Eco, where we allow for all of life to coexist and thrive harmoniously.

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