One of the keys to being more innovative in your career is becoming more collaborative. I’ve learned that the more I share knowledge, information, and ideas with others, the better my own ideas become.

Innovative thinking is a collaborative way of thinking. It’s not territorial. You can’t be an information silo where all of the knowledge, ideas, and creative thinking are exclusive to you; it has to be shared. If you want to attract other innovative minds, you must cultivate an innovative environment and be willing to collaborate and share with others. Your unique abilities and impact become more powerful as you collaborate and share ideas with others, and others share ideas with you.

In his book, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, Braden Kelley says, “While many people give Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and the modern-day equivalent, Dean Kamen, credit for being lone inventors, the fact is that the lone inventor myth is just that – a myth. All these gentlemen had labs full of people who shared their passion for creative pursuits.”

Who is in your innovation lab? Who should be? Here are a few quick tips on building your own lab:

Look for lab members. Identify a list of positive, innovative people you would like to include in your personal innovation lab.

Ask for coaching, mentoring, and support. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Make a list of ways you can regularly interact with, spend time with, or learn from some of these people (e.g., schedule a lunch date, pursue a formal mentoring relationship, join a professional association, attend networking events, follow or connect with people on social media sites, attend their training sessions, read their blogs and books).

Build your network and be a collaborator. Make a commitment to yourself to do at least one thing this week that causes you to interact in some way with one of your personal advisory board members. Repeat weekly.

The ability to collaborate – whether it’s with your team or your executive – is an important skill for all admins. Yet doing so effectively requires patience, an open mind, and an understanding of different personality types. This week, we’re giving your tips and advice on how to create a collaborative mindset at the office, and explaining how it can benefit your admin career. We also have a ton of information about collaboration – from how to implement it to how personality types play into relationships – on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.

When you put effort into building a strong, collaborative network, you’ll begin making connections and stretching your thinking in ways that will positively impact your career for years to come!

Supporting your administrative success,

Julie Perrine

P.S. Are you ready to create habits to help you be more innovative in your career? Then this month’s AdminPro Training Series webinar is for you! Learn to take action and cultivate the habits that will make you The Innovative Admin by registering here!