For leaders, co-creation is a powerful way to foster collaboration and build trust. It can create collective solutions based on shared values and purpose, helping companies, governments and communities move forward together in times of uncertainty. Furthermore, the OECD recently concluded that it can provide an opportunity for diverse voices to be heard and contribute to the development of more sustainable forms of governance.
Based on evidence gleaned from 30 COVID-19 co-creation initiatives in 21 countries and three international cases, the OECD has published two reports outlining co-creation insights and policy lessons from the pandemic. The first examines how and why business and government are joining forces to tackle COVID-19, while the second examines the benefits and challenges of co-creation itself. “Co-creation has become an important way for policymakers and businesses to respond to the pandemic,” the report’s authors, Muthu De Silva, Orlagh Lavelle, Nikolas Schmidt and Caroline Paunov, said in an email. Insights into how this work can be done effectively.” They continue, “Leaders from the public and private sectors can use these findings to improve their co-creation work, not only during the pandemic, but also after it.”
According to the report’s authors, the benefits of co-creation depend on three important conditions: trust, effective communication and a focus on results. They recommend that policymakers create an enabling environment for co-creation by setting the right tone at the highest level, encouraging transparency and openness, and establishing clear mandates and expectations. For businesses, they recommend taking a long-term view, being prepared to share risks and rewards, and to be flexible as circumstances change. Especially at a time when the economic and social landscape is changing rapidly. So if you’re a leader, you should consider these five important implications of research:
1. Purpose is an important driver of co-creation
When it comes to successful co-creation, having a common goal is crucial. This is evident in many of the initiatives in the OECD report, where businesses and policymakers have come together to address specific issues related to the pandemic. But shared purpose can also help overcome some of the challenges that come with co-creation, such as disagreement about purpose or lack of trust.
Contributing to shared goals, such as providing rapid solutions to the health and socioeconomic crises caused by the pandemic, is an important motivator for participating in co-creation activities. Other intangible benefits of collaboration, including the ability to engage in strategically critical technology development, develop useful networks, create future business value, and exploit capabilities, also complement the societal drivers. Thus, the design of new goal-oriented co-creation programs can benefit from developing an overall plan or mission that clearly defines and prioritizes a set of strategic goals or tasks. This will ensure a shared sense of purpose among participants and facilitate focus while providing a framework for evaluating the success of the program.
2. Diverse and multidisciplinary networks and infrastructure should be strengthened to accelerate innovation
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a diverse and well-connected network and infrastructure to enable rapid innovation. Many of the initiatives mentioned in the OECD report involve business and policymakers collaborating to share knowledge, expertise and resources. This is often facilitated by digital platforms and online tools that allow quick and easy access to information.
The pandemic has also highlighted the need to strengthen links between different sectors, businesses and research institutions. This connection is critical to ensuring that new ideas are quickly translated into practical solutions. Therefore, future co-creation initiatives should focus on building strong networks and infrastructures that can facilitate rapid innovation.
3. Policies should support more comprehensive development and co-creation of digital tools
While the pandemic has prompted the need for businesses and policymakers to collaborate in new ways, it has also highlighted the importance of having the right policies in place to support such collaboration. The OECD report identifies a number of policy areas that can help foster and accelerate co-creation, such as finance, regulation, standardization and intellectual property. In particular, the report highlights the need for more comprehensive development and digital tools for co-creation. Such devices help connect businesses and policymakers and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources.
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of developing policies that can help protect the health and safety of workers and ensure businesses can adapt quickly to changing circumstances. In the future, policymakers should focus on developing policies that support more effective and efficient co-creation.
4. Leading by example is critical
The OECD report identifies several successful co-creation schemes led by businesses and policymakers. These initiatives demonstrate the importance of leading by example in collaboration. In particular, they stress the need for companies and policymakers to be open to new ideas and willing to experiment. They also emphasized the importance of having a clear vision and purpose for the collaboration. Leading by example is critical to demonstrating the benefits of co-creation to other businesses and policymakers. It can also help build trust and confidence in the process.
In conclusion, the OECD report on co-creation highlights the importance of having an overall plan or mission, strengthening diverse and well-connected networks and infrastructure, and supporting more comprehensive development and digital tools to facilitate co-creation. They also emphasized the importance of leading by example in collaboration. These initiatives can help accelerate innovation in “normal” times and in future crises. After all, isn’t that what we need to build a better future?