The co-creative process
With ecl there are no ‘right’ answers or dominant ideologies, just an invitation to journey with others towards different possibilities and fresh approaches. It is an invitation to quest by riding a creative wave.
Shown in the diagram below the process takes ‘questers’ from breakthrough questions to practical yet often startling solutions and innovations.
If we are to transform development and care we have to work differently. Many methodologies encourage us to ‘flatline’, moving sequentially from problem recognition and objective setting, to analysis, to recommendations and decisions, to action. The space for overt creativity is minimised in the effort to find a working solution. It is only natural because not knowing produces its own anxieties – so why hang about?
ecl asks people to do just that as they work creatively on both pressing issues and exciting opportunities. The process invites them step into the unknown holding a question rather than an objective; take time to deepen their understanding of the nature of the current situation; get lost a while as ideas begin to form; and only then move to action.
The process asks four basic questions that require participants to cross four important thresholds in the search for novel solutions. Using a common methodology enhances collaboration by anchoring the work so people know where they are in the journey without them necessarily knowing what the end result will be like. This feature is empowering because no one person is in control whilst others are in the dark, whether working face to face or through an online platform. It is a co-creative process.
That said, each journey taken is bound to be distinct and appropriate to specific situations and needs. Even the basic methodology has been adapted by catalysts, practitioners and innovators to underpin the development of different approaches to mentoring – equip, coaching – creAte, consulting – IDEA, and mediation – Take2.