Creativity, Innovation, & Collaboration – Part II

By Joryn Jenkins

As the deadline for my speech at World Creativity and Innovation Week approached, I began to feel the pressure. Sure, I’d come up with some thoughts about how creativity works, but I continued to ponder the relationship between creativity and the collaborative dispute resolution process. As I did, I concluded that there are three levels or steps of creation:

Discovery – this happens when you first become aware of something novel to you. You notice it and, perhaps, remark on it. Perhaps you write a blog about it. Maybe you stash it away to think about it when you have time.

Invention – you consider that discovery and apply it to some aspect of your life, developing your discovery beyond itself into something original and different, an invention of some kind.

Innovation – you work on that invention and hone it into something unique. I would consider this the highest level of creation.

Well, all of this is well and good… for a philosophy class. But it begs the ultimate real-life question. How do we accelerate our ability to create and to innovate? How do we improve how we collaborate?

Finally, I considered the collaborative divorce roadmap. And discovered buried treasure! You hone your ability to create and to innovate in each divorce matter you handle by following these guidelines that (serendipitously?) track our roadmap well:

  1. Expand your exposure. Seek diverse experiences, venues, cultures, and people with whom you would not otherwise interact. Such exposure seeds your subconscious with fresh ideas. You do this with every new client and with every new team of professionals.
  2. Observe, be alert, be sensitive, sharpen your blade, and take everything in. When? As you conduct your initial client interviews and prepare your reports to the team professionals. This is especially salient as you identify your client’s interests and distinguish them from your client’s stated positions.
  3. Expand your knowledge base. Read and listen to podcasts, books, seminars, and webinars outside your comfort zone, even outside your profession. To some degree, you do this every time you enter the gathering and exchanging information phase of a collaborative matter. This is also how you hone your collaborative skills.
  4. Defer judgment. Always be open to new concepts and to new approaches. You do this every time you brainstorm in one of your collaborative matters.
  5. Incubate ideas. Let them percolate. Simmer them with information already in your knowledge base. This is especially true in the collaborative approach to dispute resolution when you problem solve for potential solutions. And you do this in a team approach, which then exponentially augments the results as you use multiple and diverse knowledge bases at once.

These are my thoughts for how the collaborative roadmap accelerates your ability to be creative; I welcome yours. You can reach me at And for more on how to profitably market your practice, find me at Your Collaborative Marketing Coach, because your marketing is my marketing! Let’s change the way the world gets divorced, together! And if you’d like to learn more about how to become a Collaborative Champion, buy my toolkit or attend my training!

Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.

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