Nurturing Innovation: The Power of Collaboration and Intrinsic Motivation


Hatched by Glasp

Jun 30, 2023

3 min read


Nurturing Innovation: The Power of Collaboration and Intrinsic Motivation


In today's rapidly changing world, innovation has become a key driver of success for individuals and organizations alike. But where do great ideas come from? How can we foster a creative environment that encourages innovation? In this article, we will explore the concept of Edcamp Japan and delve into seven research studies that reveal the people, incentives, and environments that create innovation. We will also discuss the importance of failure, the role of diverse expertise, and the impact of intrinsic motivation. By understanding these factors, we can unlock our own creative potential and drive meaningful change.

Edcamp Japan: Empowering Educators through Collaboration

Edcamp Japan is a conference designed specifically for education professionals, including teachers and other individuals in the education sector. What sets Edcamp apart is its participant-driven approach, where attendees actively contribute to the conference's agenda and discussions. By empowering educators to take ownership of their professional development, Edcamp Japan creates a collaborative environment that fosters innovation and growth.

The Power of Failure: Embracing the Learning Process

One of the key factors in cultivating a creative environment is embracing failure. A 2009 study on life scientists revealed that incentivizing experimentation and tolerating failure led to breakthrough innovations. When scientists were funded by grants that allowed for long-term thinking and experimentation, they achieved higher rates of innovation compared to those with stricter grants. This demonstrates the importance of creating a psychologically safe space where failure is seen as a stepping stone towards success.

Diverse Expertise: The Catalyst for Novel Ideas

A 2014 paper highlighted the significance of diverse expertise in generating novel ideas. The study found that individuals with the least overlapping expertise were most ingenious when prompted to develop new solutions. By connecting disparate groups and positioning themselves as "brokers" in an organization's network, these individuals became sources of ingenuity. This emphasizes the value of bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and skill sets to drive innovation.

Intrinsic Motivation: Fueling Creative Output

Another crucial aspect of fostering innovation is intrinsic motivation. An analysis of 11,000 research scientists revealed a strong connection between individuals' motivations and their creative output. Scientists who were motivated by independence and intellectual challenge produced more innovative work compared to those driven primarily by salary or job security. This highlights the importance of aligning personal passions and interests with professional roles to unlock creative potential.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity: Create a safe space where failure is seen as a stepping stone towards success. Encourage experimentation and long-term thinking to foster breakthrough innovations.
  • 2. Foster diverse expertise: Seek out individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets to bring fresh perspectives to problem-solving. Encourage collaboration and create opportunities for cross-disciplinary interactions.
  • 3. Cultivate intrinsic motivation: Align personal passions and interests with professional roles. Provide autonomy and intellectual challenges to fuel creative output. Encourage individuals to pursue their curiosity and embrace independence.


Innovation is not limited to a select few; it can be nurtured and cultivated through collaboration, embracing failure, diverse expertise, and intrinsic motivation. By creating an environment that values experimentation, supports diverse perspectives, and fosters personal growth, we can unlock our creative potential and drive meaningful change. Let us embrace the power of collaboration and intrinsic motivation to pave the way for a more innovative future.

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