On december 10, (the annual symposium of Agile Consortium the Netherlands) more than 500 projectmanagers, consultants and information managers were present to challenge themselves and their colleagues with fresh perspectives on co-creation. The last contributor of the plenary opening session stood out in his message and his presentation format.
Frans van der Reep (InHolland/KPN) made a long lasting impression by demonstrating to the audience what co-creation is made of. He asked randomly two people from the audience who play the piano to come forward. And to start playing quatre mains. He urged the audience to watch closely what happened next: “during the next five minutes you’ll learn more about co-creation than this entire day”.
And indeed, the audience responded afterwards with their observations. Co-creation consists of agreeing what to do (the piano players first had a chat before playing), of a shared knowledge of standards (which key and scale to use), of skill in the first place (knowing how to play the piano), of courage (to come forward) and fun (the piano players seemed to enjoy it).
Frans stressed the fact that the piano players didn’t engage in a competition. “Competition is for extremely stupid people. It is a disconnection strategy which makes people reactive. When you want people to expose innovative behavior you better use a connection strategy like cooperation or co-creation.”
Sounds like music to the ears of an agile coach, doesn’t it?