<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='26528'>Co-construction and well-being in the company : a association natural ?

Collaboration and co-construction are long-standing and multi-faceted phenomena.

The artists' houses (Labs?) in Brooklyn and elsewhere, where people wrote, composed, sculpted or played the piano with their doors wide open, were also frequented by journalists and critics who disseminated their work in post-war New York, right up to the Factory in the 1960s; or, in the scientific field, Einstein's co-construction of the theory of relativity (special and general).[1] and his colleagues, and the Pierre AND Marie Curie collaboration are still fertile examples of his power.

In the company, these methods - and its co-working spaces[2]- are developing and have since given rise to the new concept of ecosystem-based innovation[3] This involves bringing together several large companies to solve a common, cross-functional problem. For example, when Nike, Costco, Visa and Lowe's joined forces to innovate in distribution and customer experience, they invented - together for two days in a San Francisco hangar - a deposit system containing potential purchases and recommendations available from an app. Value at stake: 432 million dollars a year in additional revenue[4].

Co-construction promotes living together

Co-construction not only enables us to work together simply and constructively, but also develops a way of living together that is oriented towards others and towards the common good. It develops a culture of trust, and our brains even produce oxytocin, a chemical that facilitates teamwork.

But co-constructing the future does not systematically generate legitimacy and support[5]. To achieve this, the co-constructors need to feel that they are recognised collectively... at the risk of seeing individual interests take precedence over collective interests. And that's why co-construction must lead to tangible results.

5 operational tips for engaging employees

Here are 5 operational tips to avoid adding to the 36% failure rate for collaborative projects[6] :

  1. The collaborative process is nourished by a problem-discovery phase - this is where the vivid, pictorial presentations of marketing research come into their own! Presenting the results on film speaks louder than a long report; but there is also an equally important phase of selecting the problem to be addressed. It is advisable to clearly define the area to focus on, and to make it a clear and shared "focus zone". The techniques of Creative Problem Solving are effective in redefining the challenge.


  1. Collaborative work must produce visible results quickly. The ideation-prototype-test cycles must not only be rapid, but also give rise to tangible visualisation. The use of graphic facilitation in the first phase in particular helps to give substance to ideas and increases everyone's concentration. It also leaves good memories of these moments of collaboration, which are displayed in the corridors and in which people recognise themselves. Prototyping has the same effect. They are key to moving on to the testing phase.


  1. As far as evaluation is concerned, sharing the results of idea or product testing means that the co-construction can be finalised together, or even that a mini-idea phase can be relaunched to correct the initial concept. This increases buy-in and ownership of the project.


  1. Ideally, it's best to go down just one path. Paradoxically, if you set up a team to work on plan B, there's every chance that plan A won't be completed. The team will be wasting its time and energy, and will be less united, whereas it should be concentrating all its efforts on the main objective.


  1. Finally, the co-construction process should take place several times during the year to create a dynamic, or even a culture, a common operating mode despite the heterogeneity of the participating professions, and be unleashed at an after-work party in a more playful mode. Creating opportunities for exchange helps to re-challenge your initial ideas and acts as a catalyst for even the most solid of certainties!


Co-construction appeals to the varied, unique and intimate nature of the men and women in the company, which our future robots will not be able to reproduce so easily. Let's make the most of it!

Florence Hussenot

[1] See the Genius series produced by National Geographic

[2] See WeWork's success story valued at 20 billion $ "We are the LinkedIn and Facebook of entrepreneurship. 50% people at WeWork do business together" Séverin Naudet, CEO France

[3] See HBR August-September 2017 "managing multi-stakeholder innovation" Nathan Furr, Kate O'Keeffe and Jeffrey H. Dyer.

[4] Cisco Hyperinnovating Living Labs (Chill)

[5] See the article by Jean-Michel Montot - Audencia

[6] See the 2011 study by the Project Management Institute

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