Cultural principles of co-creation

Then I saw when the lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 6:1-2

“The four horsemen”

Co-creation is a form of collaboration that aims for innovations and learning by utilizing the diversity of the people. Co-creation has four distinctive characteristics, “four horsemen”, which separates it from the traditional ways of collaboration: Knowledge sharing, serendipitous encounter, motivation and movement.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing is an activity through which knowledge, that is information, skills, or expertise, is exchanged among people, friends, families, communities or organizations. Organizations have recognized that knowledge constitutes a valuable intangible asset for creating and sustaining competitive advantages53 .


Serendipitous encounters

Seemingly serendipitous events and “lucky breaks” are often based on groundwork building opportunities for collaboration and the propensity to act. Eliminating the waiting period between introducing a promising idea and the opportunity to do something about it can lower the threshold for initial input and strengthen subsequent commitment48.



The first issue to tackle when supporting co-creating is getting people motivated to put in the required effort. The aim is to create an environment that makes wanting to co-create as easy as possible. In general, motivation is a key consideration in supporting any development efforts as creating something new requires more than mere compliance51.



The first issue to tackle when supporting co-creation as a concept highlights the dynamic nature of development interaction and is often marked by its informal nature. In addition, co-creation emphasizes acting over planning, being an iterative, hands-on approach to development. Experimentation and the abundance of prototyping and visualizations can be seen as distinctive and essential features of co-creation52.


Self-sustaining spiral of co-creation

Virtuous circle

Serendipitous encounters increase knowledge sharing, motivation and movement. Which, in turn, increases serendipitous encounters and so on… Prevalence of above principles feed each other causing self reinforcing virtuous circle.

Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.

Brian Chesky