Everything You Need to Know About Creative Collaboration

May 17, 2024

Collaboration: working together with someone to produce or create something.

When we collaborate, we often produce or create something to reach a goal or solve a problem. But why is team collaboration important within your team?

It can establish trust, increase productivity, and most importantly, enhance creativity. 

However, in today’s work environment where creative teams rely more on hybrid schedules, remote work, and asynchronous communication than ever, creative collaboration can fall by the wayside. 

So, how do you overcome the challenges of the remote world and foster creative collaboration amongst your team?

By harnessing in-person energy and creativity virtually. 

Believe it or not, just because you’re not cramped in the same room, drawing on a whiteboard, and yelling over each other, you can still collaborate effectively.

Below, you’ll find our nine strategies for implementing better creative collaboration for your team. But first, let’s talk about why creative collaboration is so important.

What Is Creative Collaboration?

Creative collaboration combines skills, perspectives, and ideas from you and your team members to reach a goal, solve a problem, or create something innovative. 

Creative collaboration can be used for industries such as marketing, design, music, film, etc., but is often a stepping stone for coming up with new ideas no matter the medium.

What Are the Benefits of Creative Collaboration?

There are a ton of benefits to creative collaboration. Here are a few: 

1. Enhanced Innovation

Creative collaboration often leads to innovation because it offers a multitude of perspectives. 

How do we know? Collaborative decision-making can lead to a 50% increase in innovation. 

Working alone can only get you so far. As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. And that’s never more true than with creative collaboration.

2. Increased Efficiency

When teams collaborate creatively, they can take the responsibility of coming up with the “next big idea” off each other’s shoulders. Instead, they can share that load so it becomes easier to manage. 

Plus, team members can use specialization to leverage individual strengths and tackle complex problems more efficiently. This collective effort can increase efficiency by 25% or more, leading to faster project completion and solutions.

3. Improved Problem Solving

Creative collaboration is the perfect environment for brainstorming, a technique that helps teams put their minds together to develop unique ideas. How does that improve problem-solving? By making it more efficient. According to Switchboard, creative collaboration helps teams spend 24% less time on idea generation.

Even with less time spent developing ideas using creative collaboration and brainstorming, the ideas come out better. A study found that when teams were trained in creativity tools and principles in creative problem-solving sessions, they produced 350% more ideas that were 450% more original than untrained groups.

4. Higher Quality Outcomes

The quality of the work done through creative collaboration is generally higher than without. This is especially true when creative collaboration is used to improve system design, how employees collaborate, and how organizations engage with customers and other stakeholders. According to Deloitte, when creative collaboration is used on these, it leads to business growth. 

5. Stronger Work Relationships

Creative collaboration builds trust and understanding among team members. These strengthened relationships can lead to teams with strong bonds. The Harvard Business Review found that creative collaboration leads to enhanced social closeness between coworkers because it taught them how integral everyone’s ideas are to the creative process. 

What Are Some Challenges With Collaboration?

Although creative collaboration comes with a long list of benefits, some challenges present themselves too. Here are a handful:

Communication Barriers

Effective communication is a must if you’re looking to collaborate effectively. Misunderstandings, unclear instructions, or failure to share info can easily derail a project. You must show consistent effort and use communication tools to ensure that every team member is on the same page.

Decision-Making Delays

We’ve all been there. Too many cooks in the kitchen on a project, too many voices to be heard. This can make reaching a consensus on key decisions time-consuming. When not managed effectively, poor team collaboration can impact project timelines and efficiency.

Lack of Accountability

It can sometimes be difficult to delegate during creative collaboration. When you’re all spewing ideas, defining clear roles and responsibilities can create a vacuum of accountability and lead to missed deadlines and subpar work.

Technological Challenges

Creative collaboration tools must be user-friendly and accessible to all team members. Using a tool that is too bulky or not fluid can create a steep learning curve that hinders the smooth flow of team collaboration.

Luckily, there are ways to mitigate those challenges and effectively engage in creative collaboration. In our next section, we’ll take a deep dive into them.

How to Collaborate with Others in a Creative Way

1. Use Creative Collaboration Software

Everyone feels the weight of having to come up with new ideas and make work that’s great. However, trying creative collaboration tools like Punchlist can help you overcome those challenges by streamlining your feedback and creative collaboration process.

Punchlist makes creative collaboration easy by collecting all project feedback in one place so you never have to scour through countless Slack messages, emails, and meeting notes to find what you’re looking for.

Plus, if you’re struggling with accountability for your projects, Punchlist’s Assign and @mention features make delegating tasks to your team members as simple as can be.

Are technological challenges your problem? Punchlist is intuitive. Just upload a live website URL, PDF, or image file, and you can start leaving/collecting feedback from stakeholders instantly.

If you’re looking to get started, sign up for a 30-day free trial. You’ll form less creative process bottlenecks, finish your projects faster, and make your clients happier in no time at all. 

2. Think about Your Creative Team Collaboration Structure

While hierarchy gets a bad rap, it’s actually a good thing to have. 

Whether your agency has a flat structure or a vertical hierarchy, your team should understand where they fall within it. This can help them understand the right person to ask questions to, who the owner of a project is, and how to behave when collaborating with other team members.

Think about these points as you brainstorm your team collaboration structure:

  • Can anyone propose a solution to the top leadership in your workplace or do they need to go through their manager?
  • Does anyone assigned to a project have the same ownership, or is there one stakeholder who owns the final decision?
  • Do you have an open or closed participation environment? 

Understanding workflows, role definitions, and overall team structure will help make creative collaboration easier among your team.

To make this actionable, try filling out a RACI chart before starting any project. This will help you define roles in all your projects so every team member knows what they’re accountable for, no matter the task. Here’s an example of a RACI chart:

3. Start Meetings on a Personal Note

Your team is human. It’s important to remember that. 

To avoid becoming robotic, and facilitate connection, have the meeting owner kick things off with a personal check-in. A quick green-yellow-red around the room to see how everyone’s feeling can set the tone for the meeting. Have this check-in include both personal and work items.

Here, team members can share more about their lives and let others jump in and help if needed. This shows empathy and can bring your team closer together to collaborate more openly.

4. Learn How Team Members Absorb Information

There are several different learning styles people have. Understanding your team members' learning styles can immediately help creative collaboration. 

Luckily, some tools can help you share information across the team for clarity and create a safe space for feedback. Sure, Zoom and Google Meet are a given, but here are a few of the best remote collaboration tools to add to your toolbox.

MURAL or Miro 

You love a good in-person whiteboarding session, so why not collaborate with one virtually? 

Digital collaboration tools like Miro and MURAL bring the whiteboard to your screen and can easily be shared through Zoom. 

You can map out diagrams, visualize concepts, and quickly bring ideas to life. You can zoom in on different sections as you present to make it more interactive and have collaborators add sticky notes just like in real life.


Sometimes, a meeting could’ve been an email. 

Or maybe it could’ve been a Loom, a video-capturing tool that helps you visually get your points across.

According to Stanford University, long Zoom meetings can affect the brain and heart due to Zoom fatigue. Luckily, alternatives like Loom allow you to quickly record a video, share your screen, and go over a tutorial, idea, or task. 

Plus, the viewer can watch the video in their own time and respond when they can without interrupting their workflow.  

Asana or Trello

Clarity is the most critical part of team collaboration. Knowing where your tasks are helps clear up questions. 

Asana and Trello are examples of task management apps you can implement to assign relevant work to team members. The project owner should update these apps so no one falls behind and projects get done on time. If a project does slow down, you can adjust and keep track of tasks from a 50,000-foot view across your entire team.

5. Implement a Daily Scrum Meeting

Often used in software development and startups, a scrum meeting is a daily check-in where everyone shares blockers and updates about what they are working on. 

It’s a good way for project owners to see progress, re-establish priorities, and solve problems together more quickly without having to wait for a big meeting.

If you implement a scrum check-in (also called standup), be intentional about how often it happens and whether it even needs to be synchronous. While daily standups are the norm and we wouldn’t necessarily suggest making it less frequent, could it be done digitally without actually “meeting”?

Status Hero is an effective tool for running scrum meetings without meeting at all. This app integrates with Slack and email so everyone has visibility into what others are working on. 

The difference? 

You fill it out on your own time. 

Just make sure you establish the guidelines with your team (e.g. please submit your Status Hero update by 10:00 am each day, with what you’re working on today, what you accomplished yesterday, and any blockers the team can help with).

Status Hero in Slack

6. Share Roadblocks and Ask Questions

To make team collaboration more productive, mentioning when you have a roadblock or question is crucial. 

When something is holding up your progress or you can’t move forward until you get approval, say so. People are inherently hesitant to bring up bad news. 50% of employees avoid speaking up at work and remote collaboration can make reticence even more common.

Be mindful of this and use asynchronous communication to your advantage. This will result in better work than going at it alone.

7. Celebrate Wins

Your team is intelligent, talented, and excellent in their roles. Why not celebrate them? 

Whether it’s a #wins channel in Slack, a monthly recap of achievements, or an award at the end of the week to highlight a particular team member, it’s vital that you, as a leader, celebrate every win your team has.

It’s not solely on your shoulders though—providing a channel for your team to celebrate with each other can turn this into a fun process they take and run with.

Shout-outs between team members can foster support, nurture that vital trust, and increase camaraderie. If someone lands a new client, receives top-notch client feedback, or even if someone has a significant life change, celebrations should have the same priority level as constructive criticism. It’s essential to find that balance.

8. Watch Out for Silos

In our workplaces, we often separate ourselves into groups that don’t interact much. Watch out for that silo creep—some team members may feel overlooked or underused, affecting their work and ability to collaborate moving forward.

This scenario can also encourage cliques within your agency, which can hinder team collaboration, primarily if asynchronous communication exists across time zones. Hybrid workplaces see an “underclass” of remote team members who feel left out, creating opportunity gaps and employee churn. You should spot these silos before they get worse, and break down those walls, both digitally and physically.


Encourage cross-departmental communication! Update the organization on happenings in different departments at least once a month at an all-hands meeting. A representative from each department can present the team’s recent wins, priorities, and vision ahead. This will encourage creative collaboration and feedback.

9. Bring the Team Together IRL

An internal workshop day, off-site event, or quarterly strategy session can help break silos and allow your team to stretch their creative muscles while teaching them to work together.

Every three months, hold an internal “think big” workshop (like a hackathon) and have people who don’t work together build a campaign, solve a company problem together, or rework an existing project. Pose questions like: How could we have approached this differently? What elements would you add to this new product to sell it to X market?

People who haven’t worked together before will work as a team toward a clear goal and understand each other’s skills. That is valuable to your workplace’s core collaboration strategy.

Creative Collaboration Is Key to a Thriving Team

Ready to optimize your creative collaboration? Then you’re ready to use Punchlist.

We’ve already given our spiel earlier in the blog. So, if you want to give it a try—at no cost, mind you—sign up here. Not ready for that quite yet? You can watch a demo here or schedule a demo with one of our client success managers. We think you’ll think it’s a knockout.