As an entrepreneur, you know that collaboration plays an important role in your creativity. Working with others allows you push ideas to the best they can be by considering multiple perspectives and building on each other's thoughts. Although it is used as a blanket term, not all collaboration is good, and collaboration is not always the answer. In fact, when collaboration takes place at the wrong time or in the wrong fashion, it will impeded your team's creative success. The right way isn't always obvious. Here are six counter-intuitive ways to collaborate while promoting team creativity.

Occasionally work remotely as a team

In our increasingly connected world, working together no longer means sitting together in the same office building. With the right tools and communication structures in place, a team can be in sync even when its members are dispersed. In fact, MIT researchers have found that virtual teams actually outperform co-located teams when teams have the proper guidelines and rules in place.

Especially during early phases of a project when we go into the field to conduct research, teams at IDEO most often co-locate. On occasion, however, we jointly decide to work remotely in order to be able to focus on our respective work streams. When we do, we agree on methods of communication (ie, Slack, email, group messaging) and share whatever goals we have for the day. This way, each person can delve more deeply into the intricacies of his or her craft (ie, graphic design or visual design) without feeling pressured to coordinate timing with everyone else. It is freeing.

If it works for your team, choose a few days when everyone is free to work from wherever they like. Encourage people to set individual goals then share progress when you come back together the following day.

Bring introverts and extroverts together

Though there are endless nuances and spectrums of extroversion and introversion, extroverts tend to make themselves more heard than introverts at the get-go, and thus come across as having more to offer. This may cause an inclination for extroverts and introverts to separate and work in ways that best suit their personalities. Bringing them together, however, boosts team creativity. As she describes in her book Genius of Opposites, Dr. Jahn Kahnweiler explains that by working with our opposite, we stretch the opposites of our own personality, thus pushing our thinking in new ways.

Despite our highly collaborative culture at IDEO, at least half our population is an introvert. At the beginning of each project with new teammates, we take time to share our personality types and the ways in which we draw our energy. From there, we establish team commandments for working together -- if an introvert needs some time to recharge quietly each day, we respect that, and if an extrovert wants to think through a decision aloud, we make time for that too.

Encourage team members to share their needs and differences, then, as a team, agree on ways that you can try to accommodate one another.

Establish when it's team time--and when it's not

In order to think creatively, we need to entertain thoughts that seemingly diverge from the obvious. Scientific findings show that when our brains are tired, we're less effective in ignoring off-topic thoughts, thus making us more creative when we're fatigued. The trouble, of course, is that some people feel more fatigued in the morning (night owls) and others, at night (early birds). Your team is likely made up of both types of people.

One way my teams account for this is that we agree upon daily "team time" for some part of the day, say 10 AM to 4 PM. This is time that we dedicate to whatever we need to do together, as a team. The rest of the day and evening is open to people to navigate as they like -- working when they feel most productive or creative--to make up an average of eight or nine-hour days. This way, the team can collaborate in real-time while also enabling people to get in tune with their creative flow when their minds are best primed for it.

Rather than impose an arbitrary schedule, or worse, set the expectation that people should always be available, agree upon a chunk of time that can be dedicated to the team, then trust your team to schedule their own hours outside that.

Collaboration is an effective way to boost creativity. Team members motivate one another to think in new and diverse ways, thus pushing the team to arrive where no individual could have arrived alone. But collaboration doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time. Sometimes, the most effective collaboration is coming together to understand and meet individual needs.