GridAKL is an active prototype, allowing us all to work together to create great stuff through experimentation, blue sky thinking and a whole lot of exclamations of 'Lets do it!'. This is the first article in a series where the GridAKL team share lessons, insights and view points gained from our days here at GridAKL. First up is our Community Co-ordinator Casey on a subject close to her heart - collaboration!
People often say that a problem shared is a problem halved. It’s true. What is also true is that two completely different creative minds utilised together can overcome twice as much as one. Strength in numbers. Stronger in packs. On and on and on. Collaboration achieves better results. This knowledge is not new to the human psych. We are social creatures and have worked together to achieve wonders since the beginning of time. What is changing is the WAY that we work together. More and more we are understanding that competition is not always conducive to success, and in fact community and culture are becoming increasingly important in the way we think about our work environments.
Self-employment, startups, and the independence that comes with that is more attractive than ever to many of us. The thought of 9-5 employment 5 days a week at the same desk with the same people having the same bored and uninspired conversations about the weather and the weekend (the ever constant light on the horizon) is seen less now as a sense of stability to aim towards and more as the worst-case scenario. Despite this, the rise of self-employment and entrepreneurship has had its own challenges. It can be lonely and frustrating.
Working from home sucks. Maybe not for all of us, but definitely for most. The fridge is literally RIGHT there, all day. The clock ticks abnormally loud - and also very very slowly. You get to about 3pm and find yourself having a conversation with yourself about yourself while you make your tenth cup of tea purely because you were starting to forget what a voice sounds like. Or maybe you aren't alone. Lucky you. Maybe you have a team. A start up with huge potential and yet rather empty pockets. You can’t invite your new team to work from your bedroom like you used to when it was just you - that would be weird. You also can’t afford the Trump Towers just yet. Whats a forward thinking individual to do?
Collaborate. Co-working and flexible working space is catching on because its smart. Its functional and it’s stimulating. What is more inspiring and motivating than being surrounded by supportive, inspired and motivated people? Not much.
We like to be independent - but we love to be around people and thrive in social settings. Combining those two factors in a complementary way is the key to successful collaborative working environments and is also probably the most interesting and challenging aspect of co-working. Start Ups are by their very nature fluid and constantly changing entities so it makes sense that they thrive in flexible, accommodating environments. How to create a space that actively encourages and facilitates connection and collaboration between its residents, while effectively neutralising all the irritations and distractions that come part and parcel with this kind of community setting?
Even when talking about how to create the best environment for collaboration.
Talk to everyone involved, especially the people who will use the space. Converse. Argue. Debate. Compromise. Trial. Reevaluate. Let ideas and suggestions bounce off each other and the walls until they hit something that works - and then make it better.
Casey is the community co-ordinator at GridAKL where she spends her time helping the GridAKL residents achieve awesomeness! A creative, practical, do-er Casey is adept at meeting the needs of anything our community of varied humans throws at her.