The following is a guest post from Dennis Tardan, an outspoken and passionate member of the Conjunctured community. We’ve had conversations at length about the ideas inherent within our Corporate Coworking initiative and the dialogue has resonated so much with him that we invited him to share his thoughts here on the blog. Thank you Dennis!
I am a communication coach. As I navigate the corporate work environments around the world, I find there to be a distinct drop of energy whenever I walk onto the offices, onto the floors, into the cube farms of my varied clients. These clients range from the largest corporations on the planet to small and medium-size firms who have created a physical footprint where what they define as “work” is accomplished.
I know this is not the intention. But it is the reality. I don’t know how long it takes for the spirit and the energy of the original venture to begin attenuating but I’ve seen it happen over and over. It drains until there is a general malaise that is to some degree or another soul-sucking.
You hear people talking about “having” to go to work or “working for the weekend” or “so very glad the day is over” and other endless permutations and combinations of TGI whatever. Some of that is just the wail of the human carp, a hybrid life-form that it is so easy for us to morph into in challenging times.
However, I’ve come to believe some problem is structural and environmental. The office/open office/cube farm formats that organizations enshrine as work places in an attempt to have some control over the time and energy of their workers, I believe is not conducive to the creativity and collaboration necessary for companies to thrive in the 21st century.
We need better solutions. Corporate Coworking is one of those ideas that I believe can be applied to many office environments to release pent up creative energy and help workers and management at all levels innovate through increased collaboration and communication.
Historians of the 20th century who study the industrial progress and innovation of the post-World War II boom in the United States understand how much innovation came out of having “water-cooler conversations”. Over and over, people of different disciplines and levels in the corporate hierarchies would meet at the actual water cooler. They would chat and informally discuss a problem or challenge they might be having. Just sharing the situation and getting an outside perspective, time and time again, would lead the sharer to thinking of a solution or a to going in new direction. Eureka! They would return to their offices, or drafting boards, or manufacturing floor with an idea that was a game changer.
The “water cooler effect” has been studied and documented. Now, by integrating the concept of Corporate Coworking into already established work environs, desperately needed creativity, collaboration and innovation can experienced! Want to know more? So glad you asked. Drew Jones, David Walker and Thomas Heatherly are taking their Conjunctured Coworking concept to the corporate world. The world will never be the same!
If you’re interested in doing a guest blog post on the Conjunctured blog, let us know!