For those of you who are entrepreneurs, or business owners, or lone artists or designers, or really anyone who either works on their own or is alone by being at the top of your organization, this article is essential.
No matter how outgoing you perceive yourself to be, we all know that human beings are intensely social creatures. And creativity is no exception: in general, our creativity improves in the company of others. This doesn’t mean that we need to be with people all the time, nor interacting when we are with them. It’s just that when the ideas that live in the confines of our own heads are shared with others we have the opportunity to receive valuable feedback and connections to as yet unknown resources.
Again, this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of social environments, such as those that are back-stabbing, overly controlled or poorly managed, or sharky that leave us feeling contracted and on guard. Such environments are not ideal for creativity. But for those of you accustomed to either calling the shots or working on your own, teaming up with some trusted companions can help take your creativity to the next level.
The essence of creative coworking is this:
- Clearly acknowledge the container in which you are working and the time for which you will work (for example we will be working here at Steve’s house for the next three hours)
- Do a quick meditation or body enlivening exercise to get everyone present.
- Have each member check in for a set amount of time with or without feedback from the others.
- Set intentions for the allotted time.
- Work alone but with others around or collaborate on creative opportunities and challenges.
- Come back together at the end, share what you’ve learned and set goals and intentions for the time you are away from the group.
- Formally close the container
Like the heat of a finite amount of time and a pot that holds all the ingredients in one place, creative co-working establishes a container that allows creative streams to mix, mingle, and bubble up. By setting intentions for both yourself and for the group, you give direction to what you are doing and allow others to know what you are up to. The other people around you, in turn, now have a sense of what they might need and what you might need, and you can begin to team up and solve creative challenges together.
Creative co-working is a great way to forward your own projects and to get to know others in the intimate space of true collaboration. I have benefited greatly from the experience.
And for those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, SF Springboard is an organization who can help you with create coworking and collaboration. You can find them at www.sfspringboard.com