Collaboration – what is it and is it happening?

Much is said about collaboration. It’s seems a very fashionable term at the moment, it is a bit of a buzz word.

What actually is collaboration and is it really happening, and more particularly, is it common in coworking spaces?

According to Wikipedia, collaboration is – ‘Working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals’.

Hub friends at Docklands Library - Jess + Jane Deany (aka me) + Siana Braganza discussing collaboration

Hub friends at Docklands Library – Jess + Jane Deany (aka me) + Siana Braganza discussing collaboration

In my opinion collaboration is occurring, but I think there is still some way to go before people feel entirely comfortable with collaborating.

One piece of anecdotal evidence suggests that coworkers are quite often very caught up in their own project(s) and have yet to fully realise the benefits of collaboration. Collaboration is definitely happening, but, given the potential for significant gain, there is still a long way to go.

In the highly regarded book ‘Working in the “UnOffice”: A Guide to Coworking for Indie Workers, Small Businesses, and Nonprofits‘ by Genevieve V DeGuzman and Andrew I Tang, 2011 (published by Night Owls Press), p23-25 the authors talk about collaboration –

As being ‘One of the selling points of coworking– and something that will be hard to find anywhere else- is the wealth of knowledge that you can get working among a diverse group of people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences. Whether it’s making sense of your website’s HTML, hammering out a killer proposal, or even just making a barista-worthy pot of coffee in the kitchen, you’re bound to encounter someone who can help.’

When you cowork you are part of a community, and there are no shortages of opportunities to find someone within the community who has the expertise you might need or will know of someone else who does.

As I finish my 20th month today since I joined my coworking community at the Hub Melbourne, I have built an amazing network of fascinating people doing exciting things. I have gained clients via this network and met others whom I plan to collaborate with … more about this when there’s more to say.

As I have come to know my community members, I have enjoyed introducing different people whom I thought could benefit by meeting due to their common fields and interests.

I am fascinated by the idea of successful collaboration, and how coworking can facilitate it. I would love to hear your collaboration success story and I am sure other readers would too.

Please feel free to add your comments below. I would love to hear how you collaborated with someone you met via a coworking space.

Cheers, Jane Deany

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