On Thursday last week, I had the great opportunity to witness in real time and
in real life what coworking really is and really means……
Like many, my first impression of the Queen Street Commons, was of place. I thought to myself what a great place to efficiently set up to work; what a great place to host a meeting or a small event; what a great suite of services in one place for such modest cost.
I thought maybe it was more than just a place and checked
out this concept of coworking. I learned that the Queen Street Commons has the potential to be so much more, and is. I learned that the real value in coworking comes from the relationships which are established between members of the coworking organization. It is the building of trust and community which empowers members and allows them to leverage these relationships and to grow and strengthen their small businesses.
I watched some of this early on in my time here at the Commons. I watched business relationships build and partnerships develop and even watched as two members worked out the details of working on a large project together, that neither would have been able to manage on their own ……. But, it was not until Thursday that I really had a chance to see coworking in action ……..
You see, on Thursday last week, members of the Queen Street
Commons came together to work on a growth & sustainability plan for the
organisation. I had done some work in preparation for this meeting: I had developed a fairly extensive and exhaustive work plan; I had drilled it down to a lengthy “to do” list; and, I had in a very conventional and bureaucratic manner proposed a fairly rigid structure and deadlines to complete these actions. Did it look daunting? It sure did. Did it cause a stir amongst the gathered members? Oh yeah! But then the “thing” happened. The coworking kicked in. It is
important to remember here that everyone at the meeting had a shared desire to
see the Queen Street Commons grow and succeed, and all of them are bright creative and adaptable.
So when they were presented with the formal & rigid “to do “document, they all heaved one big communal sigh and set to work, and WoW! What came next was almost (I hate to say it) magical to witness. This group identified within themselves and amongst each other their own specific skills and talents and began assigning and taking responsibility for small tasks that
all will feed into larger outcomes. They took the seeds of that original
document and converted it into a living and dynamic shared project. This group
met for approximately 1.5 hours, and in that brief period, managed to inspire
themselves and me, and create a way forward that ensures everyone at the Queen
Street Commons is able to make the kind of valuable contribution to the
organisation necessary for its growth and sustainability.
If this group can do this for the Queen Street Commons, I
can only imagine what they can do as they begin to more formally share
knowledge, move into partnerships, and empower each other. Keep your eye on the members of the Queen Street Commons, I predict big things will come.
I am so glad to be here.