At work we’ve been doing a lot of talking about how to improve our collaborations with academia, industry, government, and other stakeholders. In my dream last night I was taking people through a tour of a new facility that I had launched at work. It was a state of the art collaborative center which was mostly “flex” space with an open environment, lots of whiteboards and rolling tables/chairs. The idea was to be able to bring in a customers, partners, or even high school math and science students and be able to work with them in a flex space instead of the cubicle farm we currently have.
Our current setup at work is not conducive to creativity or collaboration. I would be very hesitant to invite a customer or partner into my office to collaborate. I’d definitely bring them into one of our conference rooms to do work, but definitely not anywhere else. One of the previous companies I worked for was almost 100% flex space (10 points for Gryffindor if you can guess where the picture above was taken from). This had its pluses and minuses due to noise, “excessive collaboration”, and minimal space for privacy. However, the center in my dream had a specific purpose: it was a space just for collaboration and creativity.