Meetings are needed in any team setting but I think the smart people of Google have found a better to absorb information. Larry Page and other Google executives still have meetings, but they are starting to change how they learn and catch up on each other’s projects. The Google E-team may not be working on the same project, but they are working together in the same room once a week. Larry Page and team believe that by being in close proximity once a week they learn about new projects and discover new ways to collaborate across departments simply by overhearing conversations and flipping monitors around to share ideas.
The meetings may start with a casual cup of coffee where people will start to discuss their latest projects and feature sets and that setting may keep going for a few hours. There never is a formal person asking everyone to sit down and work. Nope, instead the conversations keep going as people huddle around tables or start scribbling on the whiteboard.
Does this sound familiar?
Coworking is making its way up to the corporate ladder and will help corporate executives be more creative and efficient. By eliminating the structure of weekly meetings with powerpoints and a bullet point filled agendas, teams let ideas and conversation freely flow from topic to topic like excited college students dreaming of their first spring break together. As teams get use to the rhythm of coworking they get comfortable moving around and speaking up without worrying about titles or the need to raise a hand.
A coworking setting like this doesn’t just happen at Google though. Steelcase in Grand Rapids, MI recently announced they cut their office size in half by creating collaboration, quiet, and ‘owned’ sections of their headquaters for the finance, quality, and procurement departments with overwhelming positive responses to the new coworking portions of the office.
The serendipity effect of coworking is in full effect as people share environments versus traditional static cube farms of offices spaces during the desktop area. Google and other large companies continue to discover the collaborative benefits of openness and mobility; will your company?