Today I visited G’s work space at hiveonline. The company has recently moved to a new co-working space with Rainmaking. It’s an awesome building and there were a good number of people in attendance. What’s more, the presentations were informative and interesting.
The space is a home for both corporates and start-ups which is a new development; corporates and start-ups traditionally being physically and perhaps, ideologically independent, even diametrically opposed to each other.
Now, the idea of working in silos is outdated and it’s recognised that both corporates and start-ups have something valuable to offer each other. Start-ups can benefit from the established nature of corporates and potentially tap into their resources and well, corporates can benefit from start-ups’ innovation and speed. My inclination is that corporates have realised that they might well be left behind if they don’t actively do something. So, they are coming to the table before it runs away!
COLLABORATIONS between CORPORATES and start-ups
The morning presentations focussed on collaborations between corporates and start-ups. Representatives from Rainmaking and IKEA shared the experience of their collaborative “IKEA Bootcamp” where 10 start-ups were invited to the IKEA headquarters to attend a three-month long programme to accelerate their ideas and growth. It sounded a fascinating experience from both perspectives.
We also heard from Microsoft and how they are transforming as a company. I don’t know all that much about the world of start-ups and I don’t know all that much about technology companies, but I have the impression that although Microsoft may be making strides to transform, they have some work to do. Their new Copenhagen work space sounds positive and it certainly looks more like a start-up co-working space.
And, it’s nice that they invite people in, but I didn’t understand how they are working with start-ups and if there is any collaboration going on. Rather, I understood that they want to work more like a start-up themselves as they recognise the benefits. For me, it’s still a silo mentality rather than a sharing or an altruistic way of thinking.
Which is not to say that all start-ups are altruistic, but I’m a bit of a dreamer and an idealist and I suppose I want to see and do see that many start-ups aim to solve a real-world problem or change the status quo or make a difference in some way and not just focus on the bottom line. That’s also not to say that corporates are just about huge profits and exponential growth.
I think that if companies big and small, are to be sustainable in the future, there is going to need to be some sort of balance. Young people are demanding it. (As well as anyone with a social conscience.)
Oh my word! The day made me feel old! I haven’t been into a work space for a couple of years (I’ve been in the French countryside for the past five years) and in the meantime, working people have been getting younger. Yes, there’s no need to point out that I have been getting older.
I’ve read loads about “millennials” and I’ve come to the conclusion that I rather like these millennials. I like that they demand more from their work, that they demand more from their employers and that they ask questions and don’t accept an answer that doesn’t make sense just because someone in authority “said so.” “Because I said so” doesn’t even cut it for my nine-year-old or my seven-year-old for that matter!
Listening to the Microsoft presentation and how management is jokingly described as “permafrost” made me realise just how difficult it must be managing the generational differences. The expectations of each group are so different. Now, as we have established, I like these millennials. What’s more, I have worked in communications. But, I still can’t get my head around the need to communicate every moment. My jaw nearly dropped when in response to “how did you find the presentation?” I had: “I was on my phone.” Is it more important to tweet about the experience than to experience the experience? I don’t get it but I do get it!
All that leaves me wondering about my place in all of this. In fact, ever since we arrived in Copenhagen, I’ve been trying to work it out. My children are growing up. Communications have moved on. Yes, I still have the core skills and I could easily update certain skills, but are there employers who will take on someone with a patchy CV.
I feel a little “millennial” myself now in that I have my own expectations. When I was younger, I accepted every detail without quibble. Now, I want to be available for my children when they need me and I’m attached to a decent amount of holiday time with them. (A winter holiday, a summer holiday and a Christmas holiday would work for me!) Does that leave me unemployable? Should I try to freelance more? Should I create something online myself? Should I teach Pilates as I have the training? For now, I’m looking into everything and am very happy it’s 2018! And Copenhagen!