After traveling 30+ hours, via five airports, four planes, two taxis, and a shuttle bus – I arrived in Penang, Malaysia. This was my second coworking conference (the first being Coworking Europe) and I was pumped to experience CUAsia for the first time. From the Coworking Academy, to the unconference sessions, to the late night street food bonding, there was one theme pervasive throughout the entire event – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Coworking is a BOOMING industry. We all know this. It’s a direct response to the workforce shift happening all over the world. We want to break free from conventional work environments and relationships so we can pursue professional freedom and creativity.
Coworking spaces are competing with other spaces to bring in more coworkers. Coworking software companies are competing to secure the highest number of clients, no matter their size or location.
Here’s the thing – each of our experiences is unique and incredibly valuable. Ashley Procter from Coworking Toronto said it best, “Don’t underestimate the impact of our collective approach. Talk with others about what you have in common and how you can help. Don’t show off. Ask a lot of questions. Be open, vulnerable, and honest. And remember – ‘Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.’”
I think we’re in the right place and time to leverage our collective knowledge, expertise, and energy to successfully make this industry thrive. The pie is big enough (and growing) for all of us. Time to lean in and prove the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
Also, bonus! Here are some quotes from the conference I’m still chewing on:
- “‘Sales’ is not a dirty word. If you run a business, it’s essential to practice your sales skills. It’s one thing to tell people what you’re doing, it’s another to process what they’re thinking and find new ways to hold their attention.” -Claire Carpenter, Coworking Accelerator
- “”Your space should make people feel good and safe. Every element should reflect the local community and the composition of its members. This builds trust.” -Anita Fuzi, Cowork7x24
- “When you own your own space, it’s easy to take on everything, but if you’re the only one taking ownership, you’ll feel lonely. Learn how to share responsibility and trust your team.” -Lavinia Iosub, Livit
- “The technology you use is meant to enhance, not replace. Always ask yourself, ‘Is this technology making it harder or easier for people?’” -Ryan Chatterton, Habu
Photo by CU Asia.