Steve Jobs intentionally designed Pixar’s offices so that employees would almost certainly run into each other when going to run office errands. His belief, which I ascribe to, was that by encouraging collaboration, impromptu or otherwise, the creative dynamic of the organization would be enhanced exponentially.
My current team is spread over 5 locations, and some of them consistently work from a home office, making those Jobsian chance encounters impossible. What we’ve done to help encourage collaboration is to set up a team Ning site. For those of you not familiar with Ning, it’s a web-based service that allows you to establish a password protected social network somewhat like Facebook, where members have their own page and can communicate via blogs, message boards, etc.
George Krubski, the lead for our editorial teams and current owner of the site, calls it a “virtual watercooler.” We’re looking at ways to encourage its use among the team to encourage online collaboration. I‘ll keep you posted on our progress.
The In-House Designer’s Resource Pack will help you–and your team–continue to succeed. In this pack, you’ll find inspiration and creativity exercises, two webcast sessions, a case study, 2013 In-House Design Award winners and more to keep you energized.