What does collaboration mean to you? Working together is the lifeblood of our brand and everything we do, but what does that really mean? Saara, Tim and Greg explain what collaboration means to them, and why it is so important.
Episode 3: Greg's view
When I was first posed this question, I’ll admit I was pretty stumped on how I could quantify what collaboration meant to me. It’s not just some corporate buzz word, it’s something we all do every single day in one way, shape or form – a roll call of activities sprung to mind that in my head sounded a little like the opening sequence from Trainspotting. Choose sports, choose a band, choose video games, choose cooking, dancing, and (I’m going to say it) sex. But, whilst these are examples of collaboration in action in normal life, they don’t suggest any kind of deeper definition or meaning.
The Oxford English Dictionary says collaboration is “The action of working with someone to produce something.” A bit lacklustre, I’m sure you’ll agree. Wikipedia (the gospel for everything) goes slightly further to say: "A collaboration is a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to achieve shared or overlapping objectives." But when you’re sat here listening to Hong Kong Ping Pong (Mixtape 7, for those in the know and are interested), dictionary definitions are far too cold and clinical, and just don’t cut the mustard.
I worry I’m going to lose some of you with what I’m about to say, but stick with me. Of all the places to have an epiphany, my definition of what collaboration means to me came in the midst of the mosh pit for Royal Blood at Glastonbury Festival. Now, I’ve searched high and low on Google to find a photo that summed this particular pit up, and I think this tweet from @joemasterson91 comes pretty close.
The pit opened up and in steps this leather clad gladiator, waving a battle staff, goading his fellow warriors. The beat drops and the charge erupts. We’re all in this together – people fall, we pick them up; someone drops a phone, we hold it up high until it’s reclaimed; a legend loses his leg, we…wait…what!? Mid bustle, the gladiator’s prosthetic leg had divorced itself from his body and he had had to retire to the side-lines pretty quickly. For those of you who have never been in a pit at a rock gig, I promise you it is not the violent epicentre of anger you might think it to be. Plans began to hatch immediately about how we can get this hero back in the game – how can we keep his good times going? As it turns out, he got his leg back on quite quick, but not without first being offered shoulders and arms to lean into so that he could stay in the pit. Over the course of this short set, you’ve become comrades, brothers in arms, and no one gets left behind.
A mosh pit is a metaphor for, in my opinion, the best kind of collaboration. It’s open to everyone, and will expand to accommodate anyone who wants to join in. It’s a safe and respectful environment, and your wellbeing is being looked after by each and every other person in there. It has passion, it’s heart driven, not tactical, because the music that is behind it means a lot to everyone, and for different reasons. And finally, it’s organic, no single person is directing it, no one knows what’s really going to happen. It’s all about the good times, for all not just for yourself.