In preparation for today’s discussion on collaborative generosity in the workplace I asked my colleagues what it meant to them. What surprised me was the array of answers I received. To me, generosity was synonymous with collaboration. It meant to share ideas, ask questions and help each other. But once I opened the door to this conversation, I realized that this concept is not straightforward. To many, collaboration is inherent to the profession of architecture. One person described it as interdependence. Another described it as an obligation to the profession and another colleague said it’s a responsibility. They were distinguishing between generosity and knowledge sharing.
The very nature of design is collective. It is a process of collaboration and communication that enables innovation. Something we strive to achieve every day. To succeed we must leverage every person on our team, we must reach outside of our pod and ask for help. That collaboration is the heart of our practice.
So what is generosity? Generosity here at Payette is everywhere. It’s the way people answer questions. It’s the endless opportunities that are available. Generosity is not in the fact that we share ideas, we have to share ideas, but it’s attitude that establishes generosity. It’s grounded in respect and trust. We ask questions that make us vulnerable and we take time to teach one another, not because we have to, but because we have established a culture of generosity.
UNITE @ Payette with Design Museum Boston
May 1, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Payette, 290 Congress Street, Boston
Can’t attend? Follow the discussion online: @payettepeople, @Steelcase, @ideo, @designmuseumbos.