It was a bit like that point in a Hollywood movie when a caption appears on screen that says ‘6 months later’. Stood in front of a fully refurbished building there was only the sound of the birds singing, there were no people, there were no cars, there were no planes flying overhead.
Only a few months earlier I had stood in exactly the same spot, excitedly watching exactly the same building come to life, as people continued to arrive at our new co-working offices, Use.Space, for the day. Then suddenly everything changed, in what felt like the blink of an eye. The hustle and bustle were replaced with empty skies, empty roads, and empty desks, like some sort of zombie apocalypse.
So what to do next? What did the script say? Panic? No.
If starting in business as an independent fashion photographer, founding creative agency Photolink, building Seventy7, one of the UK’s most successful content agencies with headquarters in Manchester, London and Mumbai, and coming through three recessions, has taught me anything (and it has taught me a lot I promise you!!), it was not to panic.
I did know I needed something special though, and if it was actually a movie we were making, I would have got the writers together and started to brainstorm the next scene right there and then. But this isn’t a movie, it’s business, and we are the authors of our own stories, of our own futures, and to create a successful narrative we need new ideas and fresh impetus.
To write the next chapter of Use.Space I realised that our authors would need to be people that I could bring together to look at things differently. They would need to be people with different skills, from different backgrounds, from different disciplines, people who are ready to contribute, to explore, to innovate, to disrupt.
This approach is inspired by the man I’ve always regarded as my guru, the originator of the term ‘Lateral Thinking’ and a man who has dedicated his life to helping people improve their thinking abilities and creativity skills, Edward de Bono.
Teaching thinking as a skill, Edward de Bono shows us how, by putting together disparate elements to work in harmony, we can look at things in a different way. His famous ‘Six Thinking Hats’ model is a problem solving and brainstorming technique that is used by major businesses all around the world to explore problems and solutions, and to uncover ideas and options that can typically be missed.
‘Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way’Edward de Bono
As I move forward now with Use.Space, I am already bringing together those disparate elements – thinkers, doers, researchers, creatives, investors, academics and presenters, the very best people to help our business and our members go forward, and between us we will be wearing every one of those ‘Six Thinking Hats’.
We’ll wear the blue for our plan of action, the white for our sources of information, the red for our gut feelings. We will wear the black hat of risk assessment, the green of creativity and finding solutions, and the yellow of benefits and positivity. We will ask questions, we will look at things differently, and we will challenge the norm.
Working with strategists, investors and business coaches, Use.Invest will support start-ups and SME’s with everything they need to take their business to market.
It’s time for the next chapter of Use.Space, and we’d love you to be part of the story.
If you would like to know more, or would like to pop in for a chat, contact us via the website or call us on 0161 546 0544.