Power of Collaboration: An Illustrated Guide

Working alone is cool—no one can tell you how dumb your ideas actually are unless you’ve got a massive internal conflict—but what’s cooler than working alone is collaborating with other people.

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I recently got elected onto the board of the Central PA chapter of AIGA (shouts out to the board members) and learned this very quickly. Everything we do in the organization is a constantly sharing and learning process.

This echoed the environment at Maga. Another thing I noticed is that most of the best ideas started with a simple joke. Here’s a few ways to be on the road to better collaboration.

Seriously Not Serious

Seriously Not Serious

In AIGA, we started an event called Pens & Pints last month and it was wildly successful. A dude from Neenah Paper showed up completely unprompted and watched me spill beer on my shirt.

This whole idea came from me and another board member joking about having our laptops in a bar in another meeting. I joked, “What if we just went to a bar and started drawing?”

And there it was.

Working Smarter, but Still Harder

Work Smarter But Still Harder

Collaboration promotes a knowledge-sharing environment—you aren’t so closed in a lonesome glass house. Ideas can easily bounced off of each other at a moments notice, making it more of an open patio.

This does require working with the right kind of people, but when it’s good, it sure is great.

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Some people get offended when feedback is given to them, but most of the time it’s meant in good heart. Changes and fixes aren’t meant to be insulting—it’s like getting a tune up on your car.

Design in general is iterative—your work is only sort of done, until the next problem arises. It’s with this feedback that you can accurately iterate and create something that’s outside of your own thought.

Divide and Conquer

Divide and Conquer

With a team, you can also get so much more done quicker. No more paralyzing college flashbacks of staying up all night to finish a paper.

Upon dividing and conquering, it’s now a relationship—each partner giving and taking to reach a greater, quicker goal.

A Better Tomorrow

A Better Tomorrow

The best work I’ve done has often come out of collaboration. Whether in Maga, AIGA, or anything else, it’s always nice to have another set of eyes to help you out and provide feedback.

It’s not always good feedback, but nine out of ten times it’ll lead you to where you want to go. You might want to be a lone wolf, but most people forget that wolves come in packs.

Scott explains: What is it about maps and their superpowers?

Last week Maga’s CEO, Scott Williams authored a piece featured in Innovation Excellence’s blog, explaining the extent to which maps have and always will hold a certain type of superpower — the ability to overcome complexity.

Continue reading Scott explains: What is it about maps and their superpowers?

Maga’s Twenty Thirteen State of the Union

This Friday, February 8th is an exciting milestone for Maga. Not only is the company’s leadership delivering our annual State of the Union — a yearly reflection of goals and strategic plans — but we’re fortunate to have the majority of Magateers from San Francisco, Charleston, Mechanicsburg and Annapolis in attendance!

Continue reading Maga’s Twenty Thirteen State of the Union

Maga + Design Thinking DC

Our DC studio recently became big fans of the experience innovation and business collaboration meet up group, Design Thinking DC. This past Wednesday, Chris, Olivia and I attended their event in the creative web design agency, ncluds‘ awesome space downtown.

Continue reading Maga + Design Thinking DC