Three Steps To Change The World

I had been mulling several seemingly unrelated events over the last week, when, suddenly, everything seemed connected. I thought it would make a nice post here. So as I started mapping my thoughts, I realized that I had stumbled onto an idea much larger than anticipated.

  • At the beginning of this month, a shared office space in Wichita announced they would be closing in thirty days
  • About that same time, planning for Startup Weekend Wichita launched into full swing, and the people couldn’t stop expressing their enthusiasm
  • Soon after, we had a large influx of new members (strangely, not from the aforementioned shared office)

All three of those things made me question the value that the Labor Party provides. What is the benefit of coworking? What is gained from shared office space? There are some benefits that sit right at the surface.

  1. Cost savings & reduction in overhead – this holds true for almost all shared spaces, mini-malls up to skyscrapers
  2. Ease of entry – the “shared office” concept allows a business to step into a workspace closer to finished than a traditional building lease
  3. One payment – when overheads are shared, book keeping loads are reduced, as it is another shared responsibility

So what sets coworking apart?

Introducing new people to the Labor Party during Startup Weekend Wichita planning, the space naturally received a greater dose of attention than it had received in a long time. And every person (I exaggerate not) was in shock that “something like this existed in Wichita.” Why? The difference lies in the difference between “shared office” and “coworking.” Those differences are subtle, however they are the most difficult to get right.

  • Culture – described as “vibe” or “feeling”
  • Community – this comes from the people and the relationships between them
  • Cultivation – this is caused by the happenings, the events, the opportunities

In drawing this out, I recognized that these feed up. The Cultivation in the Labor Party is caused by my actions as the founder. I am the one person who creates the happenings at this workspace. The Community is set into motion by whatever I am doing. It is the exponential change caused by other members taking initiative based on my actions. The Culture is set as the community and its members are perceived internally and externally, when the members begin cultivating.

That’s when I realized, this is the method through which everything changes. By changing a building in Old Town, I affect the Creative & Startup community. Then each of those communities affect the city. And so on.

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