The Art Of Progress: In This Together
Doing more together means our efforts become heightened.
For the most part, we are fighting our corners, creating our work, and doing what others are instructing. There is one side and there is your side.
Many are finding ways to be a step above, tell you what to do, and see things from someone else’s point of view. So, we do what we’ve done for generations to divide, rather than add.
Our instincts in business are to push what we create onto others. However, when you have a longer-term approach, when you build a space, you do more with the people around you.
Without people around you there are just actions, that only you see.
We do best when we do it together.
This article focuses on the importance of embracing collaboration, examples from my side (that could spark an idea for you) and the power of doing more together.
Ask For Less And Unite
There is meaning in doing more together.
If you have a belief system that others can get behind (read here on being linked to an idea), there becomes a collective spirit. If people can see you care, you keep on doing the hard work to make a difference and continually form the space.
We are dependent on each other. We can’t spend our lives on our own, hoping strangers will commit. To do great things, we have to become involved together with a sense of spirit and not just settlement of an invoice.
Everything we do depends on connection and that is currently being severed. AI companionship is now a very real thing. At the recent CES 2024 in Las Vegas, AI companionship was noted as the most popular trend at the event. Technology isn’t a tool anymore, it’s becoming a friend.
On the opposite side when you find ways to connect and do more as a group, everyone can be tuned into the experience. The toughest part is starting and being the torch bearer. We’re all busy people and for the most part, we concentrate on what’s immediate in our own worlds.
Let me share with you the benefit when we do more together, from first-hand evidence.
Example 1: Sea Swimming
This started one Friday in July 2021 and we just kept going. People today come together for a shared experience despite the challenges of the cold sea at 8am.
It became an open invite and it’s become a highlight of every week. I know it sounds odd, but it feels even more precious in winter, as people do look out for each other that little bit more.
Getting up for sunrise and heading to the beach on a freezing morning is the ultimate proof of doing more together. It works where someone puts the call out on a Thursday (in a WhatsApp Group) and whoever is in, we all wait for each other at the beach hut. No one goes in their own, everyone heads in as a team. We make a promise to each other that we’ll make that commitment.
Whilst many are still in bed, some choose to venture outside with others.
I asked the group, particularly at this time of year (a cold winter) why they choose to do this, when the sea is a single-digit temperature. You can read the input and swimming story here, but here are some comments that stood out that relate to group activity.
Lucy Whittington – getting in with everyone else makes it a ‘thing’ – an occasion, a shared experience and it’s nice to be part of a (admittedly slightly smug!) club.
Christophe Stourton – The cold is challenging, no matter how practiced you are. Being with other people when you take on a common challenge is a fantastic encouragement.
Stewart Perrett – Being part of a group is something I value very much, running my business from home can be quite insular. I need a challenge to get me out of my comfort zone but also to be part of something bigger.
Matt King – I get to be with people – my job is (was) an office job, I only ever saw the same 10 people every day and then my family. Turning up with others is where friendship grows.
Tim Sills – When the alarm goes off nearly every part of me wants to ignore it but knowing that dragging myself up and to the beach to join an incredible gives a sense of belonging, achievement and sheer elation that can’t be replicated.
Westrow Cooper – I can never quite believe I can be so cold yet feel so alive.
Ben Aldis – I know what’s good for me even when it’s way out of my comfort zone, but I could only attain that by being part of a community of welcoming, friendly & supportive people.
Example 2: Activities That Don’t Finish When A Session Is Delivered
I discovered at the end of 2023, the importance of continuing and for people to ‘show their hand.’ By this I mean time for people to put ideas into practice and to show their work to the rest of the group.
Trevor Young was with us in December and we ran a group session focused on planning 2024 and clarity on message and audience. To close, the final piece of work was to make a promise for what we would do by February 1st.
Rather than ending the session and over to each person to work in their own time, everyone is coming back together in February to share how they got on. Whether they achieved what they promised, or didn’t quite hit reach their original aspirations, that’s not the point. It’s to know that each person feels part of a supported, space with others around them, who are now more familiar.
January also saw Canva training (in YATM Club) with the talented Tamara Howard. Rather than the session ending and the group taking on board new ideas from Tamara, the session closed with a task. The challenge is to create a months worth of visual content and to share with the group at the end of January and to get feedback and encouragement to publish.
Example 3: Creator Day Working Together Session
Creator Day is on 25th April and rather than it being a day of passive learning and momentary breaks to meet other people, the focus is on people working together during the afternoon.
The goal is to publish something you haven’t done before. It could be a blog article, it could be a LinkedIn post, it could be a story behind a photo, it could be an intro video for your new series. It’s something you have perhaps thought about, and wanted to share, but haven’t progressed or made happen, yet! When you do this as part of a team, it becomes motivating and supportive.
To bring your work to life, it’s a case of joining in and we all take a seat at the table.
These examples are ways of sharing how the how dynamic is elevated when we recognise ways to do more together.
Perhaps this is something you would like to introduce in 2024. Whether it is working as a small cohort, or it is a local meet-up, the toughest part is always to start. When you begin, it can become difficult to drop as it starts to become your whole approach to the power of bringing people together. It becomes an approach that you want to dedicate more to as you start to see the return.
Let me share what that becomes
What Is The Return?
When people feel compelled to participate, not just fleeting involvement, it feels better because you are united.
When you find the people who want to join in, everyone is tuned into the experience and understands that change can be made but feels better when it’s a collective effort.
From the activity I have been involved with, this is where I see the benefit and return.
You get to share ideas.
This is all about involvement. Participating in collective efforts allows for the exchange of sparks and thoughts.
When people are involved, there’s a sense of accountability to contribute and share thoughts. It starts to become a shared responsibility.
This dynamic creates an environment where ideas are not confined to one perspective but are woven into a rich tapestry of collective wisdom.
People have skills that can benefit all.
Collaborative endeavours bring together a diverse pool of skills and expertise.
In a group setting, individuals possess unique talents that can be harnessed for the benefit of all. It’s a celebration of shared knowledge where each person becomes a valuable resource to others.
This collective intelligence enhances problem-solving, propels projects forward, and ensures that everyone contributes according to their strengths. The power lies in recognising and leveraging the varied skills within the group to elevate the entire team.
You become motivated by others.
Working together cultivates a motivational atmosphere. I have seen it from the sea swimming to the team sessions.
Witnessing the dedication and achievements of others within the group serves as inspiration. The collective progress becomes a catalyst for individual motivation. It creates a positive feedback loop where each person’s success fuels the drive of others.
This shared motivation is a powerful force, propelling everyone with renewed enthusiasm and a sense of shared accomplishment.
Mutual respect and drive.
Collaboration fosters mutual respect amongst each other.
When people work together towards a common goal, there’s a recognition of each other’s contributions and efforts. This mutual respect forms the foundation of a cohesive and driven team.
The collective drive arises from a shared understanding that every member is essential to the group’s success.
You get to know others better.
Doing more together extends beyond tasks; they build relationships.
The longer we work together, trust naturally develops. The process involves testing new ideas within the safety of the group, fostering an environment where creativity flourishes without fear of judgment.
Encouraging involvement becomes second nature, as a sense of trust and camaraderie grows. Knowing others on a deeper level facilitates effective communication, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard, and each member feels an integral part of the collaborative journey.
Ideas start to spread.
In a collaborative setting, ideas become contagious. When people let go of rigid control and embrace collective involvement, fresh perspectives emerge. It’s the ripple effect of collective creativity, where the shared enthusiasm generates a momentum that propels ideas far beyond what one person could achieve alone.
When you do more with other people, it lifts everything.
It doesn’t have to be heading into the winter sea, but from what I have shared highlights the profound impact of a collective effort.
Progress can be ideas, inspiration, problem sharing, fun and knowing others are with you. It’s where achievements are magnified and nothing ever feels in isolation.
When people feel compelled to participate, a sense of unity emerges, and the collective effort becomes a driving force for positive change. The return is not just in ideas but in the profound sense of belonging and achievement that accompanies collaborative efforts.
Do more together.