5-Towers, Madrid commissioned us to help them explore how to create a lasting collaborative culture that built an entrepreneurial mindset.
The project was conceived by students at IE University and LEINN Teamlabs in Madrid who wanted to harness their potential to achieve more than just a degree. Lead co-founder Ryan Brady, an advocate for international study, wanted to bring together the top-performing members of his course and those with a similar entrepreneurial ethos together to capitalise on their collective energy.
Creating Space & Support:
The 5-Towers team wanted to build on their culture as they defined it:
“[to create] An environment to take your big ideas from just ideas to massive action in a setting of collaborative entrepreneurship. Accelerated growth and an opportunity to network within the global entrepreneurial environment. Live and remote conferences with leading business experts. Learn how to model their success through listening, sharing, and networking.”
We helped them build on this and develop the tools they needed to make sure that the right people walked through their doors.
Through a mixture of coaching, creativity and design thinking we helped the 5-Towers team develop their culture and get ready for funding.
In March 2021 they’d had an opportunity to meet with funders to expand the 5-Towers pilot from one apartment serving 4 students to an apartment block capable of serving up to 100 students by September 2021. Unfortunately, this funding bid wasn't successful, but the team remain buoyant and hopeful to secure funding going forward to turn their ideas into a reality.
OUR KEY LEARNING:
Define your culture.
Until you know what your core values are it’s difficult to figure out the direction you’re heading in. Creating a shared vision of what you collectively stand for helps breed community and give you a collective direction. When creating any form of deliberately developmental community it’s crucial to understand what you want to achieve together.
Understand your audience.
Much like defining your culture, knowing your audience when creating community is vital. If you are unaware of the landscape within your ecosystem then how can you make sure you’re not treading on someone else's toes? Being able to identify your stakeholders, potential partners and allies is a key factor when moving into any form of developmental work; it’s especially important if you want to build a lasting community relationship.
Make your recruitment robust.
Having a robust recruitment process that uses a variety of tools to help make sure you get the right people should be a top priority when building a cohesive community. The challenge is making sure that you don’t build an echo chamber. Tools such as Belbin Team Profiles help to understand where the strengths and learning edges of potential candidates lie.
Explore the social side.
Building communities, especially when you share confined space regularly, must include space and time to blow off steam. While there is a trend towards 24/7 working and learning it’s essential to factor in downtime for your own self-care. This can also prove a useful tool when trying to bring together teams and communities as people will behave drastically differently in a formal setting to how they do socially. It’s in the latter environment that you really begin to understand what motivates and drives people.