“It was like an acid fuelled psychedelic trip into the world of dogging” -anonymous

Knowing where you fit in a team is important in collaboration and taking that first step in being part of a team is always a treacherous one.

Here is a blog I wrote back in 2013, when I first started working in tech…

“Volunteering myself to sit and observe an ideation session seemed the perfect opportunity to pick up some cheat-speak I could carry to other crowds ever stretching my cloak of geek… and of course learn how ideation works. Im handed a pen. Some sticky notes. Branded story cards (in case I forgot where I was -likely) and it started.

Trying (and failing) to take in the content of 5 people verbally brainstorming at such speeds that when you have moved your gaze to the new speaker, their comment is already out of date. Attempting to contribute to a session where the haste of creation exceeds many an electrical impulse (20–30 metres per second) whilst having no understanding of what exactly is being discussed, or what is required. I bravely scribble something on a note then nervously dangle it away from the safety of my person as it is snatched and presented on the wall… to the left of the collection. On its own. Stranded. A lonely depiction of its solitary beginnings. It says ‘Graduate’. Surprisingly contextual actually. The team are kind enough to all nod and hum in harmony a kind of -ooh, I wouldn’t have thought of that. I sigh relief and conclude, that was a success.

I realise it is a choice of some to furnish their creativity with, alcohol. Never did I expect such practice in a professional environment. Believe it or not, I wasn’t practicing for that professional environment when I regular sank litres on the beach at the age of -thats irrelevant. However, I did practice putting the world to rights at many a bar with the not-so-sober ale drinkers and pool players. A skill essential in software development, apparently. When handed said pen I was handed said Beer. Beer became wine. Then beer, again. Lastly, white wine because we had drunk all the red, and cheese obviously. First true experience of a collaboration, being part of a team and bravely risking my cloak of deception, drunk. But so was everyone else. I conclude, fuck up nicely avoided with the power of intoxication. My Dad will be so proud.”

I hope this reflection helps others who may be fearful into taking the plunge into collaboration and design thinking. Yep, design thinking. Sometimes a scary or unknown way of getting ideas out however, simply put (and a good way to start the process) it starts with a bunch of people externalising ideas in a somewhat creative way (sharpie, sticky note, put sticky notes in a mind map-ish collection on a wall). You cannot fail, not even when you think you are the one thats going to fail. Your perspective is worth its weight in gold when you are somewhat detached from the details. *Desclaimer — you need not do it drunk.