The future of work is collaboration and creativity.

Real world or virtual. Home or away. Small projects or large. Good times or bad. Great work comes from rolling your sleeves up, diving in and achieving genuine collaboration.

We’ve always believed we’re better together. DixonBaxi was never Dixon and Baxi – it was the strength of two people and the space created between them. Now that space is shared by a far larger team who’s diversity makes our work better.

We also feel the very best work is only attainable if like-minded people sponsor it – where we share a creative goal with our clients. However, that goal is only meaningful if you’re designing for real people and genuinely understand their mindset and needs. So the shared purpose and diverse perspectives that inform our collaborations promote the imagination and insight we need to deliver on the potential of our projects.

We thought we’d share a few things we hold dear in the collaborative process.

Set the context.
We work better together, pulling in the right direction. It also helps to frame the challenge to give people something positive to change. Something they can improve and add value to.

Start with people.
Every project is human-driven. The people who make up the project teams, client and agency plus the end audience you’re creating the work for. Out in the real world. Be fluent in both, and you’ll focus the work in much more potent ways.

Listen first, then talk.
There is a tendency to jump in and get involved. However, really listening to each other and deciding on your reaction is far more productive. It also helps to unearth valuable insight from quieter team members.

Have diverse perspectives.
Be wary of compounding the same experiences and guard against dominant bias. The richer the team’s background, skills and outlook, the more likely you are to avoid a sea of sameness and limited thinking.

Motivating the conversation and promoting creative thinking.
Getting immersed in the behind-the-scenes reality of AC Milan and really understanding the challenges and opportunities.
We may have to rethink ways of work - but we mustn’t forget the power of working closely.

Encourage invention.
Look for the unexpected and promote an additive way of working. The more inventive the team, the more likely the outcome will move the project further or make it more meaningful.

Make mistakes.
No collaboration or creative journey is perfect. It’s okay to wander, fall down or try the absurd. Allowing people to feel safe and explore as they create and build something fosters a favourable environment for fresh thinking.

Be honest.
Positivity and being sensitive to people opinions is vital. However, it is also important to say what you think and be clear about why you believe it. Honesty drives a much clearer sense of purpose and better frames how you move forward.

It’s okay to walk away.
Sometimes a little space and reflection are required. Hitting a problem or task hard gets results but don’t be afraid to hold your hand up and suggest a break or take the time to reboot a little.

Conversation and debate in the real or virtual worlds builds trust and partnership.
Spontaneity and moments of serendipity are crucial to active collaboration.

Be enthusiastic.
You can’t underestimate the effect of positive energy. It goes a long way to promote closer working methods, giving people the lift they need to push through and achieve something meaningful.

Highlight the little wins.
Look for moments to celebrate and feel your progress. Teams succeed over the long term through a shared sense of momentum. So give them the boost they need, wherever, or whenever you can.

Use collaboration to learn new skills.
An adaptive and constantly learning approach expands the team’s skills. Every new collaboration and multi-team interaction is a chance to add new knowledge or ways of tackling projects. Embrace that, and you’ll grow creatively.

And finally…
Don’t be lured into thinking your ideas are the best!