CUAsia 2018 Workshop: CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS IN COWORKING

Last month, Claire flew overseas to attend and contribute to the annual Coworking Unconference Asia, this year held in Penang, Malaysia. Using the Coworking Canvas, she led a participatory workshop to identify key factors which will make or break your coworking business

 

The Introductions

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Amongst the 24-7 networking, learning and eating (Penang is famous for food!) Claire made time to lead an interactive workshop with over 40 practitioners from the coworking movement.

A coworking-business specific toolkit - the Coworking Canvas - was used to draw out and prioritise the experience and learning of both experts and newbies, as participants explored factors which would make or break a quality coworking business.

An group introduction allowed everyone to get to know each other and grasp the breadth and width of knowledge in the room. Participants could then identify who they could and should connect with, as the room was full of knowledge representing all stages of the coworking-business journey, from start-ups, experienced practitioners and researchers, to pioneers within the coworking movement. A great mix!

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Participants were split into six groups so the real work began. Each group was set the task to collectively brainstorm the features that would make or break a coworking space based on the key elements of the Coworking Canvas. Needless to say - there was a lot of ideas as well as noise generated!

 

The Coworking Canvas

The Coworking Canvas has been specifically designed by the team behind the Coworking Accelerator Network to provide a simple framework for articulating and developing a quality coworking business. This framework is based on over a decade of personal practical experience, plus research with coworking leaders from around the world listening to their ideas, aspirations, hopes and fears for the movement and growing industry.

Through this, we conclude that good quality coworking businesses incorporate three core values:

Coworking Canvas
  1. Belonging
  2. Nurturing and
  3. Place-making

There are six essential elements of delivery to build a successful coworking business:

  1. Co-location
  2. Network
  3. Peer Support
  4. Learning
  5. Hosting and
  6. Space

The Coworking Canvas can be used in a variety of ways to help you construct and adapt all of the essential elements of your quality coworking business model. 

 

The Results

Each group arrived at a long list of make/break features for their allocated element of the Coworking Canvas. Out of these long-lists, a short list of 'top priorities' were generated:

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With such breadth of knowledge in the room, it was no surprise that the discussion was lively and inspiring for all. Use this list to focus on your business - how well are you doing against the hit-list and action plan where could you do better?

Thank you to all who attended and hope to see you at CUAsia2019!

 

Stay connected, keep the conversation going and receive more tips and techniques for developing your coworking space: join CONNECT, our peer network offering free knowledge sharing and promotional opportunities for both established spaces and those in development.