Today's organizations operate in a world of hypercompetition. For profit, not for profit, education, civic - no organizational type or mission is safe from competition. Creativity is often the difference between the teams and organizations that thrive and those that struggle. In designing the office space of Pixar, Steve Jobs and team put all the bathrooms near the central atrium. The team knew the importance of what American sociologist Ray Oldenburg referred to as "Third Places". Third Places are those informal gatherings outside of the home (the first place) and the office (the second place) of people with diverse ideas, skill sets and experiences. Jobs and team wanted to ensure that animators and story tellers ran into each other. How did the look of Nemo and the actions or narrative of Nemo impact one another? Each person has a unique perspective to offer. As author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer, explains:
These shared areas have played an outsize role in the history of new ideas, from the coffeehouses of eighteenth-century England where citizens gathered to discuss chemistry and radical politics, to the Left Bank bars of modernist Paris frequented by Picasso and Gertrude Stein. The virtue of these third places, Oldenburg says, is that they bring together a diversity of talent, allowing people to freely interact...
It is within these impromptu gatherings that creativity thrives. Fortunately today's technology offers more opportunity than ever to create these Third Places. Google Talk, Docs, Video Chat, Google+, and Hangouts all enable these Third Places to form whenever, wherever and with whomever you want. By supercharging your ability to connect across teams as well as across organizations, you are supercharging your creativity. Collaboration is not a feature, it is the action of creation.
Does Google Apps save money when compared to outdated options like Exchange 2010? Obviously. But the productivity gains are even greater than IT cost savings. Google Apps supercharges creativity by supercharging connections. Turns out the Web is a big deal.