A lawyer, a band, and a zombie expert walk into a bar…
It sounds like the start of an elaborate joke. In reality, it was the basic premise behind a presentation delivered at Workbar Cambridge last night titled, “Zombies: Lessons for Today from the Apocalypse of Tomorrow.”
The lawyer was the evening’s sponsor, and Halloween aficionado, Arthur Hardy-Doubleday of Doubleday Law. The music was performed by All of the Animals. And the zombie expert, who had the rapt attention of a packed room, was registered architect Shawn Hesse of emersion DESIGN.
While Shawn's presentation addressed real-world challenges in community building and architectural planning through the lens of pop culture, I wanted to share three key takeaways that I think can be applied as equally to the world of business as they can be to zombie outbreaks and sustainability.
People with strong networks are better suited to success and survival than those who are isolated. Being part of a community also lets us focus on doing what we do best. That’s applicable to companies as well as individuals. There’s a reason collaboration is a hot topic today, and that reason is because being part of a strong community makes us part of a stable, functioning, living unit.
If the importance of community is reflective of the key role other people play in relation to our work, the importance of resources is reflective of how important it is to keep a varied arsenal of tools available to ourselves. These resources can range from operational programs that can be implemented to improve our customers’ success, to a stable of gathering places that allow us to host meetings and events based on the audience we’re bringing together.
By being able to respond to any situation, we’re better able to take on and address even the most challenging puzzles.
Wait…no, sorry, these are best reserved for zombie outbreaks.
Pitfalls are everywhere in the business world. Challenges are constant, and change is one of the few things that should be expected to occur with regularity and consistency. Being resilient means learning from results, both positive and negative, and forging ahead. It means utilizing knowledge and resources to rise above adversity. It means planning ahead for the inherent risks and dangers that exist in everything we do. Some of these dangers may not be as bone-chilling as the flesh-hungry undead, but the ability to respond and adapt to surprises can still be the difference between life and death, even in business.
Ultimately, the entire concept of “Zombies: Lessons for Today from the Apocalypse of Tomorrow” was incredibly engaging. Not only did it provide a unique tie between seemingly disparate topics, it also offered a dramatic representation of how blurred the lines are becoming between business interests and personal interests. A lawyer who sponsors a community event because he loves Halloween. An architect who weaves his fascination with zombies into his passion for creating resilient, sustainable buildings and communities. A workspace that supports community and provides engagement and delight.
The common thread that runs through them is the word “Community” and the corresponding value each contributor has imbued the word with. A big thank you to Workbar and Doubleday Law for hosting and sponsoring a night filled with entertainment, and to emersion DESIGN for lending us Shawn’s unique perspective. It's this kind of appreciative and supportive atmosphere that serves to bring our community together.
Jason, for the team at Kendall Press