The Art of Getting to Know Each Other Better

A case study about using creative practice to build trust, and explore new ways of working together.

Productive, successful teams recognise the importance of relationships, not just with clients and customers, but with each other too. Redevco is a retail real estate investment management company, and their London team recently hired me to explore a creative way of getting to know each other better.

When doing something differently, the environment we work in is really important. Encouragement beats competition, process beats outcome, and a willingness to give new things a try, is vital. At its heart, art is simply mark making, something we all do all of the time, whether through doodling in the margins during a meeting, or writing the weekly shopping list. To this extent, art can be demystified, and we can agree that we are all artists. The session begins by setting the scene, including a brief introduction to the tools and materials we will use, before starting work.

As time passes, the work grows, overlaps and reshapes. People ask questions, talk about their experiences of creating something new, and keep going. Eventually we arrive at a single co-created piece.

Working together

We shift to individual work – abstracting using new materials and tools, hardly a paint brush in sight. We keep focusing on the process and make. The session concludes with people sharing some good conversations, and good work.

Brushless abstracts

Afterwards, the folks at Redevco said:

‘Doug came to our office to run an experimental art session
with the aim of trying something new, having fun and getting to know each other

We started the session working together to produce a
monochrome piece. Although daunted by the large piece of blank paper and
hesitant to begin with, we soon got stuck in and it didn’t take long before our
independent drawings morphed into a collaborative piece (which we aim to
proudly display in the office). It was a really great way to start off the
session, it loosened us up and got us working as a team. We then experimented
using mixed media to create individual pieces, this enabled us to get really
creative and meant we could leave the session with a piece of our own.

Doug was really engaging and passionate throughout, which
helped put everyone at ease. It was great to see the transformation in my
colleagues from start to finish; although apprehensive about their artistic
skills in the beginning, with Doug’s encouragement we all finished the session
eager to paint more! It was the hot topic in the office the following day, with
everyone discussing their work.

Would definitely recommend and book again, Doug fulfilled
our brief and then some….’

My experience as an organisational development consultant and artist gives me a unique perspective on how we can use art and creativity to help us think and do things differently, as individuals, as teams, and beyond. I’d love to help you explore this too.

Destroy to Create : The original collaborative work, cut and mounted as 15 new pieces of art.

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