I loved the recent two-part documentary by Evan Davis of R4 and Dragons Den fame where he considered the growth of London and what the rest of the UK could do to keep up.
Two things struck me in the programme and have left an impression on me. One was the size of London and a realisation of how little work I do in London and that I must target London as an area for my own business growth.
The other was the term agglomeration. This is a term in economics and refers to the economies of scale that businesses might enjoy by locating close to each other. A prime example used was the decision by Google to locate its HQ in the Kings Cross area as they wanted to be alongside other creative industries.
Evan Davis developed the concept of agglomeration further into three key themes that firms needed to embrace. He described this as the need to:
I reflected on this term further over the past few days whilst working with Ewan Strickley (@WorkbasedCoach), and we considered our own roles as coaches, trainers who practice as associates and with our own businesses. We talked about our relationships with the organisations we work with as associates, with each other in terms of the amounts that we disclose to each other, and to what degree we agglomerate:
Compete – to what degree we are in competition with each other
Copy – how much do we copy each others approaches and methods, and do we give credit and acknowledgement to each other
Collaborate – that we seek to create something completely unique and in the interests of all parties and really share with each other of thoughts, opinions and approaches with each other
Despite those questions and what ever your thoughts might be, we agreed that going forward we really need to embrace these behaviors. We need to cluster, we need to get closer, we need to share and collaborate, but perhaps we need to openly compete with one another too. That might drive our standards and the quality of what we offer.
I think I am starting to find a few people I can work with in this way but I really would like to work with more in this way, but that’s about trust and intent!
Those are just my thoughts. I’m going to be coming to London in the coming weeks so maybe we can talk about it?