Space matters, cultivate it


In the Cartography Lab, the space has been intentionally designed to foster creativity, embrace vulnerability and push each of us to be better versions of ourselves. These better versions include the development of better technical skills, but they also include a commitment to social justice, which you can see in the projects students are working on, and support of one another through difficult times.

Repeatable ways to achieve creative and innovative space:

  • Foster and support peer-to-peer learning. Provide employees the time to share their expertise with one another.
  • Celebrate successes. We work hard, really hard. It is easy to be swept up in the next deadline, or the next fire that needs to be squelched. Make time to pause and promote the successes of the teams and individuals within them.
  • Create time and space for new, "off-the-wall" ideas. Allow people to play the role of a particular characteristic, for example, the devil's advocate.
  • Think meta. Make time to evaluate not only the success or failure of the outcome of the project, but the process as well.
  • Give your brain a break. Engage in an activity that allows your brain to do something completely different. You may be surprised at how fresh you are when you return.
  • Allow multiple perspectives. Leadership should be a shared journey, share the process with others in the organization.
  • Choose the best tools. Don't be intimidated that you don't know a particular tool, assess it, evaluate it, and if it is the best tool for the job, figure out how to make it work.
  • Honor the multidimensionality. Account for all of the variables that you can, and draw connections between them. Identify room for innovation, where are connections, processes, or tools missing?