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A year of working co-operatively

Updated: May 29, 2019

In Maths it’s a perfect number. In China it’s a lucky number. But is six auspicious in business too?

This time last year, I came up with an idea of creating a “co-operative” to explore new, collaborative, ways of working.

Being self-employed has lots to commend it: independence, flexibility and the freedom to work with people you like.

However, working solo can be quite polarising in how you flourish and learn. And I came to realise that I missed the team-working element. I need people to challenge me and offer difference.

My aim was to connect with like-minded, self-employed people who could benefit from:

  • being introduced to each other

  • sharing a safe space to share ideas / get feedback / seek support / break new ground

  • the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

So I invited five individuals I had really connected with on past projects to join me. And one year on, here we are celebrating our first birthday.

Alina, Alix, Keith, Ashleigh, Jo and I have had an energising and fruitful year together.

We are six very different people. Six successful individuals. All with different skills, styles and knowledge. But as partners, we share compassion and a commitment to bringing quality and challenge. We believe in building trusting relationships with clients and embedding sustainable change.  

Group of co workers
An energising practice: Indigo co-op members Jo, Hilary, Keith, Alix, Alina and Ashleigh

Who’s Who

My five core partners bring a wealth of unique talents and experience.

They are:

  • Executive coach and facilitator Alina Addison

  • Programme designer and professional coach Alix Nadelman

  • Exec MBA programme director and chartered psychologist Keith Schofield

  • Psychologist and CFT therapist Ashleigh McLellan

  • Communication and engagement specialist Jo Twiselton

Why a co-operative?

Working as an associate has its frustrations and limitations – and we wanted to offer more than the normal associate model.

I love that we are inclusive and trusting, not protectionist or worried about poaching. In fact, we share learning most days, we support one another and, at our core, we are open and proud of our individual areas of expertise.

So what’s different about our partnership?

Working collaboratively allows us to bring different specialisms to our clients. Our approach creates an exclusive and exciting spectrum of services and enables us to offer enriched ideas and solutions.

Our bespoke consultancy uses what works, not just new and shiny approaches, or quick, off the shelf (often fashionable) fixes at a high price.

Because we’re not bound to any tool or model, our collective mind is open and we can be authentic in ourselves. We look to bring quality and thought-through solutions with integrity.

What have we achieved together so far?

First and foremost, we’ve become bigger and more flexible and have been able to introduce new members to the circle beyond our initial group of six. Having regular, close access to one another and being able to feed into various projects through our activity hubs has been really satisfying not to mention rewarding for our clients too.

We’ve also been creating our first joint projects including:

Developing Extra Mile Retreats for women Alina and I are hugely excited to be facilitating our first UK event in Herefordshire in September. The retreat will offer coaching on goals and next steps for 10 accomplished women leaders.

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