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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Learn How to Collaborate

Collaborate - it isn't just a new buzz word for cooperation; it is more, and it works.

Key Question:


Nancy Goshow says collaboration is at the root of everything they do at the firm.

  How has the meaning of the word, "collaborate" evolved?

  Back in the 1940's the most common use of the word, "collaborate" was with an enemy. It was used to describe the activity of somebody who provided "inside" information.

Today the word continues to hold that immediacy, importance and intimacy, but because of online technologies that can easily bring key people together from many places at the same time, the meaning of the word has been ratcheted up. With Intranets and Virtual Network Computing, two, three or many more people can actually be working on the same document at the same time, be audibly discussing it through dynamically prioritized queues, and emerge from that meeting with consensus, focused direction, benchmarks and more detailed goals.

Young adults born in the 80's have been working like this for most of their intellectual life. Going forward, we all need to become familiar with the online collaboration activity. It is a kind of hyper-relationality. It pushes a concept or a problem-as-given to the center of the stage. It becomes the center of attention and the specific owners of the information become secondary or derivative. The relationships and this collaborative event become the primary real.

Have you ever made a presentation where everybody "just got it"? There was excitement in the room. People "bought into" the concepts and even allowed their own ideas to be used to build it out, and then as others gave even more ideas, there was more consensus. And today, people still talk about that "presentation." But really, all along, it was collaboration. And with the new software tools and the Internet's hardware backbone, these kinds of meetings can happen more and more often.

Think about it

What kinds of collaboration tools are you using?

Clip from: Goshow Architects

New York City: Meet  Nancy & Eric Goshow of Goshow Architects. A major part of their work comes out of the $60± billion in annual small business contracts set aside by the US federal government.   At least 23% of all federal contracts are mandated to go to small business, but you've got to be certified!  Priority is given to those with diversity and with women in leadership roles. This set-aside  doesn't stop there.

The federal and state governments look carefully at all the big business contracts and are more favorable when they see big business award 23% of their sub-contracts to small business. Now, the Goshow's field, architecture-and-design, is one small segment of these contracts and sub-contracts.

Virtually every very creative, small business can have a role in lowering the cost of government while improving services.

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Goshow Architects

Nancy Goshow, CEO and co-founder

36 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

Visit our web site:


Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1978

Learn How to Collaborate

ERIC: Our own interests were to do larger scale work. And for that, you need to have overhead and you need to have good talented people around you and you need to have a space where you can really work and you have to be able provide things that will attract talented people. And for us, primarily, interesting projects. That's really primarily what young people, especially, are after. So we are looking for the brightest young people out of college who want to come to us.

But, of course, you need to have experienced people too. Who really have the technical background or the ability to work with clients, the ability to understand money issues. So putting together a team from senior management down to young bright people is awfully difficult to get that mixed right.

It is kind of like a choir – the male and the female voices have to be very carefully selected.

NANCY: Goshow Architects is a collaborative team oriented office. And the origins of the collaborative process for Eric and I is the fact that we work well together. And we are able to build on each other's ideas. So collaboration is at the root of everything that we do here in the firm.

Why don't we first of all go to the calendar – and let's look at where we are on our calendar with our deadlines.

HATTIE: The office is divided into nine teams -- five design teams and four specialty teams The specialty teams are:

computing and cost estimating,
administration and,
A senior architect heads each design team which then, throughout a single project, interacts with the specialty teams.

NANCY: At this firm, there is a great deal of freedom to find your voice as a designer and as an architect. However, not everyone is comfortable with so much freedom. And they are looking for more supervision, for more guidance. And because our firm is so fast-paced. And because we are an office of people who are independent thinkers who come together collaboratively, it is very important that people can act on their own initiatives and can make some judgments and decisions on their own, without having someone watch them every step of the way. Because we are not set up to do that, that is not how we work.




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