Dreaming of Everest: the Collaborative Climb

1 Apr 2017

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While Greg is out on the trail alone, he starts dreaming of higher peaks to climb.  As his mind wanders, he thinks back to a TEDX talk he watched recently on Mountaineering. In it, Dawa Steven talked about what it is like to be a sherpa, leading people up Mount Everest.

“How rad it would be to climb Everest one day, ” he thought to himself.

As he let his thoughts imagine the climb of that exceptionally dangerous mountain, he was thinking of the intricate work of a sherpa — and how important they are when climbing a mountain like Everest.

“A sherpa is great metaphor for collaboration,” Greg thinks to himself, musing on how mountaineering relates to his work.

“It’s interesting to think about how a sherpa is one person who holds the responsibility to ‘get us there.'”

We think Greg is onto something with this metaphor for mountaineering. The collaborative “climb” is so fundamental to Radar’s creative process with our clients.  Yes, we act as a sherpa who holds the pack, knows the way, and is protective of the vision to get to the project’s end goal.

But our clients still move with us — they aren’t just chilling back at Basecamp with a cup of hot coffee while the sherpa makes the trek up the mountain. We actually rely on our clients having the momentum to follow us in this collaborative process, and to participate actively. This is a dynamic trek, and we do it together.

The reality is that there are times when we need the client to move ahead of us on the trail, to give feedback, to clarify vision or goals. It is definitely an adventure, and no creative relationship is the same.

Here’s the TEDx talk that Greg was musing on:


The Camping Creative is the seventh of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[Everest image from Creative Commons by Gunther Hagleitner]