Jade de Waal of FoodJams Shows you How to Create a Collaboration that Matters

What awkwardness means to you? In many business networking activities, it often means dead end. Unless you can get things interesting again, it seems that you and someone you talked to won’t get anywhere with your conversation. But for Jade de Waal, awkwardness means a different thing: It opens window of opportunities for unique, surprising collaboration. Want to learn how to do that for business collaboration? Read on!

unique collaboration

Jade de Waal is a music student (subject: Jazz) by choice. She IS naturally a cook, and going to cooking school seems the only logical way to go; but she opt for awkwardness; she went out of her comfort zone and challenge herself. This kind of unique attitude has lead her to establish FoodJams – a monthly get-together events in where strangers meet-up and cook their own meal.

The events are, well, as described above: You connect total strangers who are interested in cooking and wanting to experience how “awkwardness” is kinda cool. The cooking events are improvising along the way.

It’s started back in February 2010. Jade create simple recipes with basic ingredients that only require minimal equipment to cook. She then invited her friends and divided them into two or three cooking station. They can follow the recipe – or not… their choice (this is where the name FoodJams came up – the activities are full of jamming or improvisation.) Then they share the food with the pairing wine.

Now this awkward collaboration has led to yet another collaboration.

Along the way, she contacted her friend who happens to be a photographer to document the “jam session.” The photos went viral on social media, and in no time, there are more strangers joining FoodJams get-together events. Awkwardness at its best.

Surprisingly, along the way, Jade was contacted by a musician and electronic music producer, Card on Spokes, who has this idea of a food jam: Recording the sound of the FoodJam get-together to create tracks. Two illustrators to design the album cover, and two VJs to create videos based on the food jam.

The result is a unique piece of art – “Sound Bites” – created from two seemingly different worlds – food and music – jamming together.

Jade de Waal explained everything in a TEDxTalks event at UCT (University of Cape Town, South Africa) – TEDxUCT. Just watch this video, and be inspired!

A special thanks to Patricia Blom, a Facebook friend of mine, who shared this video in her wall.

Lessons learned

Jade gave the news meaning of awkwardness: An opportunity for uniquely creative collaboration that knows no boundaries.

Business collaboration is all about establishing a connection with someone you don’t know who shares the same goals and vision. When you are focusing on the big picture, rather than spending your time and effort to find the ultimate partner, so to speak, you will see something big will happen to your collaboration eventually.

If you want to learn more about the FoodJams, you can check out FoodJams Facebook page here or follow them on Twitter @FoodJams

So, are you ready to embrace awkwardness? Are you ready to go over the boundaries and do something that entirely unique; something that no one in your industry is not able to do it; something that allows you to “dominate” your niche market?

Go on – collaborate and make a difference!