Gassaku, or ‘joint work’, is, unsurprisingly, a Japanese concept, where each collaborator’s contribution is celebrated and acknowledged, while recognising that the completed work transcends all of them.
In the west, we’ve become so used to the idea of the lone artist, the single originator, the star founder, that we are almost blind to joint work. Except perhaps, when we watch a film, and see at the end the enormous numbers of people that helped to make it.
Yet all work is joint work. We achieve nothing alone.
Everything we do is built on the work of others – not just those around us now, but those who have gone before. Not just work that directly contributes to our achievements, but the work (not always paid) that built and continues to build and maintain all the infrastructures that enable them.