Saturday, March 26, 2011

Collaborative Consumption, A third way out of over consumption?

Watch Rachel speak about Collaborative Consumption and the potential power to transform our everyday excess capacity of the stuff which surrounds us, our skills laying dormant with the powerful forces of sharing and trust building.  My family and I are ideal candidates for this game changing shift in thinking...  "What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine".  You probably are too!  Take 15 minutes, watch and shift your thinking!

I first heard about this on Treehugger radio on a podcast a few months ago and have enjoyed replaying it often.  The concept stuck in my head so solidly I mentally noted to check out later and learn more.  Go there and see for your self.  It's genuinely heartwarming stuff.

There's a book you can buy or seek out in your community to read about Collaborative Consumption movement in detail.  It operates like a library book.  There's a library card in it which shows the path of those who've read it and passed it on to others to read.  If there's anyone in central Vermont who has a copy to lend please let me know.  I would like to read it and pass it on.  Meanwhile, enjoy Rachel's presentation!

After you've watched tell me what do you think?  Have you read the book yet? Do you have anything you'd like to share in your garage?  Would you do this in your community?  Share your thoughts with dc and other readers.  Don't be bashful.  It would be delightful to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letting Nature Speak - Lines Which Inspire

Today I skied Stowe's Mountain's heralded Perry Merrill trail in gorgeous March sun.

Hoar frost stuck intensely to the branches today frozen their from last night's sudden snow and drop in temperatures.  The upper reaches of the mountain was a wintry wonderland and a true albeit ironic gift of spring.

This is what inspires me to design.  Nature's gifts!

Fingers of branches reaching up to the sky yearning to burst forth with Spring's budding energy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Values Driven Office Workplace Design...It's Not About The Furniture.

Recently, a client asked me how I recommend going about selecting workstation furniture and equipment for their office as part of a process to reorganize a couple of growing departments.  They had heard good things about a variety of the vendors and their service in our area and needed suggestions on how to start the process.  Until now, they had largely purchased equipment on an ad-hoc basis, going to office superstores and the occasional office furniture dealership for what they needed, piece by piece.

However, they weren't totally happy with the end result and the overall appearance and performance of their workplace.  Frankly it looked a little tired and there wasn't a cohesive plan in place going forward and set of standards to work with when changing or adding new staff.  In fact, pretty much all budgets for this had been on hold for the last two to three years just to weather out the recession and economic curve balls.

But now things were starting to look up with sales projected to rise, albeit modestly this year and a department needed to be reorganized in a part of the building with others to follow over the next few years etc.  What advice did I have?

First things first.  Let's celebrate the fact things were looking up for this company.  Maybe this is a harbinger of better times ahead.  And, it's also great the client is asking questions like this before starting this process.  Better sooner than later.  But let's not get the cart before the horse.

Here's why

Space matters.  Whether you know it or not, your workplace is a tangible business resource supporting and enhancing daily business operations while in the best of cases reinforcing your corporate brand and ethos for the positive, and the worst of cases, for the negative.    Your workplace is your company and what it's all about.  It supports your people and their work throughout the year.  It can be a special place creating a unique work community focused on a set of common goals and values.  And, it can rapidly grow out of date, reflecting in its design and equipment choices and layout ways of working relevant ten years ago but not today.  Like this blog's name, high performing organizations must cultivate organizational and physical design excellence to truly lead in their business space.