Since March of this year, I have been on a journey of conversations and ideas. Not that I have traveled all that much, but the journey has been a succession of interviews for three projects that have happily filled my agenda for the last four months. Hearing what people have to say about their work and understanding what it has meant to them is one of my great interests.
For an article I wrote about relationships between interior designers and office furniture dealers, I had a chance to speak with two individuals who are pacesetters in their markets —perhaps even in the nation. Nanci Scoular of SideMark and Alan Pizzitola of Business Interiors were fascinating interviews. What I came to understand was how people skills make the difference in these two dealerships. Of course, product knowledge, follow-though, and problem solving are no less important. The idea is that valuing the relationships and building connections with each client establishes a basis for a good partnership between businesses.
These partnerships are also being affected by technology. The transition from AutoCAD to 3D modeling (or BIM) is gathering momentum. There is growing interest in a team-oriented process called Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Taking a closer look at resources expended to produce a product and the environmental consequences of that expenditure has elevated the profile of something called Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). In preparation for a NeoCon seminar about these subjects, I had the opportunity to speak with a number of thought leaders. What interested me most is how these technologies will drive fundamental changes in the industry and how each of us can apply these fundamentals to our everyday work.
Doing everyday work provided inspiration for my involvement with the active workplace culture. Last summer I found a New York Times story that warned of the health risk of sitting too much at the office. One thought led to another, and I found myself waist-deep in research findings, product offerings, and initiatives regarding more time standing, walking, or even cycling while at work. My interest took me to a series of interviews and contacts with people at the forefront of this issue. I had been writing about it, and consequently I was asked to take part in a panel discussion during the JustStand Wellness Summit on July 10.
Of course, saying “yes” to one thing often means saying “no” to something else. In my case, I have been away from writing Please Remain Seated for four months. I have a number of articles in mind, some of which stem from the events I have been engaged in recently. My plan is getting back to posting twice a month.
The feedback that I get from readers is that they like finding some “meat on bone” in these articles, or what we might call some depth of reporting or research. I am glad readers enjoy that, because I enjoy getting close to what I am writing about and then sharing what I learn with you.
Consider this an open invitation to check out what I was doing during my sabbatical. The links follow. Thanks and as they say, watch this space.
“How to WOW Interior Designers”: Cover story, OFDealer ezine, May/June, 2012.
IPD, BIM, & LCA: A New Alphabet for Success: M127 CEU Seminar, NeoCon 2012, June 11, 2012
Establishing Sit-Stand Wellness Cultures in the Large Enterprise: Panel discussion, 2nd Annual JustStand Wellness Summit 2012