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Fresh Perspectives

January 31, 2007

Several weeks ago, I posted about how many employees were moving to the new headquarters campus, and others were moving back to other leased space that they had been in before at one time or another, or that was just being vacated by those going to the new buildings.   I was commenting on how the move paralleled change in the company and enabled new thinking.   I didn’t move to the new building, I moved to some of the older leased space, and I guess some of my feelings came through in the last post.  Another employee who read the post commented that it had a “melancholy” feel about it.   Maybe it did.

Fast forward to today – I traveled over the new building for some meetings, and I have to say that I felt giddy after a few minutes there.  It really felt like a first day at a new job.  The building is five stories and has a lot of glass inside and out.  There is stainless steel everywhere and some of the decor echos our signature product line.  Riding the elevators up, the passengers were a mix of company employees and hard hatted construction workers.  I pondered the perspective of the construction workers going about their jobs amongst the buildings regular inhabitants, co-existing as they worked to paint Sheetrock and complete the finishing touches here and there.  Working on the building, vs working in the building.  It was like two civilizations co-existing and generally staying out of each other’s way – moving at different speeds so that from either perspective, the opposite group was just part of the background. 

Then I was on the top floor, and walking through the fresh office environment, punctuated by stainless steel chain partitions hanging like giant chain mail curtains.  Etched glass provided a mix of privacy and openness.   Looking out the windows, the steel skeletons of other new buildings were going up all around.   Everything felt edgy and new. 

My two meetings were back to back – the first involved working out a script for a video, and I got to meet some exciting people way outside my career walk.  They talked about doing a story board, and aquiring “b-roll” film footage for use in the video.  I saw a dedicated film editing control keyboard that was awash in bright primary colors, special buttons and dedicated knob-like controls.  It looked like it could be used to fly something to the moon and back all by itself.  My second meeting involved a demonstration and walkthrough of some new online software that helps make sense of our ever changing online world.

After a few hours in the new building, talking to new people, and being exposed to new technologies, I really began to believe I was working for a new company.  I was so upbeat upon return to my old building, that I don’t much mind it.  I think everyone here should make it a point to make the pilgrimage I did today.   I also think it may be a good thing not to be there everyday – it helps to keep the new building as an ideal – a possibility of something new and greater ahead.   If I worked there everyday, I’d get used to it, and it would soon lose it’s metaphorical sparkle.

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