At first glance it might seem like just another office space.. it’s especially discrete from the outside, but suddenly you become engulfed by the innovative and empowering environment, exemplary of what’s made MCI a world leader in their industry. I’ve known my good friends at MCI for a few years now, and have had the privilege to work with their Geneva head-office back in ’09. In many ways they & their Best-Practices are “best-in-busienss-class”, however, this time I was in Zurich and working with a major pharmaceutical. On my way from the airport I took a small detour that I won’t soon forget.
Old-School still works
The picture above is taken from the vantage-point of when you first walk into MCI’s Zurich International Events office. In addition to the breath-taking inspirational colors, it’s a warm environment that quickly embraces you through it’s carefully thought-out subtleties. The “old-school” blackboard on the initial pillar that personally greets you into this innovative space is one of my favorites! As you walk through the facility your smile can only get wider as you understand the significance of best-practices tastefully put into effective action.
Allow me to take you on a tour
What may look like ordinary lamps are the highlight, at least for me, of this intuitively designed layout. Look a little closer & you’ll notice that the slightly less than 3/4 height cabinets / functional area separators are cozy & conducive for impromptu inter-departmental chatter. A MUST for any leading edge innovator! Didn’t bring a note-pad to take away an idea your colleague just inspired you with? No worries.. the lampshade is actually constructed of folded notebook pages.. just pull one out & write down your thoughts at will. And yes, it’s refillable!
Take your new found idea(s) back to your workspace & put it into immediate affect. Back at your desk, your smile grows even wider when you reflect on the symbolism of the note paper hiding the light-bulb.. a universal symbol for an idea 🙂
But the fun has just begun
Step through the office & notice the various inspirational figures hanging from the ceiling. Mythical characters, historical individuals, your favorite elementary school teacher or even a self-portrait.. anything that will inspire you to do your best work, and symbolically look-over-you as you overcome every-day challenges.
And then there’s the hanging “information” boards throughout the office. Each department can highlight what they’re up to, working on, inspired by, etc.. it’s a practical example of a new-found openness which describes the inner workings of today’s most effective institutions. Amongst other things, this openness breaths candor, transparency, freedom, flexibility, expansiveness, engagement, and access.
Inspiration & Class
Google might have their war-rooms, other innovative institutions may have their white-board ladened hallways, but what impressed me about MCI’s Zurich Offices was it’s practical application of innovative design that positively influences a productive workspace. With all respect to other continents.. it’s screams out European Class.. it’s subtle and effective.. practical & to-the-point.. yet sub-dued.
I don’t typically feature clients in this manner.. but it’s been 30 days since I was embraced by this innovative space & I still talk-it-up every opportunity I get. My friends at MCI were generous enough to send these pictures for me to share with you, and so I’d like to thank them on all our behalves for being in the business of inspiring through performance, results & innovation!
As an end-of-week post I couldn’t think of a better way to send you into your weekend, reflecting on how you can take similar steps to better integrate your own workspace.. to make it more conducive to the quality of output you wish to get from your teams.
MCI hired professionals to develop these concepts, but knowing first-hand the drive behind what pushes this organization to excel, there are many practical lessons & best-practices that can be incorporated into your own work environment come Monday morning.
How many blank walls and or pillars do you have in your office that could use 1-2 top departmental quarterly goals or objectives (hanging on flip-chart paper if necessary)? How many empty or “dead” corners are there where a small table & bar-stool chairs could be placed for impromptu sharing & meetings that don’t require a conference room?
How can you create an environment that fosters open discussion.. transparent & communication that can be overheard.. and move a workforce of brilliantly connected minds, just eager to contribute to your success, to action?