Form and workplace performance

We are collecting information across the firm that provides measured evidence showing that our design work had the affect of improving the performance of our client’s business. One of the projects was generated in our Detroit office and has had the benefit of several degrees of observation and measurement, and testimonials from the client and others citing the research into the organization’s performance at the facility.

This is a theme that resonates in our language about many of our projects. It also seems that many others make similar claims about their work.

I was reviewing the project drawings and photographs today and it occurred to me that in this project, as in others that we have done with similar evidence, significant formal change and, in some cases, facilities policy change, seemed to be a key component of the success.

Coincidentally, I had been doing some research last week into what consultants said about the places where creative work is done. Warren Bennis in Organizing Genius says that the innovation of teams is inverse to the quality of the space in which they do their work. Tom Kelley in The Art of Innovation says the opposite, that the quality of the workplace is a critical component of recruiting creative people and a significant contributor to the innovative products they develop.

More on this in a later post.

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