What’s your dream office? It’s a question that we ask our clients and it often surprises them. People give lots of thought and energy to the idea of a dream house and spend hours trolling Pinterest boards, but what about the dream office?

MICHELE DEMPSEY, AIA, LEED AP

It’s not unusual to spend more than 60 percent of our waking hours at work. Why shouldn’t we enjoy that environment, too? The dream offi ce inspires; it encourages collaboration; it brings people together at certain times and provides needed privacy at others. The dream office is conducive to happiness and well-being. It breaks down silos and enables impromptu conversations, assists with synergy and promotes communication. This rarely happens by accident (except in the movies), but making it happen is our specialty. Recently, we made it happen for the Moses Taylor Foundation.

When we first met LaTida Smith, the CEO of the Moses Taylor Foundation, and her team, they were in a space that they had inherited and felt as blah as a rainy Monday. It did not capture the noble mission of the Moses Taylor Foundation—to improve the health and wellness of residents and communities, primarily in Northeast Pennsylvania. It did not let people know the Foundation’s values, including stewardship, transparency and accountability. Plus, LaTida and her team are warm, friendly, caring, funny and inviting, but this space was drab, worn, tired and uninviting. So they found a new location for their offices and we set out to design a space consistent with their brand, mission, values and personalities.

When we asked them, “what’s your dream office?” they were excited to answer. They wanted an open and inviting space that would balance elegance with practicality: a space that would promote learning and collaboration, create relationships, and help them connect with each other and their clients. They wanted it to be light-filled, colorful, healthy and happy while reminding themselves and visitors of their mission and values. There were a lot of technical and functional requests, as well, but that was the over-arching dream.

As leading designers of sustainable, branded environments, or Eco-Branded Environments, we created an experience that connects the Foundation’s story with its audience in a meaningful way. If you walked through the space and never spoke to a soul (impossible in this friendly environment … but if you did), you would know who they are and what they stand for. We also created a space that was light-filled and used products, lighting and finishes that are environmentally friendly. We could tell all about it ourselves, but we think LaTida says it best, “We could not be happier with our new office. Everything about the way that it looks and the way it was designed really reflects the way that we work, who we are in the community, and the image we want to portray to our partners.” What’s your dream office? We’ve proven time and again with our clients that it is possible to have your dream space at work, not just at home. So start trolling those Pinterest boards (during your lunch break, of course)!

Napoleon Hill’s Secrets to Success

How can you achieve success in your life or your business? Success is much easier to reach when you decide and focus on what it will mean to you. How do you measure it, how do you know when you achieve it,
what would it look like, and why is this important to you? These are key components of the process described in Napoleon Hill’s classic book “Think and Grow Rich.” The book teaches you how to save the wasted effort that the majority of people expend in trying to find their life-work through a series of lessons.

Lesson one focuses on desire and goes through the steps of not just having a wish or dream, but a definite purpose. It’s having the focus and stubborn determination which will get you from where you are now to where you want to be, turning that desire into reality. More importantly, Hill walks the reader through the secrets of success, which are not biased based on background, education or circumstance. In fact, there are several key secrets that distinguish those who achieve from those who don’t. Hill explains that Faith allows one to prepare one’s mindset for failure since failure is inevitable on the road to success. The secret to    auto-suggestion, another lesson he dedicates a full chapter, focuses on not only what one believes but also on the monetary value of what they want to achieve, even down to dollar amount. In specialized knowledge the reader is introduced to the fact they don’t only need to focus on learning, but specialize in gaining knowledge in what they don’t already know.

It follows that on the route to learning and growing, one must become an excellent follower before showing initiative and taking the lead. But there are certainly qualities a leader must possess to master organized planning, decision-making, and self- control. Indeed, Hill makes the argument that positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the brain at the same time. As a leader, one has a choice to determine how to master the subconscious mind and control positive versus negative thinking. In conclusion, the last few paragraphs skim only the surface of the six steps to mastering fear and turning your desires into reality. If this summary reminded you of what you need to do, then you might want to dust off your old copy and re-read the book again.

Good luck.