Workplace Transformation with 12×12 at the T3 Innovation Studio

March 2014
Roy Hirshland

12x12-T3InnovationStudioOne of my favorite things about my job and about T3 Advisors is that we work not only with some amazing companies but we’re also members of some of really incredible communities . And that means we get to attend and host great parties – definitely a nice benefit of having the T3 Innovation Studio!

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to host 12×12, a group that focuses on entrepreneurship in Massachusetts by engaging the creativity and experience of 12 of some of the state’s leading CEOs and 12 venture capitalists. With a beautiful view and some sushi on hand, it was a great opportunity to do some networking and also discuss a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart: workplace transformation and culture.

During the event, I spoke about T3’s workplace transformation. A year ago, we were in a suburban office park and I had a corner office with pictures on the wall and a big wooden desk – just what you might expect for a CEO’s office. The only problem was that I was almost never there and T3’s employees were always out meeting with clients in Boston and the surrounding areas.

So here we were – experts in high performance workplaces, working with our clients to create amazing spaces reflective of their corporate culture. It was clear that our office did not reflect the culture of our company or our team. We needed a change.

I was thrilled to be able to share with the 12×12 members the T3 workplace journey and transformation as we held our meeting in the space where it all came together: The T3 Innovation Studio. I no longer have a formal office and can say that no one does. I come into work everyday and decide where to sit based upon what my work requirements at that moment. We have several small private rooms where employees can hold phone conversations, small meetings or just have a quiet space to work when needed. And we do have one larger conference room when we need to get the entire team together. Our former space officially accommodated 21 employees but with just a bit more square footage and a much better space plan, we can accommodate up to 60 employees here at the studio!

And another amazing thing that has come to life in the Innovation Studio is our resident program. At the studio, we have created a place where like-minded entrepreneurs and tech leaders from the innovation economy can come and work. These are not T3 employees; some come from companies out in the ‘burbs who want a place to work when they’re in the city and others are here more frequently. Either way, we have created an innovation community right here at the studio and it’s incredible.

All of that said, our workplace transformation is one story out of the many that are taking place today. As the quest for top talent intensifies, we know that candidates want to work for more than a paycheck. They are looking to be part of a culture, a community in the workplace.  And as mobile technologies have shifted the ways in which people work and innovate, we also need to shift our traditional views and start creating places where people want to go everyday and that are reflective of those who work there. Space is the most important expression of your company.

Finally, while we talked a lot about Boston and Palo Alto, recognize that the “story” of business transformation needs to happen everywhere – from Rhode Island to Alabama, from the UK to Asia.