Collaboration Leads to Innovation

Pear talks to potential customers about furniture–how it can foster employee engagement, collaboration and innovation–but that wasn’t happening in their own space. So, the we decided that it was time to demonstrate just that. We invited senior management and all the in-house designers to be part of the design team, of which we became facilitator.

“Mark helped us to discover the potential in our space, and in ourselves. We’d been in the space for over ten years, and renovated multiple times, but realized that the space no longer met our needs. Our fourteen designers were located throughout the office, and couldn’t easily collaborate or learn from each other. And, our accounting and HR folks were located in open workstations in the busiest part of the office, which meant confidentiality wasn’t possible.”

John Robbins, the CEO of the Denver commercial furniture dealership Pear Workplace Solutions.

The first task was to give them a fresh perspective about the space and see its potential. We drew two simple diagrams– before and after–which showed space usage and circulation. The “after” diagram was quickly dubbed the “road map” by John, and it guided the design team in their efforts.

The “road map” moves the circulation to the exterior window wall and captures the view to the city. A large design studio and eleven collaboration spaces provide unique opportunities to exchange ideas. The space allows Pear to tell potential customers the story of how they work and collaborate. It also tells the story of how employee engagement and collaboration can lead to innovation. It demonstrates how “walking the talk” can lead to exciting spaces.

The cost effectiveness of the space isn’t dependent on materials or construction; it is the result of shaping space and using circulation as a dynamic design concept. The space, not finish material, impacts the viewer. Walking along the second level glass exterior wall is exhilarating and gives perspective to the city beyond. The remodel was not about putting things into the space, but about creating spaciousness by subtracting—clearing room to breathe.

Says John Robbins, “We learned that through an engaged group process we can create innovative solutions for ourselves and our clients. And by innovative, I mean people walk into our space and see transformation. They can see a different way to work and a better way to work.”