How often does the tour help win a new customers or hire a job candidate?

The Center runs CEO Roundtable Intensives.  These are not lectures by experts to people sitting at tables that are round…  The peers pick the topics, a peer opens with a 15-minute setup talk which is immediately followed by three facilitated discussion segments at tables of five chief executives.  It’s intense, short and effective. You must be a chief executive to participate.

What truths about your organization that are revealed by your buildings?  Are they a manifestation of your efficiency?  Do they energize and inspire your staff?  Do they represent your values, your dreams and your promises?

Lora Strigens, Vice President of Planning and Strategy at Marquette University, walked us through three buildings and the campus master plan to illustrate how careful planning informed by a solid strategy makes a world of difference to mission, effectiveness and culture.  The group then dove into three discussion questions:

  1. What’s the best spot in your facilities tour?  Where do you avoid?
  2. Do you have a building you’d like to move?  Why?
  3. How do your buildings communicate how you work?

Best practice lessons

  • Having a strategic plan that genuinely excites people is essential
  • The strategic plan makes clear the overall purpose of major projects
  • Marquette’s planners wanted to “choreograph” the experience from the beginning
  • Once the spaces are created, managers have to purposely use them, have a script
  • There was wide participation in the master planning process
  • Being together in person is essential to creating a feeling of community (loyalty)
  • Does communications technology actually diminish the feeling of community?
  • Marquette’s niche with a stature of the Virgin Mary is the spiritual center of the campus

Image: Detroit Publishing Co., under license from Photoglob Zürich, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons