Wide hallways, no elevators, open doors

Bell Labs was legendary for innovation. When asked what the secret of their success was, President Mervin Kelly said it was as simple as long, wide hallways, no elevators, and an open door policy.

Long hallways forced people to walk between offices to meet with colleagues. Along the way, odds were that they would run into someone else and engage in an ad hoc conversation. Wide hallways allowed them to step out of the traffic flow and continue their discussion. Ad hoc conversations generate synergy and collaboration.

Why no elevators? Well, have you noticed that conversation stops when people step into an elevator. People will continue their conversation while walking up or down the stairs. Interactive discussions are the core of collaboration.

And open doors? Magic can happen when people with their heads in the clouds interact with people who have their hands on the manufacturing machines.

Creating an innovative culture can be a powerful status quo changer. Getting the team onto the same page and committed to strategic goals like this is what strategic planning is all about. Our two-day intensive planning meeting helps foster innovation in strategic planning in a similar manner to the way Bell Labs fostered innovation in technology — you’ve got key people in a room, interacting and collaborating, even off-site to minimize distractions, thus somewhat mimicking the conditions of wide hallways, open doors, no elevators.

If you’re interested in having a facilitated strategic planning meeting that moves you from concept to tangible implementation, check out our service offerings online, contact us by email, or better yet, give us a call at (800) 207-8192 to arrange for a complementary consultation to determine if you are ready for strategic planning and if our program is right for you.

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