Some of you know already that Mansueto Ventures, and its children Inc. and Fast Company magazines, has picked up from our former, more conventional, office space near Grand Central Terminal and moved to the spanking new 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan's Financial District. Some of you have even visited us since we've settled in at the beginning of April.
The New York Times poked around a few weeks ago and published a few nice words about us yesterday. They mention the improvements our new management has implemented in the magazines since the sale from G&J that we told you about in September 2005. The Times also shares insights from our CEO John Koten about why we chose this building out of over 50 sites in the city, including our pioneering spirit.
As one of the first companies to revitalize a controversial area, we are communicating that life can emerge from destruction. With the minimized resources mandated in the design of our floor, and our choice to inhabit the first building certified by the Green Building Council, we are showing that we can be more productive with less waste, that we can leave a big impression with a smaller footprint. Ultimately, we are displaying our ability as a company that's been around for a quarter of a century to be truly innovative. We are walking the walk that we've been talking in the pages of our magazines.
In a March 23 memo to the staff, Koten elaborated on why we should all be enthusiastic about the tremendous undertaking of moving 200 people and all of their effects south. He said about our former floor as the redheaded stepchild of another publishing company, "I find this whole joint depressing, corporate, sterile, Dickensian, even. It's the exact antithesis of the kind of creative stimulating environment I think a dynamic publishing company should have."
He detailed what we had to look forward to in the new building: the increased communal space, our state of the art AV equipment, complimentary snacks and personalized mugs in the kitchen. But neither his description or the pictures accompanying the recent Times article really capture the true beauty and excitement a lot of us felt when we passed through the entrance on our first day. You have to see it.
When you come to visit, you'll first swipe your pass over the turnstile sensors. If you are a tenant, this action will call an elevator to take you to the correct floor. As you exit the elevator and open the glass doors, you will see a massive, steel reception desk painted ferrari red with the word MANSUETO etched across it in white. (Note: Koten told me that Mansueto himself blushed at his first sight of the desk. It must be an odd feeling when your name becomes a brand.) You will see an expansive cafe with futuristic dining sets and an upholstered banquet, and you might see members of our staff conducting impromptu meetings at the tables or enjoying the view of New York harbor while finishing lunch. Mainly, you will feel the difference between this office, with sunlight reaching employees farthest from the windows, and most offices that feel more like dungeons and caves.
Koten will tell you it's "because the whole office has been designed to encourage people to get off their butts and interact." Although we've each had to make adjustments to our commute, to our smaller personal workstations, to our life without vending machines and tiled ceilings, change is refreshing. New environments keep us alert and motivate us to examine the way we accomplish our work.
How do you stay on your toes? How do you get your staff on the same page? Do you encourage interaction? If you lost your lease tomorrow, where would you go? Tell us what you think. We not only love working with each other internally, but having a dialogue with you, too.
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