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Office-less in HNI

MIKE NATALIZIO
President & CEO, HNI

As CEO of a non-traditional insurance brokerage and business advisory firm, I gotta live our mantra: Change the Game. My latest game changer involves giving up my office to my VP of Business Development so he can focus on growing our firm. 

Where am I going?  Virtual… I’ve finally pulled the trigger on my long time desire toofficeless2 resized 600 go office-less.  Years ago, Dan Sullivan introduced his “no office solution” suggesting an office is a drain on an entrepreneur’s productivity.  With the new technologies available today, this has become a reality for me.

On brand?

With a tag line of Change the Game, we set the bar kind of high for ourselves.  Sometimes we need a reminder [a litmus test of sort] to keep us on brand.  If you didn’t know, the four core elements of our brand are Bold, Different, Clear, and Social.  We can easily run any decision up against this test to determine if we’re on brand or not. Let’s check this latest move against our brand, shall we?

BOLD

I don’t know about you, but I think giving up an office is pretty bold.  And if you aren’t bringing value to the organization, the HR director wouldn’t even have to arrange for you to pack up your stuff.

DIFFERENT

Not having an office means you don’t have anywhere to hide or even to meet with people.  Instead, I’ll meet up with team members in one of our collaborative workspaces open to all.  They’re starting to pop up all around our building.  So far, we have the FOCUS Center, The Lava Lounge, and coming soon: HNIplex [a playful tribute to Googleplex].   HNIplex stands out with full size beanbag chairs to bring out maximum creativity.

CLEAR

The archrival of clear is clutter.  Without an office, there’s no place for clutter.  (Where are you gonna keep that special letter opener you got 5 years ago?)  Going paperless is also a must, and the stress relief of no paper is a true game changer.

SOCIAL

When you have a big office, nobody seems to stop in.  You’re busy [of course].  But you can lose track of what’s going on around the office.  Being office-less means I can work from anywhere!  I can jump in an empty cube, the Lava Lounge, or even the local Starbucks and be productive.  I’m looking forward to the variety and all kinds of new insights and interactions.

So there you have it. As far as I can tell, I think this move meets the brand test, and I’m ready to give it a try starting today. Are you thinking about being bold, different, clear, and social?  The first step I took was to push the technology reset button. In my next blog, I’ll share more about that and the tools I’m using to go office-less in HNI.  

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