I have looked out my AXON office window at 310 Front Street in Toronto hundreds of times over the past 10 years. My view of this small part of Toronto has allowed me to observe various activities on Front Street, to witness the construction of a massive condo (which regrettably obscured my view of the CBC building) and, most importantly, to assess what the traffic might be like on my way home.
I had my final view from this office on July 17. AXON has moved to 320 Front Street, another tower in the same office complex. Though packing boxes is never pleasant, this move has offered me the chance to assess what I should be bringing with me, and how life might be different in our new location. Hence, a few observations from my ten years working at 310 Front Street and lessons learned:
- The consulting world is one of significant change: not only with the clients you will work for, but also the people you will work with. Only a handful of people from my first year at AXON will join me in the transition to the new space. Keep in touch with your ex-colleagues; you never know where they will land.
- The idea that there are a lot of important files that you need to preserve for that “project” in the future needs to be revisited: I have transferred only a small box of information to the new location. If you don’t revisit that document in the next month, it is highly unlikely you ever will. If you can’t let it go, digitize it so that you can reduce clutter and save space.
- We are creatures of habit. Most days, I would walk the same route and eat in the same location. Our new office tower is less than 100 feet from our old location and I’ve never been within 50 feet of it. You need to continuously alter your routine: it will also help to look at things a little differently.
- Strategic insights as well as creative solutions are often best achieved by engaging a diverse group of people. Getting your colleagues together can be challenging despite everyone’s best intentions. One area to consider is your office layout which can often be a barrier to collaboration. Find ways to engage your colleagues. Working in our new open concept space will help to increase collaboration.
The 310 Front Street office was a terrific workplace and I fully expect the new 320 Front Street location, with its open design and fresh look, to allow us all to apply some of these lessons & strategies. I’m looking forward to new beginnings and, of course, to having an alternative view of the Toronto landscape.
By Chuck Johnston