I’ve finished Netflix…
All of it… From Tiger King to West Wing…I’ve scrounged, clicked and watched it all.
I also haven’t worn anything with a zipper in 8 weeks…which officially checks 2 boxes on this week’s version of Apocalyptic Bingo. (yay me)
I’m not proud of either, but listen folks, this is a global pandemic, the likes of which no one today with air-filled lungs has seen… ever…. so I think we are all entitled to a zipper-less side trip to binge town every once in a while. And of course, it is clear and evident that there are very few ways (reading this blog?) in this world that squander more time faster than the “art of the binge”.
And…I’m all for it.
The good news is I’ve rekindled an appreciation for what makes up a good storyline. The not-so-good news is that bad movies remain pandemically bad, and worse news is that there are way too many of the latter.
On the brighter side, this recent cinematic assault has provided the relief that I didn’t think I needed—a break in what otherwise is an endless string of knot-tied staring contests with me, myself and a freshly minted homemade haircut.
What I can share in this latest binge-a-palooza is that I’m still a gullible sucker for what essentially is the same exact storyline. A story that basically consists of two main parts….(1) a “mission”…. and (2) the “I need to call my crew” moment that happens when the main character recognizes that they can’t go maverick and it is going to take a team of aces for said mission.
It’s really in the “how” and “why” of logistically assembling the dream squad that keeps my captivation. Because it is in this exact moment of the story which hammers home the “better together” / “teamwork makes the dreamwork” montage and that thematically supports the overall desired theme of the storytelling.
It works in movies because it emphasizes human nature’s inclination to “recruit” and include others whenever challenges and dangers lay upon us.
COVID has mandated exactly the absolute opposite. Its counter-intuitive and it sucks. – and we are all wanting to just quit watching this horror show rerun and return the damn movie. It is why it makes this quarantine experience for us all feel so surreal and awkward.
If there is anything that COVID has revealed is that we…need…each…other…More directly, we need army sized versions for each other. And while the world we share has never seemed more unified, we have also never been so physically distant. It is in the criticalness of connections and quality of relationships that will be the key to getting thru this together.
Which brings us to this story—a similar type of “I need to find my crew” plot that seems as cinematic as it is timely.
Enter – ONE Global Design
This story started in 2011 with an idea for an alliance of independently owned, like-minded design professionals seeking a unified platform. An opportunity to band together for the purpose of providing best-in-class service and for the “any and all” clients to mutually benefit from the collective talents and expertise of the “whole”.
And just like in the movies, (que the cheesy music) Norman Liedtke (CEO of Meyer/ Master recruiter) made that epic “I need to find my crew” call and co-founded ONE Global Design (OGD), a new venture that would be the first of its kind—a formalized Earth Alliance.
One by one, partner firms across the world were carefully recruited, selected and curated to what is today a mind boggling 20 firms located in 28 cities across 6 continents—each highly successful, independently owned, like-minded and culturally-synced. All those numbers are even more impressive when you tally it up to be the 2nd largest design coalition on…this….planet…(btw – this is like being part of a fantasy draft and getting the first pick…all the freaking time)
“Our goal is to maximize idea stimulation and getting all these uber-talented people in the same room, focusing on the belief that together, we come out better than on our own” noted Norman.
To level set this a bit, this was every part of a “seeing around the corners” process. Norman had noticed that clients were already revving their engines and were beginning to multiply globally in order to satisfy an expanding market share and a rising talent demand. And the global trend shifted with the overwhelming number of Fortune 500 companies all pivoting toward multiple locations.
In other words – go where the clients go..
Fast forward 17 Global Summits, 20 firms and 1500+ design professionals, and nobody could have anticipated the extent of COVID’s wrath. Listen, ONE Global Design certainly is no exception to having their legs feeling a bit wobbly under the consequential onslaught of repeated gut punches dished by COVID.
But in this story, THAT is the point. – in that it seems ONE Global Design was created for moments like these. In the absolute of “uncertainty” is exactly where the benefit of a coalition like this has become evident. The alliance has provided a platform for each and every member firm to gather together and discuss, share, vent and most critically, support each other in the anyway and everyway of today’s newest challenges. Every member has committed to pull each other thru this to the other end – healthy, intact and ready for the “next normal”.
“As individual owners themselves, all of ONE Global Design members have been thru challenging times before. So, each of us are in this together, and have learned to truly rely on each other.—said Suzanne Nicholson, Executive Director of ONE Global Design. “Everyone has the attitude that we want to genuinely help each other, from sharing experiences in acquiring PPP Loans to the formation of new pitch-teams and establishing new workplace-led task forces”.
All 20 firms (to what is currently a mobilized 1,500+ Pandemically-shifted home-bound offices) are hopping on weekly zoom calls, offering advice and sharing their stories. Stories that stretch from good to not so good and everything in between. In a weird but predictable way—ONE Global Design has never been closer—connecting in ways that might never have happened otherwise. And in other ways, every member has already been here, working remotely and collaborating with each other on delivering projects across every time zone for nearly a decade.
“As we proceed, we know that some regions will come back from this at much different rates than others.—And that is where ONE Global Design will be, to support in any way—in every form of employee sharing, marketing support, project experience and all of the in-betweens.” Managing Director of ONE Global Design, Mike Stanley shared.
While at its core premise, “Architecture and Design” will always be the wind blowing the sails, but it will be in these defining moments that will truly bind them and ring the authenticity bell of the “WHO… WE….. REALLY …ARE” question.
“One of the distinguishing features of ONE Global Design is that the partners know each other really well, and that trust is key” – adds Eric Ibsen of FORGE (San Francisco)
We will all have to think carefully about how we shepherd our own path to a safer future—in many ways, we are simply stuck in the mud of uncertainty right now—and in the very short term, this will require some quick thinking, an ocean full of innovation and most of all, an approach that will require a real “together” in us.
But it is in these times of “sticking together” that become more critical than optional, and whether in a larger group like ONE Global Design or smaller, more intimate ones of family, friends and colleagues, we are ultimately all being recruited and united to one team with one mission.
The fully compiled ONE Global Design group is an embarrassing wealth of talent – all eagles flying to the harmonic yet simple mantra of “just moving forward”.
- *Mike Stanley – Managing Director of ONE Global Design – https://www.oneglobaldesign.com/
- *Suzanne Nicholson – Executive Director of ONE Global Design – https://www.oneglobaldesign.com/
- *Norman Liedtke – Co-Founder of ONE Global Design – https://meyerdesigninc.com
- *Eric Ibsen – FORGE – San Francisco – http://forge-sf.com/
- *Jennifer Treter – Hendrick – Atlanta – http://www.hendrickinc.com/
- *AJ Wilder – Wolcott – Los Angeles – http://wolcottai.com/
- *Barry Ludlow – Design Republic – NYC – https://designrepublic.us.com/
- *Gabe Hernandez – Design Republic – NYC – https://designrepublic.us.com/
- *Brad Thomas – Progressive AE – Michigan – http://progressiveae.com/
- Noack Little – Austin, TX – http://noacklittle.com/
- Partners by Design – Chicago, IL- http://www.pbdinc.com/
- Visnick Caulfield – Boston, MA – http://vca-arch.com/
- Progressive AE – Charlotte, NC – http://progressiveae.com/
- Design Collective – Columbus, Ohio – http://www.dcollective.com/
- Acquilano – Denver, Co. – http://acquilano.com/
- IDDI – Fort Lauderdale – http://iddidesign.com/
- JPC Architects – Seattle, WA – http://jpcarchitects.com/
- Fox Architects – Washington, DC – http://fox-architects.com/
- Figure 3 – Toronto, ON – http://figure3.com/
- SSDG – Vancouver, BC – http://ssdg.com/
- RIDI – Winnipeg, MB – https://ridi.ca
- ZVA Interiors – Mexico City, Mexico – https://zvainteriores.com/
- DSP Design – India/Singapore (6 Locations) – https://dspdesign.co.in/
- TP Bennett – UK (3 Locations) – https://tpbennett.com/
*Denotes Executive Leadership Team