Creating our own recovery…

It is now just after Labor Day weekend, Summer is over it is back to school time, and time to get back to serious work for the Fall and Winter. It is puzzling to me to read and hear how bad “they” say things are. Just last week a Wall Street expert proclaimed that “now” was not the time to buy stocks; things were “that” bad. The next day the NYSE went up 250 points! Some expert … So are things really that bad, or is it just in the heads of our politicians and the mass media? I am a firm believer that “all of us” will survive this mess! After all, in my 30 years in the interior design industry, I’ve seen four recessions (indeed, started my career in one, 1980, shows how old I am; and this venture i.d.o. in 1992 – that’s how little I knew then!) and sooner or later we pull out of them. This is just a cycle. And one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learn over the years is that you have to be strong, tough and sometimes audaciously bold. If you just hang in there you’ll come out on the other side with everyone else, but if you can get in front of the wave you can make things happen. I asked our i.d.o. associates this question: “What can we do (or what do we do) as a company to proactively stimulate our own recovery and break away from the tethered state we are told we are in?” A sampling of their answers were inspiring………….. Julie M. Knight Design Associate…………. “I know we are consistent in our customer service in a time where that is the first thing to go. We consider each project to be unique. We do not try to use a cookie cutter method to solve issues and we continue to improve the issues we encounter with new ideas. If we continue to dig into our clients organizations we will discover areas in which we can infuse our services or to help to guide innovative solutions. So we are ido – innovative design offerings with a “BIG” emphasis on service to our customer.” Amanda J. Medlen, R.I.D., IIDA, LEED® AP Design Associate………….. “We should all be doing it every day regardless but especially in a “Recession,” continually marketing the company, our services and ourselves to others. Projects rarely come our way by just waiting for them…most seem to come from the relationship that we currently have, a mutual connection or the like. Also, with companies cutting-back and being more selective with their work and budgets…it makes the job opportunities sometime smaller. Companies and employees must be “strong, tough and bold” to win these jobs and work. This is true with both companies and on the individual level also…we must work to the best of our abilities and really show what we are made of in order to win and keep jobs.” Donna Metallic, R.I.D. Managing Design Associate “Stimulating the audience. As a profession, Interior Design is looked upon as an added project cost instead of an added benefit. We need to educate our clients that interior design only costs them if they do not think about interior design as a tool towards higher productivity. The working environment impacts the overall morale of employees. If the employee is well adjusted in their work environment then they will increase their productivity. As far as I know there is no tool available to measure this intangible aspect of the work environment, but maybe there is a way to measure a persons response to their environment.” I wish you and yours all the best for Fall 2010. Jill Mendoza

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