IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 12

IIDA Industry Roundtable 17:
People, Place, and Work

BY

Jen Renzi
JANUARY 10-12, 2014
CHICAGO, IL

The IIDA International Board of Directors, IIDA Corporate
Members, and senior design professionals from the A&D
community convened in January for a facilitated, interactive
dialogue about the workplace issues currently bedeviling
them. This year's topic sprouted from a premise:
Work is easy, but people are hard.

The IIDA International Board of Directors, IIDA Corporate
Members, and senior design professionals from the A&D
community convened in January for a facilitated, interactive
dialogue about the workplace issues currently bedeviling
them. This year's topic sprouted from a premise: Work is easy,
but people are hard. True, the work designers do isn't exactly
easy, often involving ambitious project briefs like rebranding
cities and reinventing a client's corporate culture. But the
creative act of designing is simple compared to the "people
part": finding, hiring, developing, nurturing, managing, and
mentoring employees (while keeping them from accidentally
breaching client-nondisclosure agreements via their personal
social-media feeds). Designing is not only easier than the
people part: It's also utterly dependent on the people part.
To do good work, we must do good people work. This maxim
applies to how we manage our firms, how we interface with
clients, and how we help those clients manage their own
people via the spaces we design for them.

12

How We're Finding Employees
Unsurprisingly, firms are relying less on outside recruiters
and more on word-of-mouth referrals and technology. From
Facebook to LinkedIn, social media has dramatically impacted
how designers and manufacturers scope (and suss) out talent.
No single website or method is dominant; it's more about the
combined impact of many research and outreach vehicles.
Anne-Marie Gianoudis, IIDA, explained that Gresham Smith
& Partners uses technology to "establish talent pipelines,
initiate deeper networking, and reach both active and passive
candidates." Other firms, like VOA Associates, have developed
in-house tools to augment their online outreach and refine
their applicant pool: "We've implemented an electronic
application process that is searchable by skill set and qualifications," helping managers earmark the most promising
candidates, said the firm's Jeannette Lenear, IIDA.
How We're Managing Them
The character of the new workforce-youthful, outgoing,
mobile, self-directed, socially mediated-inspires a host
of new management issues. Further complicating matters are
stressors placed on time and resource-strapped managers
themselves, pressured to chase new business and spearhead
client projects while attending to the diverse needs of both
individual employees and the team dynamic.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014

Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 6
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IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 16A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 16B
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IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover4
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