Event Recap: WLI/Larson Leadership Summit Breakfast
May 31, 2017
By Dana van Galder, WLI Chair of Communications
We all work in some aspect of affecting the built environment made for people just like us – who enjoy eating great food, being outdoors, various hobbies, etc. When you bring your whole self to your workplace – the former dancer or Grandmaster chess player – we aren’t just “Dan in Entitlements” or “Elise in Accounting,” but rather a diverse group of unique individuals. Knowing someone’s “whole self” also creates deeper relationships among our peers leading to trust and mutual respect in the workplace and allowing for completely open dialogue. These transactions between diverse, trusting individuals can unlock unforeseen value for the larger group.
Hurd noted that “creativity happens when we step away.” We are tethered to our phones 24/7 making it nearly impossible to shift focus for very long before turning back to check an email social media. When we make time to step away – to exercise, to meditate, to vacation without technology, to silence the phone at night – that is when true inspiration comes. Inspiration and ideas that you can then take into work and transform your work into a fulfilling endeavor, rather than simply completing a task. She also noted that it is important to make it known you are unavailable (unless necessary) after 6PM and before 8AM. If you’re not expected to respond, slowly your work will understand and wait until morning.
Hurd also spoke to the urban environment and how we should shift focus to moving people, rather than cars, from place to place, saying “we cannot fit more cars in our inner cities.” And as more people move into cities, we need to change our mindset to finding opportunities for everybody. Our cities are places for opportunity that draw global immigration. Our country was founded on immigrant opportunity, and Hurd emphasized that we need to make room for new incomers, including providing access to affordable housing and low-cost transportation.
Hurd stressed that it is essential that diversity in cities as well as the workplace enhance the spaces around us and bringing our unique personality makes those spaces thrive.