The Culture Of Spaces

The Executive Briefing Center. A magical place where customers go to become enamored with products or ecosystems or solutions. Cisco, Brocade, Apple, Google and Microsoft. I’ve been to several of these corporate spaces and I’m struck by the differences of each.

Cisco’s was over the top impressive. Like visiting OZ. But look behind the curtain and you’ll find a room full of boxes, wires and network engineers making it work. They wowed with the tech but the reality isn’t so nice and clean. Superintendents beware.

Brocade was very straight forward. Nice facility, down to business. No giant heads or hidden curtains, just good clean big iron hardware. I think they tell it how it is. Tech Directors, ask your questions.

Apple. Clean and crisp and focused. Just like their products. Polished presentations on point and showcasing the ecosystem. Very tailored to the audience. Impressive, most impressive. CBOs, watch your checkbooks.

Google. A startup environment with stacks of extra chairs along the wall and round tables. Loosey goosey and organic. Or perhaps just youthful and inexperienced. I have a feeling that the next briefing will be iteratively better and different just like their products. Go back often to stay up to date.

Microsoft. Winding spaces, with stairs and hallways and doors everywhere. Chaperones in the halls. Almost locked down but not quite. An air of restriction in movement and options. A reflection of corporate culture evident in their products. The space feels like being inside of Windows. I’m not sure who this space is for.

Interesting to me that the corporate cultures are so reflective in these spaces. How are the spaces in our schools representing school culture and student outcomes and absent billions of dollars, what can we do about it?