A couple of months back, as a fellow OPXer and I surveyed a building for one of our current projects, I walked into a large room filled with nothing but rows of desks with computer stations. I was standing in one of our client’s training rooms. I’d been in this room before and everything looked the same, so there wasn’t much to record. As I turned to exit the room, however, I noticed four brightly colored writing prompts taped to an otherwise blank wall. The content of these prompts made me pause to take them in:
“Who is my inspiration and why?”
“What changes will I make in my life to ensure success?”
“When times get rough I…”
“Why many people deserve second chances…”
After reflecting briefly on each prompt, I snapped a quick photo (shown above) and continued on with the survey.
Since then, I’ve reviewed the stream of photos I took that day many times, mostly to verify different building conditions. It wasn’t until recently, however, when we decided to examine our OPX Values, specifically Seek Improvement, that I was reminded of the moment I had with these four prompts.
These prompts hang in a room that is used to provide training to people who need help getting back on their feet. They provide an introduction for people to tell their stories. In some way or another, each of the prompts helps to create a spark in their search for improvement. Without knowing anything else about the people who use this room, the prompts offered a glimpse into their stories and their ultimate mission.
As my fellow OPXers can attest, I’ve been working on this project for a long time. While part of this time has been spent interfacing directly with our client and their various users; I am, for the most part, sheltered from what’s happening in their worlds on a daily basis. It can be easy to lose track of the people we are truly serving by enabling our clients to better serve their own clients. It’s important to remember why, and how, we seek improvement to enable them to seek improvement for others.
I’m grateful that these four sheets of paper grabbed my attention and reminded me why we do what we do. On top of this, I was reminded that impactful design doesn’t necessarily mean a shiny new training facility with all the latest gizmos. Sometimes it just means bright sheets of paper on an otherwise blank wall.