Friday, June 20, 2014
Huntsman Special Ops Team Makes Saving Money Cool
By Ken Snyder
This month a crack team of Huntsman staffers made saving money for the Huntsman School of Business cool by shredding the walls. As I have explained before, life in the George S. Eccles Business Building has become hot, muggy, and uncomfortable while renovation is underway, driving us all to seek out any cool pockets of air wherever we can find them. On the fifth floor the renovation work had created a temporary cool spot in what had been until just recently the main offices of the School of Accountancy, transforming it into sort of oasis of relief in the building.
Several of our staffers identified two needs that could be met in that transitional space that will soon become the Dean’s office. The room was due for a wallpaper change and the staffers were due for a cool change of pace.
A five-member team decided to save the school money by taking down the wallpaper. The experience may have proved just as effective as any team-building conference or workshop. The project gave them a chance to get to know each other. They talked strategy too, discussing what they liked about their jobs and how they thought they could do them better. The task opened up a conversation that one would not get while sitting around a conference table, they said.
The project, that launched them into totally unfamiliar territory, gave them a chance to use their various skills to solve problems and constantly look for ways to improve their process. They discovered on Pinterest, for example, that a spray bottle loaded with fabric softener is a valuable tool when it comes to removing wallpaper. It was a continuous improvement effort, which is what we are all about in the Huntsman School. The whole project, which was attacked on and off for three days, created a positive workplace experience the staffers say they will always remember.
You may wonder who was on this team. Well, I’m not telling. It’s like a special ops team and I may need to send them into another complicated situation now that they have gelled into this efficient problem-solving unit. If others knew about them, then I’d have to wait in line. And, right now, I’m not about to be waiting in line in our toasty building. That would not be cool.