2013 – August Tour

August Month Meeting Review and Facility Tour Overview:

 Red Hat Tour
By Jamie Brooks, City Wide Maintenance of NC


It may have been the first cool, 80 degree day we have seen in Raleigh for well over a month now, but nevertheless, it was a great day to be inside….at least for those of us visiting the Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh today!  A big thank you goes out to Craig Youst, Senior Director Global Workplace Solutions, and Danny Seaton, Senior Manager Facilities Operations, as well as over a dozen other Red Hat team members who coordinated and lead 110+ guests through a tour of the Red Hat Tower.

Our meeting was kicked off by Neville Devlaliwalla, our Chapter President.  Neville challenged the attendees to become active in the Chapter – “don’t just be members of IFMA, but rather be involved members of IFMA” was his rallying cry.  He also pushed for greater professional member participation in committees and as committee Chairs/Co-Chairs.  And before turning over the event to the Red Hat team, Neville challenged the Chapter members to get to know one another – to “reach out to the members in the corner of the room and help get everyone involved.”

One of the members of my tour group put it best….”wow, where do I submit my application?”  It’s great whenever a work environment can create that kind of enthusiasm, and the Red Hat Tower was built with that goal in mind.  The design of this facility was constructed around three specific themes:  (1) fun, (2) collaborative, and (3) modern.  From the open work environment, to the community orientation of the enclave spaces, to the removable glass between work stations, to the digital room reservation system, this building was designed to harness the power of collaboration and foster teamwork.  Red Hat balanced its modern design with the use of sustainable materials – the Red Hat Tower is expected to be the first LEED Gold certified building in downtown Raleigh.  And perhaps as important as the productivity and sustainability elements of this building, this space was designed to be a high energy, youthful, and fun environment.

There were two specific take-aways from Red Hat that I felt are worth high-lighting.  The first is that they showcase, and the second is that they have a great appreciation that for an innovative space to work, you cannot ignore the change management involved.

SHOWCASE – Red Hat has a story.  It’s a great story.  It’s about being disruptive.  It’s about being collaborative.  It’s about innovation.  It’s about energy.  This story is embedded in their product and it’s in their culture.   And Red Hat is deliberate in wanting to showcase their story throughout their building.  Colors are bold, artwork is sparing, but inspirational messages abound.  Red Hat even positioned their new hire interview rooms and vendor meeting rooms to overlook their common areas in a way to showcase the building and team’s energy.  The theme of showcasing the Red Hat story flows from floor to floor.  Branding the Red Hat environment was clearly a priority in the building’s design.  It makes you ask yourself….how do we showcase our own companies’ stories in our facilities?

CHANGE MANAGEMENT – Before relocating teams from the former location to the Red Hat Tower, the Red Hat team had at least 5 meetings with every group that was relocating in order to explain the new building and coach on how to leverage the collaborative aspects of the building design.  It was recognized that if you want to get the most out of innovative design and your work force, then don’t just leave it to chance that the work force will fully adopt and leverage the new space.  Instead, be proactive, as Red Hat was, and help your team understand how to get the most out of the spaces and tools you provide them.

The tour was followed by a fantastic social event at Zinda.

Again, we would like to thank Danny Seaton and Craig Youst, and the entire Red Hat team for their hospitality and the great tour!