All posts by Andrew Culver

Andrew Culver is the Founder and Co-CEO of iLiv. Andrew is also a composer and pioneer of experimental and avant-garde classical music. He worked for many years with John Cage, and invented sound sources based on Buckminster Fuller’s tensegrity structural principle.

Spring

Every Project has it’s seasons.

Spring, as we all know, represents rebirth, the re-emergence of life after the death and quiescence of Winter.

But not every Spring starts as expected. Sometimes the mantle of Winter reappears, concealing, even deceiving. That rebirth can look distant, or in peril altogether.

Don’t fret. There’s warmth under that blanket. And moisture. If Winter was cold and dry, this will even be a blessing for the shoots and seedlings awaiting their moment.

There’s always a little green in there somewhere. (Look at the picture again).

It’s the same with People and Projects. Delays can be positive, giving time for ideas to strengthen, and relationships to gel.

And Spring is on the way, just as surely as Earth revolves and oscillates.

When a Project seems to be suffering a setback, caused by external or indifferent forces — don’t fret.

Give it a few days.

iLiv outside the Box

Image Source: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/10/CartoonCreativity
Image Source: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/10/CartoonCreativity

Many businesses are starting to use cloud storage for their important files and documents. The ROI is clear: why spend time and money running your own file servers when you can get someone else to do it? And that’s what service providers like Box provide: a file server in the cloud.

But what if you want to help your teams communicate and collaborate better? What if you need them to work together in new ways, build better relationships, be more creative, define and continuously refine a shared vision? These are the benefits of deep, integrative collaboration.

With a file server in the cloud, you are not enabling these benefits, because files are just data, and data does not collaborate. People collaborate.

iLiv All-In can do everything services such as Box can do with files — storage, version control, sharing, auditing, access control — because people do need to share files. But unlike those other services, files are not the center of attention in All-In. All-In puts people and process at the center.

You can’t put people in a box if you want them to be collaborative and creative. And you won’t get collaboration out of a box. Even an online box.

LEED is not a process, but it exposes bad process.

The City of Ottawa has recently been considering dropping it’s requirement that all new buildings of a certain size be LEED certified.

The key reason for this decision given by Ottawa councilman David Churnushenko is that, based on his experience, LEED is costing $50,000 per building in documentation time. Even accounting for hyperbole, that is far too much.

However, it is also an indicator that the citizens of Ottawa are not getting the greenest buildings they could.

Sustainable and regenerative design and development come from relationships, creativity, and Integrative Process; not bureaucracy. LEED certification, it turns out, is an excellent way of measuring how effectively you are using your design and build teams. It is fairly safe to say that if they are treating LEED as just paperwork, just pushing paper and email is how your expensive staff and consultants are spending much of the rest of their time together too. If you are an owner (or city councilman) and your staff is moaning about how LEED documentation is costing you tens of thousands of dollars, you are wasting your money, whether you are seeking LEED certification or not.

This might be a perverse argument in favor of LEED, but it is a proven one.

iLiv has customers who are 30-50% more efficient (and if they are consultants, profitable) per LEED project. They are also delivering higher rated and higher performing buildings to their owners at no additional cost. They don’t see LEED as a burden, but as an invitation to discover and deliver a better and more valuable building.

Back in Ottawa, councilman Churnushenko is making one big false assumption: that by reducing LEED paperwork, his teams will become better green designers and builders. Nope. It takes new skills, like listening, being comfortable working outside of your area of expertise, teasing out and using ideas from anyone no matter what their status or specialty, sharing a vision, asking the hardest questions, trusting.

When all of those are in place, you get the best possible realization that the people, place, owner’s requirements, and environment can produce. And if you have proper processes and utilities in place, and integrate LEED from the beginning, your documentation burden should be trivial.