How I Explored My City and Broadened My Appreciation for Architecture
You can’t have a narrow mind and a thick passport. – Pauline Frommer
I do realize this generally refers to travel and the broadening of the mind that one experiences through seeing new lands and cultures. However, I would like to argue that a similar broadening of the mind can occur by collecting stamps in the OMNIPLANNER, also known as the OMNIPLAN Passport.
In mid-2016, our Marketing Department rolled out an experience exercise which is, at its core, a social media initiative. The OMNIPLANNER is a tool by which employees collect stamps by completing the activities in the “squares” within its pages; all the while hashtagging away and expanding OMNIPLAN’s social media presence and website traffic. I collected a few stamps in 2016, but I have really embraced it in 2017 and I have come to appreciate it for much more than a campaign. In just the first two months, I collected 13 stamps. Now I am up to 37, and I am having such fun broadening my horizons right here at home.
The requirements include doing an array of activities with co-workers, thereby enriching relationships and promoting a team-building environment. Some squares actually specify that you must create an experience with someone you don’t know well, thereby building new relationships. Some of the activities are designed to enrich the lives of others through volunteer work. But anyone who has given themselves in service to others knows that there is a greater benefit in feeding your own soul just by doing some good.
I admit, I have become a little obsessed. I am a creature of habit by nature, so I have become quite dedicated to this little book. Through using my OMNIPLANNER, I have found that my personal relationships are also being enhanced. Before, when my husband and I would try to get out of the house, we would often get in a rut. Now, we are planning outings that we never would have done before, just to get a stamp, and we are enjoying our time together all the more.
In the OMNIPLANNER, there are four different stamp categories that are referred to as badges. These include; Architecture Badges, Community Badges, Wellness Badges and Arts Badges. The Architecture Badges, of course, are the industry related activities. I have worked at OMNIPLAN for 24 years, but I am administrative support, not an architect. I had never attended an architectural lecture and I probably never would have, if not for that square in my passport…but I attended two Dallas Architecture Forum lectures this spring with several of my co-workers, and I loved it. Both were very interesting and inspiring and I gained new insight into the architecture world that I don’t get just by coming to work. Now I find myself searching for “award winning” projects both local and national to prepare for future stamp opportunities.
I debated about writing this blog (even though I get a stamp for it!) because of the competition component of the OMNIPLAN Passport exercise. At year’s end, the person with the most stamps will win a prize. Part of me wants to keep my progress and my enthusiasm a secret so that I have a better chance of winning….but in the end, I want to encourage my fellow Omniplanners to get out there and thicken their own passports…. because I truly feel like I’m already winning just by participating.
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