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August 27, 2006

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» think:lab: What a Printing Company in Montana Can Tell Us About School Design and Leadership from Kevin Tunis
I had thought about how to write a review of the tour we took with Robert Scoble about Andrew Field and [Read More]

Comments

Andrew Pass

Christian: This place sounds incredible. As I read your post I was thinking about how I can make my classroom a little like the printing building? I think the most important thing to remember is that everything in my class moves. We can move things so that they are more student friendly. If we start with restructuring classrooms, maybe eventually we can move on to restructuring whole buildings.

One more comment, many years ago I had a student who constantly got out of his seat. I was a young teacher and for some reason thought that every student had to sit down. I'll never forget the look of thanks on his face when I told him that he could stand if he wanted to. We should all be a little more flexible. It sounds as if the president of the printing place is very flexible.

Andrew Pass
http://www.Pass-Ed.com/blogger.html

Robert Scoble

Thanks Christian, Andrew is my business hero. Can't wait to get the video up from our tour onto Podtech.net. Probably in mid-September.

ron k jeffries

I work at a dog-friendly start-up company. My experince confirms that having animals in a work environment is great for the humans, and is not too bad for the dogs either.

We used to have an employee who'd bring his cat in to work.
That was NOT a great idea.

Christian

Ron: Andrew actually fielding the 'are there any cats?' question during our tour. Like you, he realized it was not such a good thing! The dogs, however, were a joyful part of the visit...and the way that the team engaged them said a lot about who they are as people, too. In short, it confirmed a culture of humanity and innovation -- and speaks volumes about who they are and why they are pulling ahead. And why others choose to often move across the country to join them in an industry they might not have otherwise done previously! Thanks for swinging by. Look forward to learning more about your background, site, etc. Cheers, Christian

Christian

Mr. Scoble -- Great to have you jump into the "think:lab" waters again. Not the same wonderland as the Boiling River in Yellowstone we last explored, but it's all I got back in the 'real world'. Glad to know that you'll be sharing with the world via PodTech the interview you created with Andrews. Hearing him tell the story as he walked the PFL halls inspired from beginning to end. Truly walks the walk! And good luck with the PodTech show. Remember, you can still use "Dancing Monkey" as the show's name if you want. No charge! Best to Patrick and Maryam! Cheers, Christian

Jan

Thanks for this post; now I don't feel so bad about not having joined you for the tour. Can't wait for Scoble's video.

Angela

Came by your post because of the mention of Montana. I live in the Flathead Valley in Glacier National Park (on the other side of the Rockies from Livingstone) and moved here from Florida. Interesting that you talk about the dogs at this company...here in Montana having your animals with you seems to be very important and I have been all sorts of places like retail stores and offices that people are have their dogs. There is a dog in workspace of the company where I work too as well as the children of the employees including mine. Being able to have your child in your workplace makes the difference, I wish more places realized that this would help many smart, creative moms out there.

Christian

Jan, hello Sister Good Soul! Great to hear from you...and no worries on your ducking out of the PFL tour a few weeks back. Scobles video should do some justice to what you meant...and Andrew comes off as passionate and focused and joyful as any CEO I've met! Hope all is well in videoblogging world and your NJ landscape! Cheers, Christian

Christian

Angela, your echo of the dog-factor in Montana businesses (from stores on up the corporate food chain) has once again created that "Quality of Life" vibration in my head! Well said...and thanks for taking a peak into "think:lab" and sharing your experience. I have 2 dogs with me at my home office, and going for a walk with them mid-day is often the only time I lift my head up from the computer before my wife returns home each evening. If I were at an 'office' in the traditional sense and could bring Tucker the Wonderdog and Flaco (rhymes with Taco), it'd be a wonderful mix. Again, thanks for stopping by!

Cathi Bartley

I happened upon your website while I was working on a school assignment (researching MS Publisher info and tips for a desktop publishing class) I've now gotten lost in your website (been here over 30 mins) and am ready to move to Montana. I think I'm going to dust off my exercise ball and put it in my office! What a great idea!

Thanks for all the tips. I'll pass them on to my class. Who knows, maybe I'll be calling for a quote someday.

Stay warm,

C. Bartley
Dallas

Warren Sly

I echo your thoughts about Andrew and Printing for Less and would add that PFL is a good example of how corporations owe so much to the vision and character of their founders. Witness Jobs, Gates and Fields. All driven, but driving differently.

I met Andrew while vacationing in Livingston. From the next table at a restaurant he asked, 'what do you do?' I replied, 'I roast coffee and donate $2 from every pound to non-profits.' Without a blink, Andrew replied, 'I want to do that, come and see me tomorrow.'

That was the beginning of a marvelous relationship in which we roast and send PFL branded coffee to a recipient when PFL says 'thank you.'

And of course, the charity receiving the donation is the local Humane Society! We've donated several thousand dollars because PFL knows that trusting them to do their printing takes courage and should be rewarded!

Anon

"All workers are humans, learners and team members first"

I really thank you for this article... my wife is a teacher, but until now I have not thought through the connections between my business and her class room.

You also have given me some ideas to build a better work environment.

Michael Reid

Thanks for the post. Very interesting stuff.

Printing Australia

You have given me an idea for my printing business in Australia. Thanks!

metal buildings

Interesting insight! I know many who have turned in their chairs for yoga balls, but I definately see it's benefit. I love the pet-friendly atmosphere, they say petting a dog will lower one's blood pressure. Thx for the post.

Ski Montana

Enjoyed reading your article - I will stop by again in the near future to check up on your latest news. Trent

Thomas Carpenter

it is very good message.

Tampa Sandy

Thanks for the article, love the philosophy. As an instructor, my own philosophy is to make the info readily available in a hands-on atmosphere and just allow students to learn rather than teaching them.

UberGeek

What a great article. I love the dog concept. You need an office that has nothing but tile floors, I bet! There's nothing quite like working for a company who's employees share the same vision as the founder, and who each have a sense of humor, and are each bright and knowledgeable in their chosen field of work.

bill

Thanks for the article. I think schools have a lot to learn from these types of environments--especially if they consider how students will be doing work. Less factory, more learning spaces.
Cheers.

Rich

It's nice to see a company think about the broader picture and provide an excellent overall environment for their employees. People don't just look at the amount they are paid, but they look at the way they are treated. This company has some innovative concepts and I'm sure that employee retention is high. When the building, the employee programs, and collaboration is encouraged, then a stronger and more creative workplace will result. If you inspire your employees to constantly learn, then they will provide great quality and service.

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