Friday, January 28, 2011

Hub Friday: Core Values

...Oh, boy. Today's Hub Friday post is going to be a doozy, and it's pretty close to home. We're going to explore another core value today. It's "Take Action." There are three core parts to this particular value. They are:
  • We solve our clients’ problems before they know those problems exist.
  • We never assume that something is “someone else’s responsibility.”
  • Do something besides nothing when problems arise.
Why are we focusing on this core value today? Well, we noticed an anomaly in The Hub blog today: We somehow skipped EcoMonday this week. We don't know how it happened. It was just a blip, something in the scheduling or something. It might seem small, but to us here at The Hub Twoffice, where we handle such things, it seemed a big problem.
So what are we going to do? Yes, we spent a fair amount of time feeling embarrassed. And then we wondered if we could blame the operating system, or whatever. But then we realized that the solution is to put one of our core values into play.
Take action. For us that means taking responsibility. And then it means taking steps to make sure the problem doesn't happen again.
It could mean something like revisiting our responsibilities when the time comes for review, or maybe just something as simple as redrawing our priorities and carving out time check that our posts will go out on time.
Either way, one of the key parts of this core value is owning up to the mistake in the first place, and acknowledging the problem.
So we've done that. And now, we can solve the problem.
We love this value. It allows us to take responsibility for whatever comes down the pike.
You don't have to be a hero. Just take action.
What's your best tip for anticipating problems?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hub Friday: Core Values

Brrr. It's so cold outside that we want to hunker down under a big down comforter with a detective novel and cup of tea and not move for a couple of weeks. At least until the temps climb into the upper 40s, anyway.
Hub Friday today is about our first core value, "Never Give Up."
We think winter, with its never-ending adversity and short, dark days, is a good time to explore this value. What does it mean to us as a conference facility and as event planners?
  • There's always a solution. If a problem pops up, we don't stop looking at it from all different angles until we find a way to solve it.
  • Stay positive. Because we know there must be a solution somewhere, we don't consider letting ourselves wallow too much when a hitch pops up. We think it's wasted energy.
  • Team effort wins every time. We lean on our co-workers, our extensive collective knowledge, and good company spirit to do find the solution.
What does this core value mean to you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

EcoMonday: Greening Your Skiing

We are totally taken by the snow.
And we saw something lovely recently at the Philly Green Blog, where there was a good informative post about greening your skiing. Cos, you know, skiing can be very hard on the environment.
Downhill skiing requires snow grooming, and electricity for ski lifts, and new poufy clothing, and all sorts of other things (you didn't think the trees on your favorite ski hill just managed to grow in run-like formation, did you?) that might be unsavory to the green-minded.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check out some green ski areas. Here on the east coast, Smuggler's Notch in Vermont and Jiminy Peak in New Hampshire boast high marks for their sustainability records: Smuggs' boasts some great sustainable architecture, and Jiminy's built a wind turbine to contribute to power. If you're aiming to ski outside of the east coast, take a look at Sustainable Slopes, the National Ski Areas Association's charter for the greening of skiing. It'll tell you which areas are in compliance with the initiative.
Consider alternate activities. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are two truly green activities that require very little by way of equipment and travel. Any existing wide-open area, like a park or a golf course, is open for both of these activities if there's enough snow cover. Pluses include a higher rate of aerobic activity and a fatter wallet: both of these activities are free.

Recycle your togs. As our pals at Philly Green Blog say, Patagonia's Common Threads program can and will recycle your used clothing. But you can also go one step further: repair a popped zipper instead of buying a whole new coat. Buy merino wool underlayers and socks from a company like SmartWool, which practices sustainable harvesting. (Merino wool is a natural fiber that'll keep you warm even when you get sweaty.)

What are your favorite tips for staying active and green in the winter?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hub Friday: Day of Service

In our company, service is very important. It's equally important in Philadelphia: Every Martin Luther King Day, Global Citizen launches a Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, in honor of the late great Reverend.
At the Hub, we honor our employees' desire to serve. Employees can take two paid days off per year to serve in a charity of their choosing. We regularly share volunteer opportunities around the office, and our staff participates in cleanups of Philadelphia-area parks.
It's all an extension of one of our core values, Care with Passion.
How do you encourage your employees with care?

Monday, January 10, 2011

EcoMonday: When does green make sense?

We've been turning this idea over in our heads: When an industry feels the need to go green, what is its biggest roadblock? What is its biggest impetus? The event planning industry is on the cusp of getting some green standards. APEX/ASTM is working hard to produce a set of standards that will cover everything from Audio/Visual to Food and Beverage. But hey, you say, it's 2011. In a time when everything from the car industry to the toy industry has environmental standards, why is the event planning industry just now getting around to this?
Part of it is the complicated nature of our business. And the other part is a question of whether the chicken comes before the egg: Is it the folks in our industry who have driven the need for a set of environmental standards? Or is it the leadership who's assessed and determined the need?
Either way, we're glad it's happening. But it does raise the question of how change really happens: Does it happen because our employees and the people behind our companies decide that CSR is critical to our company's health?
Or does corporate leadership need to step up and make it a point to lay down the rule?
We tend to think it's a mixture of both: If you don't give your employees ownership, or pride, in an idea or thought, then they'll never get behind it.
And if company leadership seems to be just following a trend for popularity's sake, well, that idea's not likely to go far either.
What are your favorite examples of trend-setting done right?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hub Friday: Looking the Part

It's Friday!
In some workplaces, it's Casual Friday, but not here at the Hub. You'll see our sales staff in suits or some other business outfit (it's not unusual to see Bill and John, our president and CEO, respectively, walking around in 3-piece suits). We all wear name tags, all day.
Our service staff, who are a big part of making sure meetings and events go smoothly, follow a pretty steady dress code: We provide them with a black Hub button-down shirt, to be worn tucked in over a black T-shirt and black slacks, and with a black belt.
The whole look is topped off with a name tag and finished with closed-toe black shoes, flat-heeled, of course, because our staff needs to be able to maneuver, and stilettos do not allow for fast maneuvering.
Why have we chosen this look, and why do we not have Casual Fridays? For us, it's a simple answer. We have business people in and out of our facilities all the time, so we want to make sure they know they're in a place that takes their business seriously.
And when businesses use our facilities, we want to ensure that they know there are people around to help them make their events successful. So we give our service assistants uniforms that make them pop: their clothing says, we hope, "Hi! I'm here to help."
The name tags are around for the exact same reason.
What are your thoughts on Casual Fridays and dress codes?

Monday, January 3, 2011

EcoMonday: Ecofriendly snow removal

We were walking the Hub hound (yes! we have one of those!) when we noticed something heartbreaking. He was picking up his paws, one by one, until he was gimping about using only two paws at a time. Turns out, there's been a lot of ice and snow around, and the municipality's answer is a lot of salt. That burns our hound's feet, and potentially worse (we can always put booties on the hound), it gets into the groundwater and kills off plants. Not good.
So we did a little research, and we found out about some green snow removal options.
  • Rock Salt alternatives: Calcium Magnesium Acetate. It's "about as corrosive as tap water," which means it's not as hard on bridges, concrete, or the environment. And it's biodegradable. Sand and wood ash are good alternatives, too.
  • Electric snow blowers: Still not good, but better than gas snow blowers. Lower emissions, just as much snow-blowing power.
  • Just shovel it: Nothing better than a little exercise. Of course, if you're really not willing to shovel, you might want to consider something like the Wovel. Heck, why not? After all, a person's got to get to work.
Which reminds us: Snowshoes and cross-country skis make great traveling implements. In the aftermath of one blizzard we used our snowshoes to get to our office. We were the only ones there, but never mind that.