Insights from WM – Perspectives & the Horizon

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat.” 

Steve Jobs

In a three month timeframe, COVID-19 has created change in every category of our lives. Using Jobs logic, it has also given us an abundance of new opportunities. We asked our leaders to share new innovations with us created through this crisis.   

First, I will share mine:

Leaders can use the dynamics of crisis, to create more urgency around important initiatives. We created quick, interconnected teams to research and develop innovative resources for our clients as they navigate returning to the office including our Common Sense Guide and Healthy Workplace Assessment.


Challenging times can spur innovation.
How have you been innovative in helping your team or your clients?

We have enhanced innovation to our clients by expanding our 3-D Technologies to create highly engaged design charettes and walk through of spaces. We also use our Bluebeam sessions to review and update documents in real time to maintain schedules. We are our client’s guides to steer their projects in the right direction during these challenging times.

Dawn Riegel
Director, Interior Architecture & Design
Oak Brook & Chicago, Illinois

Working remotely has made me become more self aware of the importance of balancing operational efficiency with creative thinking. It is very easy to get set on accomplishing tasks and being tactical while letting innovative thinking be pushed aside. Working with my team, I have witnessed the same struggle yet there have also been flashes of crazy ideas that spark positive innovation. When we return to the office, I want to foster a team environment focused on execution balanced with opportunities to express new innovative ideas with no judgement.

Michael Bennett
New Jersey, New York

Since Ware Malcomb has so much experience with remote collaboration across our offices, this environment has allowed me to share some of these strategies with our clients to help them ramp up their own remote working efforts.

Joe Stryker
Director, Architecture
Atlanta, Georgia

I have helped my Team with innovation by using cross-collaboration during the current COVID-19 challenge.  Now more than ever, projects assigned to my team requires unique and different skills and perspectives from multiple disciplines, which help me to think outside of the box and ultimately obtain the best possible result for WM. 

Leslie Espiritu, SHRM-SCP
Director, HR
Irvine, California

I’m a big believer in the business lunch and the ability to connect over a great meal. The last 10 weeks have prevented any gatherings and face to face opportunities to dine in and catch up so it was time to get creative while being respectful of physical distancing guidelines. I have a few clients out for “lunch at a distance” which entailed meeting at a great, local spot, dining in our cars, windows rolled down, and chatting from a distance. It was so great to connect and exchange stories of how our respective businesses are doing, as well as our families while supporting our favorite local restaurants. 

Christina Piper, IIDA, LEED AP
Studio Manager, Interior Architecture & Design
Chicago, Illinois

Our clients still wanted drone photography of their sites, even with all this going on. I can now deploy my drone, fly it, land it, and recover it, without ever leaving my car.

Rob Kiester, AIA
Studio Manager, Architecture
Denver, Colorado

The WM Design team has been working across markets and via technology for several years. Although we have been quite comfortable with online collaboration the actual collaboration tended to be grouped with localized team members.  As each of us has been isolated, I have seen much more cross collaboration between generations, offices, regions and expertise making us grow as individuals and stronger as a team.

Jinger Tapia
Principal, Design
Irvine, California

What new innovations are you excited to implement? Share with us!