One of the things that I enjoy about traveling to different places and seeing how other people operate and run their businesses is it always allows me to reflect upon myself and the way we run our company, Baumpartner, here in Basel. Often as not, when I see a really sharp operation, on the ball, super-structured, loads of hardware and machinery, everything ticking away like a well-oiled machine, I come away feeling a bit bumbling and amateurish.
But then I come home and realize that the work environments we create for ourselves reflect a piece of what we are.
So I was in our yard yesterday morning and was realized once again what a special place it is to me. Sun just rising, Bernard, the smith next door just fired up his forge, the guys not arrived yet – that moment of calm before a day goes hectic.
Our yard feels very organic, has a bit of a village structure to it, there’s the builders, the concrete drilling guys, the stone mason, the landscape gardeners, the plasterer… and the martins in the isolation of our ceiling.
In many ways it reminds me of the alternative spaces and squats of my youth – that makes me sound terribly like an old man, which by the way is not how I see myself! – , which is of course exactly what the Baumpartner project first emerged out of.
So once again, this just goes to show the importance of being authentic: recognize who you are, do not pretend to be something you are not, take pride in your strengths and try to recognize your weaknesses – and where possible to develop strategies to compensate for them.
So… a bit bumbling and fuzzy?
Maybe so, but it feels right this way, it is way we choose to be – yet still allows us to do high-quality, professional work.