Finding the story

August 6, 2019 – The reason I was back in New York? There was an acquisition—an acknowledgement that two organizations together were something greater. (It can happen.)

The goal for this particular day was to find the essence of this union, and their combined future.

An early exercise was for the executives from each company to give a brief explanation of how they came to be at this particular table. (It’s really hard to summarize one’s life work in succinct fashion.)

As an outsider of sorts (I’m a design contractor), when it came to my time, I summed up my story as best I could in the shortest amount of time:


“My father was an engineer and an entrepreneur. He married a bohemian artist that loved to make things. Together? They had a designer.

I went to college to study cinematography, that program was cancelled it that year so I figured visual communication was close enough. I ultimately got a bachelor of science degree in design. Because it is science. And anyone can learn it.

Design is the science of art.*

Part of my education was in Switzerland, and that taught me minimalism. I like to joke that that means I do as little as possible, but really it’s about stripping away artifice and getting to the core of a message. A purpose.

And I’m happy to be here.”

We had a challenging day working through the history of the companies and had a great meal afterward. My only regret? It wasn’t a two day workshop. Because it’s nice to reflect on things and extend the discussion.

But work is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be time when we make it. And time is something we need to make.

*  I don’t know if I’d totally hang my hat on this statement as it stands, but it has some legs that could be stretched out.