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September 28, 2011


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I quit smoking in the late 70s. Back then you didn't have to leave your desk to inhale. Hard to believe the nonsmokers put up with us.

But your point about "management by smoking around" is right on. We desperately need workspaces that throw us into collaborative and creative environments -- like the ones that once gathered around ash buckets, or at the bar rail at lunchtime where we could add yet another vice to the mix.

I'm guessing 90% of interaction with my own colleagues and associates is now electronic. Sure, it's efficient. But unless you're one of those geeks from Wikinomics, it's not a very good way to create things. I can't sense excitement in an email, nor am I much good a asynchronous conversation and debate.

When I gather with my colleagues face to face, the magic happens. We've been known to solve 6 months worth of problems in 2 hours -- and about 4 beers apiece. Once in a while I even light up a stogie for good measure.

I don't miss the cigarettes. Besides, someone told me they're bad for you.

Bill, Goddamnit, don't leap ahead. I'm getting to liquor tomorrow.

So nicely said that I don't have anything to say, except: "You rotten mf, now you've made me want a cigarette so bad, and I stopped three years ago and I haven't felt like myself since. And my communication has totally sucked." So thanks for reminding me!

When I worked for Allergan, they built an R&D building in which every wall was made of the same material as those dry mark erase boards. every 10 feet or so, a cup was stuck to the wall with markers and erasers. Two scientists meeting in the hall could strike up a conversation and start diagramming right there; no need to set up a meeting. Brilliant.

And thanks for the link, David!

I had to smile for two reasons. My boss used to always use this one - it was 'lets step into my outdoor office'. It was more a strategy planning session away from listening ears.
Second reason, I gave up smoking 6 weeks ago and I feel like I now have no idea what is happening in the corporate office, whereas before I knew everything

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