Back in the 1970s, Max DePree (who was our CEO then) invited management guru Peter Drucker to talk to his management team many times. De Pree and Drucker forged a friendship based on mutual respect and similar ideas about why innovation and values were important. They also felt strongly that it was in a company’s best interest to help the people who work there realize their potential. It was the beginning of an enduring relationship between Herman Miller, Inc., Drucker, and eventually the Drucker Institute, a think-tank formed in 2006 to further Drucker’s ideas.
When the Institute decided to redesign its office space, it turned to Herman Miller. The Institute wanted a flexible space that would improve communication and support collaboration. Their new offices don’t have any walls, a move that encourages what Drucker called “sideways communication.” Furniture is on casters, so reconfiguring it is a snap. And the perimeter walls have been painted with Idea Paint, a paint that turns surfaces into marker boards.
The new office space is “the perfect blend of form and function,” writes Institute Director Rick Wartzman in his own piece about the project. Clearly, the Drucker/Herman Miller connection is still a synergistic one.