The Triad Community… a place where we’re very good at playing to our strengths because we are all honest about our weaknesses.
As a recent transplant to Columbus, I’ve spent the last year doing a lot of hands-on learning about my new community. I moved back to the Midwest after five years in southern Louisiana, knowing no one in the city aside from a few extended family members. For the first few months the people I knew best and interacted with the most happened to be my coworkers. As the design and construction field goes, they’re probably still the people I interact with the most on a weekly basis. Both professionally and personally, landing in Columbus at Triad brought about the potential for impactful change that I was looking for.
As an architect, no matter where I go, I get to solve puzzles. That is the best way to summarize my practice. In hindsight, it is why I chose the field of architecture as a profession. What brings me real joy is solving specific types of issues brought to the table and the people I get to solve them with. It’s a rare moment when you can look around your workspace at your colleagues and realize you respect and appreciate every single person on the team. It certainly doesn’t hurt my work-life balance that I genuinely enjoy the time I spend at the office and on the job site. More importantly, the way our team operates is directly reflected in the projects we bring in and the success of our client’s vision. The work ethic and trust I’ve found in this group is unique. I know I can go to any one of them for last minute help or a critical eye. I understand what drives them and where they want to make an impact. We’re very good at playing to our strengths because we are all honest about our weaknesses. The time we dedicate to understanding each other results in a work rhythm that carries us through tough deadlines, conflicting ideas, and the growing pains of a small firm reaching for a big impact. I can’t say how important I find this, especially as a member of a field that I believe is only successful (and fun) when it is collaborative.
Even more monumental is that I frequently find these qualities in the clients and consultants who chose to work with us. Both groups are hands on, incredibly hardworking, and willing to fight for a joint vision. Considering the work we focus on is predominantly K-12 education, along with civic and nonprofit facilities, that vision is usually centered around community improvement. Working for clients who want to push the limits of what their projects can become and what they can provide to the community is what I strive to do. To have engineers on the team who are committed to drilling down into a problem to find the best solution completes the package I get to present to an owner. These are the puzzles I want to put together and this is the team I have faith in helping me do so.
The first weekend I visited Columbus my cousins showed me around and the city felt like a refreshed version of the Midwest (no shade to my native Indiana). In the same way, Triad is a refreshed version of what work life can look like. It takes a lot of effort to build this type of organization, and I’m well aware we’ve been working at it for 25 years. Constantly reviewing and reassessing our approach to projects, service to clients, and partnership with employees is a significant investment of time and resources. All of us at Triad are given the opportunity to participate in that process. My work and my colleagues will inevitably always be a huge chunk of my life. In order for my work to have a positive impact within the community, this collection of coworkers, clients, consultants, and contractors all need to understand each other as a team and be willing to collaborate. It’s foundational; I found it.