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December 2020 Menlo Bits


Happy Holidays!!!
Wishing you a safe and joyful holiday from Garby and all the rest of us at Menlo!


John Naisbitt and Joy
Rich's reflections on one of his favorite quotes

In this article, Rich unpacks the meaning of this quote and its impact on him. He shares his journey to change his perspective on technology in order to build a software company that creates Joy! 

You can read Rich's full blog post here.


Stressful by Design
Taking Berlin's new airport for a test drive

One of our High-Tech Anthropologists® recently shared out a story she enjoyed about the stress-testing of Berlin's new airport. We found some delightful parallels in the story to many an impending production launch date as well as the importance of design assessments with end users. 

The Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) airport has had many setbacks. Originally set to open in 2012, it first failed inspection of its emergency ventilation system. And as Andrew Curry describes, "That failed inspection was like pulling the proverbial thread: With just weeks to go before opening day, the whole $3 billion sweater began to unravel." From fire alarms that didn't work, to an inadequate sprinkler system, to hundreds of rooms being improperly numbered or missing from official blueprints altogether, the problems stacked up.

With their latest opening approaching, the BER encouraged people to come give the airport a test drive. The goal: get a much needed outside perspective. With problems both planned and unintentional, they were able to gather information about how guests navigated the new airport and how employees could adapt when problems arose.

You can go here to read the whole story!


There's Still Time for Joy!
Three alternatives to the office holiday party

2020 calls for a different kind of office holiday party! Menlo is offering special pricing through December 31 for a number of holiday party alternatives. Would your team like to attend a culture workshop led by a pair of Menlonians and brainstorm your goals for 2021? Or maybe they want to attend a 2 hour private virtual tour led by Rich or James? Or you could have Rich virtually visit your organization for his 'Lead with Joy' keynote and a Q&A session with your group! You can learn more and sign up here.

Lessons from Lockdown
Virgin Unite features Menlo!

Virgin Unite pulled together a collection of lessons learned during lockdown as part of their 100% Human at Work initiative, featuring a wealth of knowledge and stories gathered from companies in multiple industries. We were thrilled to have Menlo's story and experiments included!

You can read more about what experiments we've been running and learn about what other companies have learned while in lockdown here.


The passing of a much loved Menlo dog
Murphy, you will be missed!

We lost Murphy last month, a long beloved member of the Menlo team. Murphy and his “mom” Elaine retired from Menlo in 2018, but as we say often … once a Menlonian, always a Menlonian.
Murphy joined the Menlo team back in 2008 and was a constant for our team from that day forward. There had been other occasional dog visits to Menlo prior to Murphy but there is no question that we can easily call Murphy Menlo dog #1 as his attendance was impeccable. 
He was, mostly, a wonderful greeter at the Menlo front door as you see pictured above. He did have his opinions about people which he didn’t mind sharing. Repeat visitors would often ask about him. He was a great friend (mostly) of our delivery people who knew to have treats handy when they arrived. He loved our tours and classes, and became known as our “puppy vacuum” as any scrap of food that hit the floor belonged to him. 

As the movie title says, All Dogs Go to Heaven. we're guessing Murphy is there, right by the pearly gates greeting each new arrival, and looking for a treat.
We love you Murphy and will miss you forever.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
By: Twyla Tharp

Recommended by:
Brittany Morton, High Tech Anthropologist

In The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp shares her journey towards creative success and the lessons, habits, and maxims she learned along the way.  While reading it I couldn’t help taking copious notes about her approach to creativity as a profession, how she overcomes “ruts” in creativity and her process for building the ideal creative environment.  

While there are some small points I found less applicable to our way of working at Menlo, her unique perspective and methods were thought-provoking and refreshing.  I particularly enjoyed her meticulously crafted set of habits that allow her to produce novel content with each new project.  It feels very familiar to Menlo’s High Tech Anthropology® process in spirit.  As she says in one of her chapter titles “Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box.” 

Don’t be fooled by her poetic descriptions of complicated ballets or the professional dance world, there is content here that speaks to the core of what it means to be creative in any industry. 

Get your own copy here!

Menlo recently ran the experiment of virtual volunteering with Generus!

We spent our lunch break learning about how to tell better stories, brainstorming with our coworkers, and then individually recording a short story to be shared as video visits with older adults suffering from isolation and loneliness. The event was even led by Gail Bennett, who played Mary Poppins on Broadway! You can learn more and watch a short video about our experience in our blog post here.

Menlo Bits

The Menlo Bits is Menlo's monthly newsletter, filled with all the latest in science and technology trends as well as what's been happening at Menlo.

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