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Giving Girls’s World Banking a brand new dwelling


Once I look again on 2014, I do know that it’s the spotlight of my tenure with Girls’s World Banking thus far. Once I got here onboard 4 and a half years in the past, I labored with our CEO and boards to map out a sport plan to strengthen the tradition, model and enterprise mannequin of the group. As we speak is proof of how we caught to it.

In some ways, the previous 12 months for me centered on the bodily transformation of Girls’s World Banking: giving us a brand new dwelling. We took the chance to construct an area that mirrored all the change we’ve instituted, collectively. It will show a frightening process.

Girls’s World Banking was lucky to function from an workplace constructing on the sting of Bryant Park for almost 25 years. Although it’s a primary spot within the metropolis now, folks might not understand that on the time of coming into into the unique lease, the park (situated solely a brief block from Instances Sq.) was plagued by medicine and prostitution. Quick-forward 1 / 4 century… all of us had the privilege to stroll by way of an enchanted panorama of individuals, nature and historical past every day. Discovering a brand new location that will meet the expectations of our workers, companions and supporters was not straightforward.

The primary choice we needed to make was will we keep or will we go? There have been a number of issues, akin to transferring our operations into one of many international locations we work in or one other U.S. metropolis that isn’t as expensive. On the finish of the day we determined to remain in New York Metropolis for a number of causes. It’s the market that lots of our donors name dwelling, it stays a middle of affect (a significant consideration in our strategic plan), and it allowed us retain the unimaginable expertise of our workers.

As soon as we made the choice to remain in New York, the actual enjoyable started. Would it not be Manhattan, hipster Brooklyn, trending Harlem, or spacious Queens? Uptown or downtown? Ought to I adhere to the legendary CEO “rule” which states the workplace must be inside a sure radius of 1’s residence or she won’t present as much as work (or possibly I lose my job!)? How a lot wouldn’t it affect the workers if we moved from one subway line to a different? Would folks determine the place to eat lunch? How a lot pure mild will now we have? Can we use an current workplace constructing, or do we wish new development? What occurs if the brand new area isn’t prepared and our outdated lease ends? Will now we have a brand new workplace to work from or will we be working from dwelling?

The complexity of website choice paled compared to the subsequent step: design selection. With so many stylish, and technology-focused companies transferring into the town, the design ante has been raised considerably. Bench seating or workplaces? New furnishings or transfer all the things we had? Will the seats be snug sufficient? What about assembly areas? Capability for Board conferences? Knoll, Herman Miller, Metal Case, Goal or Ikea? How a lot ought to we spend? Who can pay for it? Will everybody hate it?

These are all ideas that crossed my thoughts and stored me up at evening, however the actuality is constructing a brand new dwelling for Girls’s World Banking was one of the vital rewarding skilled experiences I’ve had. Listed below are just a few secrets and techniques which have saved my cover:

  • Make the CEO completely happy
  • Present the Board that administration is in management
  • Assemble a reliable and dedicated group
  • Use correct change administration with the workers
  • Know your finances and reside inside it
  • Discover an amazing dealer and legal professional
  • Make sensible choices, not emotional ones
  • Make investments for the long run, contemplating each longevity and development
  • Don’t lose sight of the model, however don’t stay tied to your previous

The end result: A phenomenal, useful new area in the midst of Manhattan with 42nd ground views. We got here in 30% below finances on the general mission and didn’t use a single donor greenback, except in-kind help from Cisco Programs Inc. and Mayer Brown. We financed all the things by way of funding returns. The economics of the area will present us with stability for years to return. The fashionable know-how we’ve adopted connects us to the world. It displays our distinctive model of mind, dedication and concentrate on serving low-income ladies world wide.

Two months into our new dwelling and our workers is settled in and proud of the brand new area. The open ground plan encourages collaboration throughout groups, and it’s inspiring to see the brand new concepts which can be being generated to fulfill our mission: a day when all ladies can have entry to the monetary instruments they should obtain safety and prosperity. Check out a number of the photographs from our new area!

Women's World Banking's new offices in Midtown Manhattan

The main conference room

The board room

Our main office space

One of the meetings rooms

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