Unlike many in our field, I am not a trained architect or designer, I am a former military officer. I mention this to highlight that good architecture and design can be enjoyed by all, even people who have never thought about it consciously. As I began to pursue my graduate degree in Organizational Leadership, I began reading books on the subject and watching TED Talks. One of the books and TED Talks that resonated with me was Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, which is one of the most popular TEDx Talks in history. I believe in and champion the concepts he presented. Sinek points out that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, and that we are drawn to “people who believe what we believe”.
Since I have been with the Crosskey team, I have thought considerably about our organizational “why”. In conversation with our Owner and President, Bill Crosskey, we came up with the following statement to answer, “Why do we do what we do?”
Everything we do, we do to inspire, to transform neighborhoods, to preserve our cultural past, to bring life back to historic buildings, to solve challenges, and to see the satisfaction of our clients.
How does this impact our organization? It is simple, it is what gets us out of bed each day! The influence that an architecture and design firm can have on a community is immeasurable; from inspiring people to see the beauty in a city or town, to bringing life back to old factories. I think the general perception about architecture is it’s just about the aesthetic—the beautification of our cities and towns. I argue that our work is more about understanding market demands and then responding with design solutions that help drive economic development and revitalization. Good architecture and design can help enhance a community’s sense of pride, i.e. the revitalization of Main Streets. Tourist flock to Main Streets across America for great architecture, culture, and food.
So why am I rambling? Because great architecture, is a result of well planned development and we are lucky to work with developers who “believe what we believe” and vice versa. Without great visionaries like our developers, our concepts would never become reality. Similarly, our developers couldn’t do the work they do without financial tools to assist them in closing gaps in their financing.
In CT we are blessed to have the CT Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), the state Department of Housing (DOH), and the Department of Economic Development (DECD), to name a few. These organizations offer financial tools and assistance which help the developers close the gaps in project financing. These tools include, but are not limited to, low interest loans, grants, issuing low income housing tax credits, or historic tax credits. Collaboration is key to making our projects successful and it is important to recognize the important role everyone plays in helping us answer the question, “why do we do what we do?”
Check out some examples of our work, which are representative of true collaboration!
By Chris Duprey, MSOL, PMP
Director of Operations & Business Development