Posted by Rich DiGirolamo on October 20th, 2008 | No Comments
In 2006 the CEO of Starbucks said he wanted his locations to be our “third place.”
Home is number one. Work is number two. And he wanted Starbucks to be number three; the place we would retreat to when the other two had sucked the energy out of our life (that is my interpretation).
Well this really confused me, you see my home and office are the same place. So does that mean I need a new second place? Should I count my vacation home as my second place? Or is that a substitute first place for me? Do I move Starbucks up to my second place? And if I do that now do I need to find a new third place? What about the people who spend more time at the office than at home? I was very confused. And what was this going to do to all the studies that were showing how much time people spend at work? Was the number that some people use to impress others about to have its turf stepped on? This third place thing really opens a can of worms.
I do know this however, there are times we all need to get away from our home and away from the office – and Starbucks is a great place to go.
But if you ask my Parks and Recreation clients, they will tell you that so is a park , a nature preserve, a beach, the woods, a ski slope, a golf course, a bike ride or ______________ (fill in your own).
So while I do love Starbucks, and am sitting here right now, I hate to inform them that they are not my third place. Today they are. But tomorrow my third place might be somewhere else. And there is a very good reason…..
Let’s think about this logically; all the time we spend at home or work has driven us crazy, ruined marriages, and offered us lots of co-pays on prescription anxiety drugs. I’m afraid of making Starbucks my third place; spend too much time there and well you see where I am going with this.
So I’m spreading the wealth when it comes to my third place. I’m coming up with a rotation schedule. It’s much more fun.
And this has to do with what Rich?
I really do have a point here. As a keynote speaker on employee matters, my job is to make your second place, your workplace, just a bit more fun a bit more tolerable. Is your second place just a bit too crazy at times? Do you ever feel trapped in the craziness; craziness that might be stifling morale, engagement, innovation and creativity? Would it be helpful if you changed your second place location every so often?
When was the last time you took that staff meeting or creativity session to a nature preserve, the woods or the beach? The last time??????? How about the first time! Now is the time; especially with all the fear and concern your employees are having in this economic environment. Now.
But just in case you need to break into this slowly, I guess you can go to a Starbucks. If your meeting gets boring, you can do what I’m doing………….eavesdropping right now on some people planning to fire the manager at a certain chain restaurant nearby.