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September 26, 2014

By Zack Lamp and Ryan Rankin

Over the last year, Zack Lamp and Ryan Rankin have gotten to know each other very well through the many hours of work on the MGM National Harbor Project. It made sense, now that college football conference games have begun, for them to make an initially simple wager that of course quickly escalated into a social media phoneme between Zack’s Alma mater, Texas Tech and Ryan Rankin’s Alma mater, Oklahoma State. After what was a grueling, nail biting battle between the almost 300 yards of penalties, injuries, and turnovers Oklahoma State pulled out the win leaving Zack nothing less than defeated. As the Oklahoma State Cowboy Alumni from HKS Dallas scavenged around for Oklahoma State team memorabilia, Zack was cladded from head to toe in orange. A photo shoot took place and here are the results. Zack is a great sport and I think it exemplifies the kind of collaboration, team comradery, and great attitudes here at HKS Architects. Enjoy.

September 9, 2014

By James Frisbie, Identity Group, HKS, Inc.

When it comes to mustering your forces around the brand, coercion doesn’t work. Why? For one thing, the overuse of tedious rules and regulations – no matter how well-intentioned – creates drag and can pull focus. You’re much better off hiring smart people and freeing them up to use their unique skills and experiences toward solving problems in real time. But perhaps the bigger issue is that of brand compliance versus brand engagement. All people, no matter their occupation or ranking, want to feel that they are being given an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution. In other words, our natural inclination is to want to be engaged. But by enforcing a strict doctrine of behavior and a “check with me first” style of management, we can actually dampen those inclinations. And what’s at stake might be more than what you think. The top-down style of brand engagement might actually inhibit your organization’s ability to innovate.

September 4, 2014

This year’s DC Canstruction theme was ‘Playing with your Food.’ The team started the competition brainstorming ideas – soccer, musical instruments, Play-Doh, sand castle – trying to pick something that would be constructible out of only cans of food, provide the most cans for the Capital Area Food Bank and was the most fun. The final concept was ‘CANimal Cracker Box: The Great Escape,’ playing off of everyone’s fun memories of the Barnum’s Animal Crackers in the circus style box.

September 1, 2014

Katherine Chappelle

Vlogging my experiences as an HKS Xchange Fellow in London.