December 2015

Best for NYC: A Moving Target

by Don Friedman on December 30, 2015

Simple ways of measuring a the success of a small business, such as profit, don’t change. The B Impact Assessment  is inherently complex because it’s measuring more than one factor and because it’s measuring factors that are not well represented by a number or two. As a result the assessment has changed over time. Old Structures was certified under the fourth version of the assessment, which was introduced in 2013 as a revision aimed, in part, at better representing small businesses. When we next take the assessment for renewal, it will be the fifth version.

This does not mean that the overall goals are changing. Rather it means that it takes some time for a relatively new movement to accurately identify the best way to measure the complexity of real-life work practices. The changes in the Assessment are the result of learning, which we obviously approve of. Learning from experiments is one of the best ways to move forward, and it is yet another way to look at the Best for NYC Challenge. New York is the first city to conduct a campaign like this, but based on the response from businesses it is unlikely to be the last. So the experiments will continue…

This is my last Best for NYC post for the week year. Enjoy the holiday.

Clever Design in an Unnamable Form

December 29, 2015

I’ve seen a lot of long-span wood roof trusses, both good and bad. Most of them are hidden, but some of the best trusses are the ones that were meant to be exposed as part of the architectural interior design. Case in point (click to enlarge): The trusses are not a standard form, but are perhaps […]

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Best for NYC: Best Practices

December 29, 2015

We are due for re-assessment as a B Corp in 2017, but that doesn’t mean we get to sit around now doing nothing. Along with our company’s score on the assessment we got a useful “Improve Your Score Report” that pinpoints where we are not doing as well as we could on the employee, community, and […]

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Enter Here

December 28, 2015

Central Park has a lot of entrances, but the main entrances are marked by ornamental and symbolic gates through the park’s perimeter wall. There are eighteen named gates around the entire six-mile perimeter. My favorite – big surprise – is at Fifth Avenue and 90th Street:

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Best for NYC: Other Companies

December 28, 2015

Another consulting firm participating in the Best for NYC Challenge is Mean Communications. They provide communications services – public relations, advertising, and branding, among others – while displaying their values on the front page of their website. Members of just about any profession can protect values if they want to and it’s great to see that […]

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St. Peter’s Church Chelsea

December 24, 2015

One of our projects got a nice write-up in yesterday’s New York Times. Congratulations to Marie and to Bill Stivale, who’s no stranger to the Times.

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Filing

December 23, 2015

Part of the growth of Old Structures is adapting the way we do things internally to having more people. Our administrative filing system, developed when there were two employees, has been creaking a bit with ten. So I started looking around for information of filing for small offices. Most of what I found was not […]

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Best for NYC: The Big Picture

December 23, 2015

Ultimately, the Best for NYC Challenge isn’t about New York per se. It’s about companies located here applying the principles of the B Corp movement – and I’’ll repeat myself by staying that they are including the effect of a business on its employees, community, and environment as goals as important as profit and growth – to […]

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Road Trip

December 22, 2015

My family went to New Hope, Pennsylvania this past weekend for a trip on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Much fun was had riding on the oldey-timey train, but my attention during our walk across to New Hope from Lambertville, New Jersey was grabbed by a well-preserved Pratt truss bridge. [Click to enlarge.] Our work […]

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Best for NYC: Best Practices

December 22, 2015

I’ve discussed recycling and reuse and why we have reduced our reliance on paper but are unlikely to be a paperless office soon. I thought I had bled this topic dry, but apparently not: I recently took a look at our office-supply purchasing history and I realized how little paper we use now compared to the past. […]

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