Research symposium keynote speaker detailed how design affects office climate, culture

Rex Miller



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Award-winning author Rex Miller, an expert in workplace team performance, discussed design as a key element of creating and transforming office culture in “How Engaging Workspaces Lead to Transformation and Growth,” the keynote address of the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s 18th annual faculty research symposium Oct. 24, 2016.



The annual symposium is a daylong event showcasing the college faculty’s recent research on issues relevant to the natural, built and virtual environments in a series of fast-paced presentations abbreviated from talks they have previously delivered at scholarly gatherings around the world. The 2016 symposium includes invited or refereed presentations and papers from the 2015-16 academic year.

In his address, Miller detailed how cost-conscious company executives often treat office design as unimportant, creating soul-killing work environments of stressed, fragmented, and disengaged workers.

In a study investigating how design impacts office culture, Miller and two colleagues, after research and fieldwork with more than 60 organizations, found that employees in flexible, open and engaging workplaces reconnect with work. They detailed their findings in  “Change Your Space, Change Your Culture: How Engaging Workspaces Lead to Transformation and Growth.”

“Office space must be designed to inspire a desired culture and workflow – if it's not properly designed, no program, training or rules will be effective over time,” states a publisher’s summary of the book. “Environment can inspire dread or enthusiasm, distraction or focus, collaboration or isolation.”

Miller is also principal of mindSHIFT consulting, which provides executive coaching, workplace culture assessment and leadership development for design and construction industry firms looking to improve or reshape their corporate cultures by adapting a proven approach for successful change. He works with corporate clients including Google, Disney, Intel and Microsoft to build high performance cultures and trust-based project teams.

Prior to heading mindSHIFT, Miller co-authored “The Commercial Real Estate Revolution: Nine Transforming Keys to Lowering Costs, Cutting Waste, and Driving Change in a Broken Industry,” a 2009 book that demonstrates how the commercial real estate construction industry, which Miller and three coauthors describe as a disaster that creates dissatisfied customers and frequently ends in disappointment, bitterness, and litigation, can reform its practices, dramatically cut costs and delays and create better buildings.

Miller rose through the ranks of the building manufacturing and construction industry to executive roles in sales and marketing for Fortune 500 companies. He delivered consistent growth in good and challenging markets by designing and deploying a high tech and high touch networking strategy.

Miller earned the 2009 CoreNet Global Innovator Award, presented annually to individuals and companies whose work, ideas and best practices elevate the practice of corporate real estate. A certified tennis instructor, Miller has coached a hall of fame golfer, tennis player, and the U.S. Olympic Pole Vault Team.

posted September 26, 2016