Creating meaning together: Sova & Platts They are the CEO and president of RDG, a firm made up of architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, and planners with a passion for design.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
C reate. Meaning. Together. It’s these three words that bring leadership and staff together at RDG Planning and Design, and John Sova, CEO, and Justin Platts, president, work daily to maintain that culture of collaboration. In fact, it’s one of the reasons they decided to team up to answer questions about what makes them tick. A design firm that’s labeled itself “free from the disciplines,” Sova and Platts understand – at their core – that everyone at the firm has something to contribute and they work to place value on that in more ways than one. “We’re constantly working with and learning from each other,” Sova says. A CULTURE OF EIGHT. For Sova, one of his top responsibilities is to enhance and support the culture of its eight lifestyles (design, sustainability, healthy, leadership, continuous learning, technology, fun, and community). This translates into giving people the freedom to bring forward new ideas and to recognize and celebrate what people are doing, both inside
and outside the office. His goal is to let people find their own area of interest among the lifestyles and encourage them to make that a part of their work-life balance. Platts’ focus is on making sure people have what they need to be successful – professionally and personally. “It’s really about more than just the everyday work we do – the different lifestyles represent elements people have brought forward as being important to them and that align with our collective values,” Platts shares. And, while COVID threw a wrench into the system, it also helped the company to evolve in a way that is now more flexible and can accommodate everyone’s needs whether family, project, or personal. An increased flexibility when it comes to working from home or in the office is a response to the change in culture. “We’ve always been flexible, but now that flexibility has been codified,” Platts says. “We’ve established hybrid work as an institutionalized benefit.”
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