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Building community: Jay Edwards CEO of Parkhill (Lubbock, TX), a multidisciplinary firm that is building community by creating inventive, relevant built environments together.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
A fter serving as the firm’s COO since 2015, Edwards was named president/CEO of Parkhill in 2019. He takes pride in developing relationships and building community. “We focus on being an open and transparent business,” Edwards says. “It starts with the board, partners, and associates and trickles down to the rest of the staff. To have successful change management you have to have trust. You have to tell the ‘why’ behind change and communicate that change is happening for a reason. Change management has to be very deliberate and when people embrace it, energy comes from it.” A CONVERSATION WITH JAY EDWARDS. The Zweig Letter: You were COO for several years prior to becoming CEO. Did you find that position helped to prepare you for your current role as CEO? Please explain.
Jay Edwards: As COO, I worked alongside the CEO for nearly four years prior to moving into this role. It was a somewhat seamless and easy transition. We brought in an outside consultant to help as well. We’re now in a growth strategy mindset and have reorganized the corporate structure in the last year. The COO is more internally focused and I’m more management oriented. TZL: How do you anticipate COVID-19 permanently impacting your firm’s policy on telecommuting? JE: We already had a small percentage of remote workers – about 10 percent. We’d invested in technology so it was easy to transition to 100 percent remote working. We’ve recently conducted surveys to see what people want moving forward and we’ve learned that about 15 percent want to return to the office, full-time. Most people find that they’re more productive at home. While there’s some stuff they miss, they prefer more time at home. The future will likely be a hybrid model. We’ve been researching what future offices will look like too – more collaborative spaces.
THE ZWEIG LETTER MA
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