Pardon our dust…

Lenovo Morrisville headquarters Building 3

Lenovo is growing - in many ways. In January, Lenovo broke ground on a third building at its Americas headquarters in Morrisville, NC, where I work.  During the first weeks following the brief ceremony hosted by executives with silver shovels and hard hats, little more than piles of dirt and concrete trucks were evidence anything was going on.  The piers and footings being poured weren't very glamorous to behold, but are a requisite foundation upon which to build anything that is going to endure the test of time. The weeks passed, and dozens of workers and several cranes knitted together a latticework of steel I-beams. Soon, the floors were decked and poured with concrete.  This week, concrete panels are being craned into place, and the character of the building is beginning to be revealed. Much work remains, but one day, I'll be working at a desk somewhere in this building that was little more than an idea and some lines on paper just a few short months ago. As I watch this construction saga unfold each day, I can't help thinking how much it is a metaphor for Lenovo itself.  When the new Lenovo was formed just three years ago, we had neither space, nor infrastructure to call our own.  The buildings where we worked were a leased legacy from IBM, as were many of the processes, systems, networks, phones and other elements of the business.  Lenovo began to build it's own unique culture, people, processes, systems, and facilities.  In these few short years, we have formed a solid foundation upon which a great and enduring global brand is being constructed.  As with our new building, some stages of construction are dramatic and visible like the steelwork rising from the ground, while others are more subtle, like the electrical wiring.  While new buildings, new product lines, or new websites may be visible evidence of change, the wiring and plumbing, our supply chain, IT and infrastructure are evolving and under construction as well, adding new flexibility, capability, and capacity. This whole process of building and growth is personally meaningful to me for a couple of reasons. First, I know what it takes to transform an idea from paper to fruition having built my own home in 2004-2006.  As a bit of insight for readers who don't know anything about me, I really immerse myself into these kinds of projects.  I was my own General Contractor, and also performed many of the subcontractor roles.  For example, here are a couple shots of me working with my crane, while building the house.  

Rigging some precast panels...

Mark1

Hoisting overhead...

mark2

Upon seeing the larger machines at work on the Lenovo campus, I'll admit to just a bit of "crane envy".

Secondly, while I love working with heavy machinery and the satisfaction of seeing the immediate results of effort,  I appreciate the interdependencies of all the smaller projects and resources required to build something complex and grand, whether it is a building, or a global brand.  Lenovo employees around the world are engaged not just in the design and building of great products, but in building a great company.  As with any complex undertaking there are complications and challenges to be overcome during the journey, and I believe we will continue to rise to meet those. Watch this space, and pardon our dust...