Change Management Case Study: Time Inc.

Time inc 2Time Inc., owner of iconic media brands such as People, Sports Illustrated, and Travel and Leisure, moved from Midtown Manhattan to 225 Liberty in Lower Manhattan in late 2015.

Approximately 2,800 people are now housed in the new 700,000 square feet of office space that spans 8 floors with a focus on increased collaboration. The company had been based out of the Time and Life building in Midtown since 1959, a relic of offices past.

“Our new, open environment will foster a greater sense of community and more collaboration across our company,” Chairman and CTime Inc. ExteriorEO Joe Ripp said on the first day in the new offices. Highlights of Time Inc.’s new headquarters include an auditorium named after founder Henry R. Luce, video and photo studios, a terrace looking over the Hudson River, a 160 seat cafeteria, a food and wine test kitchen, and wine rooms.

Stegmeier Consulting Group was engaged to help lead Time Inc.’s employees through their transition to a new and dramatically different office environment.  Specific objectives for our involvement were as follows:

  • Objective #1: Ensure employees had their voices represented and were actively engaged in the process of determining how they could best “live together” in Time Inc.’s new work environment.
  • Objective #2: Help employees gain consensus on the appropriate behaviors for working in an open office environment that needed to be adopted by Time Inc.’s workforce.
  • Objective #3: Reinforce employee engagement and elevate morale in the introduction of workplace protocols, guiding the workforce to understand, accept, and adopt the workplace change.

The first step toward achieving these objectives was for SCG to review floor plans for both the old and new spaces, and design inspirations made available by STUDIOS Time WorkstationsArchitecture. Once our consultants familiarized themselves with the project, the team was quickly able to move forward with the creation of an agenda and an invitation for an on-site protocols meeting and workshop. The workshop was held with a large group of “move captains” serving as representatives of various work groups within the company.

The move captains were given a pre-meeting assignment which involved asking peers several questions about perceived challenges to adopting new ways of working.  While the move captains gathered this data from their coworkers, the SCG team worked behind the scenes to develop a presentation, as well as materials and handouts, for the protocols development workshop.

Finally it was time for the SCG to go back on site for the big event. The day prior to the protocol development workshop, SCG’s consultants were given a tour of Time Inc.’s former work environment, with the objective of gaining an understanding of the spaces in which employees are accustomed to working and observing current work behaviors. When the meeting kicked off the following day, our consultants met first with all 60 move captains as a whole, prior to breaking them up into two teams of 30.  Initially SCG reviewed the new spaces and locations on floor plans of the building.  Specific areas discussed included individual workstations, open and closed collaborative spaces, pantries, and circulation spaces, as well as some of the new technologies that would be available.  With our facilitators’ guidance, the teams of 30 each developed their own set office etiquette, then came back together as a large group to compare and contrast their recommendations.

The result was a long list of workplace guidelines that set the expectations for behavior and common courtesy in the new open and collaborative space.  SCG then turned this list of protocols into a stunning and comprehensive document Time Inc.’s employees could easily access and refer back to when needed.

At the conclusion of the event, the move captains were invited to a special gathering to celebrate the new space and their hard work. The event featured food, refreshments, and a meet and greet with CEO Joe Ripp.

About 6 weeks later, Time Inc. hosted a town hall meeting that aimed to introduce all employees to the new workplace protocols.  SCG developed invitations for this event as well as the presentation.  At the event, Time Inc. debuted a video, starred by a number of the executives, of various Do’s and Don’ts related to protocols in the work environment.  It was a fun and humorous way to inform all employees about the importance of adhering to the guide developed by their move captains peers.

Click play below to take an inside look at Time Inc’s new HQ.


The following slide show offers a glimpse of Time Inc.’s new headquarters at 225 Liberty Street in New York City.