For the last 15 months, I’ve been sharing various parts of the most crucial communications that I’ve sent to the Indy Hall community as we organized around and prepared for the biggest move of our 10 year history.  Below is the latest, which I sent today, 1 month into our new space.  The future is bright, my friends. I can’t wait to see what comes next, because I know we’re gonna do it together. <3

Happy Monday, gang. And welcome home. 🙂

Over the last few weeks, folks have been asking…. “okay Alex, we moved. Now what?”

I have finally caught my breath enough to start communicating a useful answer. And as a first step, THIS WEEK I’m hosting a series of discussions (in person and online) to help us begin charting our course forward together.

In these sessions I want to hear from YOU about the things we want to see happen in our community, and in our space. We’ll be taking notes so we can share between the sessions, and with anyone who is unable to attend.

Both sessions will be broadcast on Crowdcast so you can participate remotely, and because now that we’re not planning an epic move we can put some of that energy into stuff that more efforts to brings our remote community together in new ways.

Let me say that again:

Remote coworkers, I reeeeeeeally want you to be a part of this conversation.

These two conversations aren’t meant to be “definitive” – they’re the beginning of a conversation, which I’ll explain a bit more about in this email.

Both sessions will take place (in person) in the gallery.

Oh, and you don’t need to come to both sessions! The structure will be the same in each, we’re just setting up two times to be able to include more people.

Now, for a little bit more detail about what this is all about.

We moved. Now what?

Right now, here’s a glimpse at some of the things on our more tactical todo list:

  • This week we will finally move Mike Jackson’s mural – and could use a hand doing so!
  • Beginning to curate art on the walls – we have so much art, in so many more styles, from SO many members that we can find homes for them to be enjoyed.
  • There’s still some unpacking to do, and finding homes for things. But we’re in the home stretch!
  • We purged a LOT in the move, but a few things snuck into boxes that we can toss out.
  • Power cables and trip-covers still need to be installed.
  • A little bit of baseboard trim still needs to be installed.
  • A few more loose wires need to be tidied up in the phone & conf rooms.
  • The phone rooms need to finish being built out (better work surfaces & lighting).
  • Plants get homes – and a gameplan for caretaking!
  • Figure out what furniture/storage we still need to keep things organized and tidy, without inviting more clutter.
  • A revamp of our public website to better represent who we are, what we do, and all of y’all.
  • …etc

All in all – the remaining effort is to finish tidying and help put things into place to KEEP things tidy and organized.

MORE LIKE THIS PLEASE!

I’ll be honest – I’m STOKED for this initial list to be completed. I’m stoked for us to feel like the move is “completed.” I also know that “completed” is relative because Indy Hall is always in motion, always evolving, always improving.

That’s part of what has always made this place special.

But what excites me the most is having the freedom to plan for the long term, instead of just reacting to the short term.

  • What do we want to be doing 1–2 years from now?
  • What about 5 years from now? What about 10?

Once we start to answer THOSE questions, we can start thinking about how this community and our space can evolve to support that over the coming years.

Today, I want to give you an idea where my head is and has been.

A month ago – to the day! – we began the process of moving from 22 N 3rd Street to our new home here in Suite 360 on Market Street. We had help in all of the places we needed it. We were ahead of schedule at every turn.

And most importantly, we were able to be set up the following Monday for a productive work day. That was the goal, and we nailed it. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a move as large and complex as this one go so smoothly.

Amazing job, gang. Amazing.

And I, for one, feel relieved. Well, kind of. I spent basically ALL of the last 18 months communicating about a specific goal in mind: the move. We had a hard deadline, one that was out of even my control. Y’all probably got sick of hearing about the move, the move, the move. 🙂

The good news about that shared goal is that we rose to the occasion! Yes, we still have some unpacking to finish, and some projects to complete, but we moved.

Ironically, since the move, I’ve been more overwhelmed than I was before it. Weird, huh?

You’ve probably seen it on my face if you’ve seen me in person. I’ll spare you the gory details (unless you want to know you can ask me in person or on Slack and I’m happy to share) but for me the last month has been full of unexpected time-sucks.

These time sucks – and if I’m being totally honest, a bit of burnout – have made it hard for me and the team to do some very important things like communicating with y’all about post-move plans, and what comes next.

As we slide across the finish line of moving and unpacking, it’s so so so important that we re-open those communication channels to 100%.

That begins today.

 

We made it. We’re here. Let’s not forget WHY we’re here.

This excerpt from a post I wrote last summer is ringing especially true for me right now:

PRIORITY #1 STAYS THE SAME: THE COMMUNITY

Indy Hall has gotten physically bigger by adding more square footage over the years. But sometimes, it’s hard to remember that our community created this place, not the other way around. This place – the walls and the pillars, the desks, chairs, power, and internet – are relative commodities.

What’s irreplaceable is the relationships that form between people in this community. The support and inspiration we give each other. The generosity and excitement that comes from doing something we never knew was possible. The trust we all place in each other to help make each day just a little bit better than the last one.

So long as we keep our priorities and our values in view, I’m 100% confident that we only stand to become the best version of Indy Hall we’ve seen yet.

It’s super easy to get stuck in the tactical details (and don’t get me wrong, those details DO matter). But we know better.

One of the things I’ve noticed throughout this move – and felt very personally – is that when everything is new and different, it’s the tactical details that are also the most visible and potentially create the most painful problems.

In my experience, these problems are solvable. This fact is doubly true in this community, because we’re such an incredible collection of problem solvers.

We’re starting from a better baseline

One of the things that I never really grasped until the last few weeks is how crappy our old building really was.

Like, objectively, crappy. But we made it work.

As a community, we put SO much work into just making our old space workable.

  • Sometimes it was inventing makeshift solution to solve a problem.
  • Sometimes it was a collective effort to do a task.
  • Sometimes it was a creative veneer to help cover up unsightly imperfections in the building itself.

In all cases, it was extra work just to achieve a baseline. That’s 100% true.

The silver lining was that it turns out, solving problems together almost always brought us closer together, almost in spite of the pain.

That’s always been our edge: not how nice our stuff is, but how nice we are.

Our new space is different. But we aren’t.

There’s no splitting hairs – our new spot is different. I don’t need to list the ways. Anywhere that wasn’t 22 N 3rd was going to be different.

There are probably differences that you really, really love.

There are probably differences that you’re unsure about, especially if it’s something that hasn’t been done (or started) yet or something we just haven’t figured out yet.

Now, remember what I wrote last year:

…it’s hard to remember that our community created this place, not the other way around. This place – the walls and the pillars, the desks, chairs, power, and internet – are relative commodities.

Fast forward to today.

Almost every aspect of our new space was drawn from the community focused on designing the space to solve problems. Is it perfect? Of course not, but like I said before, it’s a better baseline.

The one thing that most certainly didn’t change when we moved a month ago is who we are – a group of people who give a damn about each other, about the things we share, and about doing whatever we do today better than we were doing it yesterday.

This is the most important time – ever – to remember that fact.

The true definition of JFDI

When I got the letters JFDI tattoo’d on my arm, it pre-dated being any kind of Indy Hall mantra or motto…let alone a sticker 😉 It was more of a reminder to myself than anything else. But a reminder of what?

JFDI isn’t “Just Fucking Do Everything” or “Just Fucking Do Anything”.

JFDI is “Just Fucking Do It” – where “It” is the thing that you know is right, and even if it’s hard or uncomfortable you do it anyway.

The first 30 days of JFDI feel different from the first 2 years of JFDI which feel different from the first 4 years of JFDI.

JFDI isn’t a singular action. It’s a different way of considering what’s in front of you.

When I JFDI, I’m trying to be thoughtful about how my time is spent because I’m in this for the long haul. JFDI is my strong personal reminder: Be patient. Stay humble. Play the long game.

At Indy Hall, JFDI happens best when we do it together.

In that context, the little things that on the to-do list above seem a lot less overwhelming. So as we start planning out the next few months, I want to put some work into the bigger picture of “what comes next” and in order to do that…I need to hear from you.

We did something similar last summer and it was HUGELY productive, helping me to understand a wide set of perspectives and make sharper decisions that led us to our new home.

You even read my recaps of those discussions from last summer – I already have and plan to read them again.

Let’s kick off these discussions on Thursday

If a lunchtime session is easier to fit into your schedule or if you’re already at Indy Hall during the day, please join us in the gallery space from 12:00pm-1pm on Thursday Sept 22nd.

If after-hours is easier, we’ll have a second session on the same day from 5:30–6:30.

Even if you don’t have anything specific that you want to say or talk about, I’d encourage you to try to attend one of the sessions either in person or online via Crowdcast.

My door is always open.

I also know that for the last month, me looking tired or stressed out hasn’t made me the most approachable.

But honest to goodness, this community means the world to me. You don’t need to wait for a special event to come talk to me, or Adam or Sam or Sean.

I will always, always, always make time to listen. The worst case scenario if you ask is that I might ask for a little time to clear my head so I can give you my full attention.

Finally, I know that taking ANY time out of your day is asking a lot, so your willingness to attend and participate does mean so much to me.

-Alex