Just inside the lobby of Goodmans Interior Structures, the Valley’s most recognized provider of workspace furniture, you’ll find a photo that represents the start of the company in 1954. Take a glance around and you’ll arguably notice that you’re standing in one of the country’s coolest working showrooms—where Adam Goodman and his team conduct business, and Goodmans’ customers come to see how their space can transform their culture, aligning their company’s purpose with their employees’ passion.
“There’s a lot of science surrounding workspace environments,” says Goodman. “The business has changed dramatically since my grandpa was selling surplus military desks to companies in Phoenix.” As humble as the beginnings of Goodmans sounds, Adam makes a huge point— the company has changed dramatically.
“I worked in the family business since I was kid,” says Adam. “Honestly, I was never that excited about it. It was fine, but we were just selling widgets.” After engaging in hundreds of employee and customer conversations, Adam had an epiphany.
He realized that selling furniture could, in fact, have a bigger impact on the community. “All of a sudden it all seemed so clear. Goodmans wasn’t just a provider of stuff. We could improve business. We could improve healthcare. We could improve education. We could reduce costs for government. We could help people achieve personal and economic prosperity. In short, we could change the community. We had a purpose.”
Inside Goodmans, an attractively designed wall communicates Adam’s vision. It is the words Adam wrote the night of his epiphany.
ON WORK: “I was inspired to write a new vision statement—to inspire me and our employees”, says Adam. “The mission reflects what customers and employees told me was different about Goodmans”.
ON SPACE: “Purpose-based companies can use their work environment to engage their employees and inspire them toward a shared purpose. Unfortunately, for too many companies, the converse is also true”.
ON PURPOSE: “I believe we all want to do something bigger in the world. I was shy about showing anyone my new vision statement for over a year. But no matter what words are swimming around in your gut, they don’t mean anything unless you share them. It feels risky at first. But, it will become a filter for everything you do.”