Looks are important; but the components underneath are critical

Grace found her treasured deer bone from under the snow and enjoyed a bite or two before I called her back to the warmth of the house. She was in no hurry.

This winter has been mild with very little snow. Yesterday and today we’re seeing a typical New England storm with lots of the white, fluffy flakes falling. It’s sticking everywhere and bringing a whole new look to the landscape.

That seems appropriate as I’m in the final stages of creating a whole new look to my website and blog. Regular readers will know that I’ve mentioned it recently and I promise you will see it soon.

But this new snow falling on our familiar ground gives me the opportunity to reflect on how things look. I am reminded that a look is just that — a look.

There are a few popular clichés that come to mind: “It’s all in the packaging.” And “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” There is certainly a lot to be said for making something inviting, interesting, and engaging. But no matter how much outward beauty exists, the substance must come through.

It would be like creating a gorgeous hospital with comfy waiting rooms and waterfalls in the lobby, yet doesn’t meet the needs of a patient for seamless movement in his own room. Or a service organization that spends all their efforts on promoting their services but doesn’t listen to what their customer wants nor deliver what they have promised. Or the manager who makes an incorrect assumption that an employee is lazy because they arrived late to work, but in fact was struggling to take care of a sick child. We have to look deep to understand the whole picture.

This is Sammy, who stayed overnight with us, and blends right in with the white fluffy snow.

Our friend’s dog, Sammy, came for an overnight visit yesterday and he brings his snow-white curly look to our household. There is no contrast between his fluffy hair and the outside background; it’s hard to even see him out there. You could miss him if you looked quickly but he doesn’t realize that. And Grace is going about doing what she always does: scavenging for food, no matter what she has to go through to find it. Neither one really cares about how something looks, they get what they need without any judgment.

I’ve invested lots of my time, energy, and resources to bring an integrated look and feel to my website and blog. And I’m extremely glad I did. I think it’s important, but I am grounded knowing that what is underneath the updated look is what matters. My goal is that you can learn more about who I am, what I do, and how dedicated I am to help people find constructive and enjoyable workplace environments. And I hope you think it looks good, too!

Because of my travel schedule next week and the nitty-gritty details of changing over the hosting and email accounts, be on the lookout for my next post to come out the week after next. That’s when you’ll see the new look! Until then, the final touches will occur and I’ve allocated some spare time to troubleshoot if needed after the changeover.

For now, enjoy the sameness of your environment. Appreciate the value of what’s underneath. Taking note of what’s around us is important. Making it beautiful has its place. Ensuring that it meets the needs of those it serves is most critical.

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  1. Cara on March 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Love the new website Robin! Look forward to reading your new posts.

    • Robin on March 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Thanks, Cara, for all your work on the site, too!

  2. Sara on March 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Robin, when I click a post to read it or comment, I can not find any link to see previous posts. SO Im kinda at a ‘stop.’ Lord knows I know the work involved in manualy adding navigation links, I hope you arnt having to do all that work yourself. But I just thought to offer my impression since I wanted to read back posts I had missed. p.s. this comment was a critique so feel free to delete it after reading. especialy if I dont have a clue what Im talking about. (just ariving for the first time, as I am)

    • Robin on March 21, 2012 at 7:17 am

      Thanks for the question! I checked to make sure I could respond accurately and got this response from the team working on the navigation links: “If the user has clicked on a post to read it then they won’t see the navigation arrows. They need to use the back arrow to see the list of posts and the navigation arrows.” Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

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