Here’s why Holland America’s new president ditched his water-view office

When Holland America moves to its new lower Queen Anne offices about 18 months from now, Orlando Ashford will lose the great view of Puget Sound that he currently has from his spacious executive office.


But as president of the Seattle-based cruise line, Ashford says the reason for the move – shifting the company to an open office concept to help the more than 1,000 employees work together – is worth it.


Stegmeier Consulting’s Insight…

Holland America’s new workplace change initiative is off to a great start. When an organization secures leadership buy-in (or leaders act as the catalysts for change, such as in Holland’s case) a new workplace strategy has a much higher chance for success.  Conversely, when leaders opt to exclude themselves from an initiative affecting the rest of the workplace, the more likely that resistance to change will manifest.

Individual contributors tend to mimic their leadership, and strive to obtain the career, status, and perceived perks that come with being a higher ranking official within the organization. If company executives can maintain their private offices with the stunning views, there will be little motivation for the rest of the workforce to transition to and work in an open-environment, for example.  The belief that space can and should be used as a currency, or as a reward, is still prevalent in many companies today.

Stegmeier Consulting Group views leadership behavior as an incredibly important Critical Influence that has the potential to make or break a new workplace strategy.  And while it may be difficult to approach the C-Suite from within the organization regarding this, our team is well-versed in conveying business cases for new ways of work to individuals at all levels.  Let Stegmeier Consulting Group help put the “lead by example” mantra to work for your company.

Stegmeier Consulting Group can assist with a wide range of challenges involved in implementing a workplace change initiative. Contact us to find out how our services can help your organization.
Phone: 440-846-1410
Changing the way organizations manage workplace change