A Place Where Dogging it is Company Policy
When Mychele Lord was looking for a new headquarters for Lord Green, her Dallasbased, sustainable-building consultancy, one determining factor was finding a spot that would accommodate seven of her most important team members. Not the 17 humans, but the seven canines that report to work with them regularly. Lord Green had outgrown its previous space in a midrise office building, and Lord says she wanted something that allowed “more autonomy, where we could do our own thing.” She found it last spring in a one-story midcentury building in residential Northeast Dallas that looks more like a groovy orange-walled house than an office. “It was totally plug and play,” she says. “We just drove our computers over one day, plugged in, and that was it.”
Well, almost. Those dogs needed a place to run, so she had a fence built around the property’s shady front yard. The ventilation system was tweaked to provide more fresh air if needed by dogs or humans.
Lord Green’s dog friendliness is a signature part of its culture—Lord’s tiny papillon, Megan, likes to perch on her desk between her and visitors—but the ever-present yapping in the office is really the sound of something greater, a philosophy of mutual trust that governs this $3 million company’s life. Nobody set any rules, for instance, about who would clean up after the dogs in the yard; it just happens. When staff wanted to start composting at work so that they could take buckets of organic waste home to feed their gardens, Lord responded, “Great. I’ll buy the bins, and then you’re responsible for it. I’m not going to clean it up and I’m not going to hire somebody.”
That phrase, “You’re responsible,” comes up a lot with Lord. Also this one: “Figure it out.” Both of which make sense given her company’s background. Lord, 53, spent the first part of her career working in commercial real estate, until, in the midaughts, she became alarmed by climate change. She realized there was room in the market for a company that could enable real estate investors to adopt the latest environmental standards (such as LEED certification), so she assumed the responsibility herself, beginning in 2007. “I just had to figure it out,” she says. In practice, that
Founder Mychele Lord says she works her employees hard, but “I also take care of them.” Her papillon, Megan, had no comment. TOP DOGS
Above: Sustainability services associate Madeline Hinchliffe with her laptop, Logan, a toy schnauzer. Right: Creative services manager Mark White with Tallulah, an Australian shepherd. PET PERKS