What does it look like when a business is social both online and offline? Try asking Dialectic Engineering (formerly Larson Binkley Engineers, who seems to have it figured out. It’s not quiet, it’s not neat, and it’s certainly not orthodox. Being social is ingrained in who they are and it’s required of every single employee in the organization.
I was recently given the opportunity to be an “Intern for a day” at Dialectic and it was an eye-opening experience! I did a bit of research on the company to prepare and was definitely surprised at what I found.
Dialectic’s website and social media accounts are NOT like your stereotypical engineering firms, clearly why ThinkViral featured them in a “Who’s Acting Human Online” showcase! I was very excited to see how they made it all happen but even with their fresh approach, I still expected to have the typical job shadowing experience on my intern day… you know, sitting with various engineers while I watch and they explain what they do on a day-to-day basis.
I could not have been more wrong.
Upon walking in, I could tell this was no ordinary company. Their main workspace is one large, open room with no cubicles and no separation of employees. People were walking around, talking, and collaborating. Definitely not what I’ve been accustomed to when visiting other engineering firms!
Everything about their workspace is vibrant and creative…. including the refurbished hodge-podge of office furniture, handmade by Dialectic’s leadership right out of their own garages.
There was a ginormous Jenga game in the middle of the room, people walking around in shorts and flip-flops, and, if you looked closely enough, a nerf gun at every desk (things get crazy sometimes). You can even draw on all of the desks with a dry erase marker! It instantly felt like a place I would want to work.
Don’t be fooled, though. Dialectic works hard to accomplish their goals and they get the job done in their own unique way… using their own proprietary process.
Let’s enter the mind of Michael Combest… scary (LOL!). Michael is Dialectic’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and he was kind enough to work things out with my boss and give me an intern pass for the day. He was awesome! Instead of dumping me off with a lower level employee for the day, he took me under his wing and started right out explaining how Dialectic operates. “This is where the magic happens,” he says. “Engineers design the world… they are actually the most creative beings on earth.”
Dialectic implements a framework for project management called “scrum.” Scrum basically streamlines the process of completing a project and greatly increases group efficiency and collaboration. What does scrum rely on? Communication, of course! This is what makes Dialectic such a social company. Their whole business model relies on an associate’s ability to communicate with other associates in order to more efficiently complete projects. The outcome is higher quality and faster speed, which means more robust projects can be implemented in a shorter amount of time with greater collaboration.
Because of this process, Dialectic specifically works to recruit others who are also creative and naturally drawn to social collaboration to join their awesome engineering team. They know projects are really about people, and they are also all about PEOPLE. They are remarkably “human” because they actively recruit people who aren’t afraid to act like humans! It makes their company an awesome place to work, and an awesome company to collaborate with on projects yet to be envisioned.
Dialectic makes one thing very clear: business is always booming when you’re social.
Thank you again for taking time out to host an aspiring engineer… now more curious than ever about what engineers can bring to life if they use their creative brains! Best of luck with your new California office… where I’ll be closely watching your growth from across the way in my Stanford freshman dorm room! @StanfordEng #StandfordBound #CreativeEngineers
To learn more about Dialectic Engineers, please visit their website