Why 3edges?

We get asked this a lot. We’re sure other people quietly wonder. Our story explains why

Back in 2005, James was working at Sheffield Hallam University. After completing a doctorate which explored the relationship between workplace design, perceptions and cost, he'd joined Hallam to research, teach and consult. His first degree was in building surveying, but he was more interested in people and knowledge development than a career in surveying

3edges walk 1.jpg

the '3edges' walk

Ordnance Survey route available here

Meanwhile, Ian was working as as a regional facilities manager for Orange, having discovered the diverse world of facilities management (FM) by accident, while training to be a youth worker. His desire to learn more about FM grew so he undertook Hallam’s MBA in FM. James was one of the course tutors. It turned out they both liked fell-walking and beer

The MBA re-awakened Ian’s passion for learning and development, so in 2008 Ian joined Hallam. By now Ian and James were good friends. When possible they headed for the Peak District, discussing work challenges as they went. Many conversations explored the organisational issues they repeatedly witnessed, and the general failure of FM to improve things through conventional means. Universities were supposed to be part of the solution. But most of the time they were so preoccupied with teaching, researching and endless admin that they seemed out of touch with the changing nature of work and, crucially, the enabling power of workplace

James and Ian envisioned a more agile, action-focused service for all types of clients: individuals and teams from client organisations and workplace providers. Clients with a desire to know more. Clients who needed help improving their workplaces. Clients with a drive to create successful new workplace initiatives. Clients who valued co-creation to unlock their workplace advantage. Who knows, clients who might even enjoy the opportunities of walking to explore the art of the possible too

Ian and James realised it was time to commit: to step beyond the limited system they were part of. Walks became planning missions about the why, where, when and how of the venture and, naturally, what it should be called. Walking and being outdoors facilitated their best ideas, aiding their mental agility and creativity as much as their health. Ian’s own doctoral research had revealed how important nature was to peoples' workplace experiences too - seeing, sensing and experiencing it physically

Throughout all of this their ‘go to’ walk, less than fifteen minutes south-west of Sheffield, started from the Grouse Inn near Grindleford. It took in three of the Peak District’s stunning gritstone edges, White, Curbar and Froggatt. How many edges? Three. 3edges

The best ideas rarely happen in the workspaces we typically provide for our people. Work and workplace doesn't have to be this restrictive. We live and breathe workplace. Get in touch to join us for a stroll and some fresh air