Why 3edges?

We get asked this a lot. We’re sure others quietly wonder. Here’s why…

We’re called 3edges because the best ideas rarely happen in the workspaces organisations provide for their people. Our work and our workplaces don’t have to restrict us like this. They can enable, if you know how to unlock your workplace advantage...
— Ian and James, Co-founders, 3edges

Back in 2005, James was working at Sheffield Hallam University. After completing a workplace doctorate 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 surveying career.

The ‘3edges walk’. Ordnance Survey route available  here

The ‘3edges walk’. Ordnance Survey route available here

Meanwhile, Ian was working for Orange, having discovered facilities management (FM) by accident. 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, so in 2008 Ian joined Hallam. When possible they both headed out to the Peak District, discussing work challenges as they walked. Many of their conversations explored recurring organisational issues, and the general failure of FM to improve things through conventional means.

Universities like Hallam are supposed to be part of the solution. But, frustratingly, most of the time they’re so preoccupied with teaching, research and endless admin that they seem 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 alike. Clients with a desire for better workplace performance. Clients who needed help improving their workplaces. Clients with a drive to create successful new workplace initiatives. Clients who valued collaboration and co-creating new insights.

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

Their regular 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 edges. 3edges.

Get in touch to join us for a stroll and some fresh air…