Of Note: Michelin's reimagined company HQ

Perhaps you’re familiar with the origin story of the Michelin Guide. The restaurant bible started in 1900 as a marketing initiative by the company to encourage more road travel, and hence boost tire sales. Here’s another, more recent spark of Michelin genius…

The company has reimagined their HQ in the French town of Clermont-Ferrand. But they haven’t settled for any old refurb that’ll feel tired (sorry…) in just a few years.

Instead, Michelin know that what happens inside their organization can - and will - have an outsize impact on what happens outside. They’re thinking Inside Out.

Here are three things Michelin did differently during their HQ renovation project:

👨‍👩‍👧 1. Employees as part of the project: The two highest priorities of the project were 1) improving how the headquarters interfaced with the public; and 2) utilizing and showcasing sustainable processes. How did they decide this? The company asked their employees, bringing them into the process from the start.

(Pro Tip: this is also good for business: the lead architect believes taking this approach won his the firm the job in the first place).

🌳 2. Default to public: A tree-lined plaza that was private to Michelin employees is now a public space. It includes a store, exhibition space, glasshouse museum, and a cafe. This space creates more jobs and makes the space useable for more people and events. And the vibe is more concert hall than corporate HQ.

Architect Nicola Delon said “We wanted to make a transformation with a minimum of materials. And we told Michelin that you cannot be behind a wall, a separate place. You are the largest employer in the city. You must embed yourself into the city.”

🧱 3. Make the most of existing assets: The most sustainable building is typically the one that’s already built. The company wanted to ditch a greenhouse they’d had for decades, but instead the architects incorporated it into the new design. And because the local area is boiling hot in summer and rainy in winter, the key new addition was a curved wooden canopy to protect visitors in any weather. The canopy materials all came from within an hour of the site.

What do you think of the reimagined Michelin HQ?

P.S. They haven’t disclosed if the company cafe has won any Michelin stars.

Keep exploring

Future of Learning
Upleveling the Case Study: How AI Augmented a Real-World Entrepreneurial Journey
We brought roleplaying challenges to Columbia Business School's MBA program...
Inside Out World
Why every company should bring history in-house
The vault curator is a vastly valuable role - for brands both large and small
Inside Out World
How H&M bring the Inside Out with Creator Studio
And why it's a smart move - on multiple vectors
Inside Out World
Keyboard to Console: Why Every Knowledge Worker Needs a Creative Studio Kit
Figma's Designer Tool is Just the Beginning, Imagine Studio Workstations for Every Profession
Inside Out World
Global employee engagement levels are shockingly low
Plus simple three ideas to improve them
Inside Out World
The surprising human-centric approach used by a Premier League team on the rise
How Brighton & Hove Albion use data in all kinds of interesting ways
Inside Out World
How cricket is reshaping culture and the world of work
The Indian women's cricket league is a big deal in more ways than one
Inside Out World
Meet the mysterious designer who secretly remixes street posters
Because there's always scope to engage people more with your work
Inside Out World
Spain's €20k gift for every young citizen
What if everybody in your country received a tax-free inheritance when they turned 18?
Inside Out World
Everything's a remix: transferrable skills from the genius of The Prodigy
Why Liam Howlett's sampling and arrangement skills are more relevant than ever
Inside Out World
How Coldplay use Inside Out dynamics to hit all the right notes
The superstar band take a refreshing transparent approach to sustainability, fan engagement, and sharing their process
Inside Out World
Why world-class athletes have been roughing it
How small improvements to an end-to-end experience can change the game
Inside Out World
Flipping the script: a movie studio launch an app for fans
A24's latest innovation is a smart way to do more with less
Inside Out World
🚌 “We should do a school… or something?”
Allbirds goes open source, edutainment as a springboard, and the opportunity to build what's next
Inside Out World
Making Moonshots: The power of open source brand toolkits
How brands of all shapes and sizes can use the power of open source
Inside Out World
Why human capital is the driver of Fortune 500 success
Intangibles are becoming way more tangible