hot trends + office tips + cool events

Hot Products: Art in the Office

by Kristen Haren

Artist Highlight from The Mocas Group: Nicholas Wilton

The Mocas Group provides fine art, poster art and wall displays for corporate, healthcare and hospitality clients.  Styles range from contemporary abstract to traditional.  Featured are works by local artist Nicholas Wilton:

“India Dream”  Oil on Panel  40″ x 36″

India Dream

Oil on Panel  70″ x 90″


Rich in color, texture and symbols, Wilton’s work references a personal vocabulary of botanical forms, patterns and abstract designs. In addition to gallery exhibitions and the inclusion in numerous private collections, Nicholas Wilton’s paintings have appeared on numerous book covers. Wilton’s cover painting, used for the national bestseller “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show.

He has received awards from the Marin Arts Council, Communication Arts, Print Magazine, New York Art Directors Club, A.I.G.A, RSVP Directory, and American Illustration. In 2003 Nicholas Wilton’s work was selected for the cover and featured in the international art annual, Communication Arts.

Nicholas is also the founder of the Artplane Method, a system of fundamental painting and intuition principles that simplifies and informs the creative art-making process. Nicholas leads week long Artplane seminars and workshops to arts organizations and corporate clients both here in the United States and abroad.
Nicholas lives in Northern California with his wife and two daughters.

Mary Mocas
The Mocas Group Art Consultants

Comments Off on Hot Products: Art in the Office

Hot Trends: What’s your E.Q.?

by Joni Harri Minault

Emotional Intelligence
What workplace skill is a better predictor of success, productivity and personal contentment than IQ, technical skills, experience or education?

If you guessed emotional intelligence (EQ), you’d be right. Individuals who have high EQs are self-aware, better able to motivate themselves, control impulses, delay gratification, regulate their moods and they don’t allow stress to overwhelm thinking.  They understand themselves and demonstrate empathy for others.

The good news is that unlike IQ, you can raise your EQ.
And, the first step toward raising your EQ is to make a concerted effort to be more aware of your behaviors, thoughts and feelings, and how you impact others. Try practicing some simple skills:

  1. Observe yourself.  Self-awareness begins as soon as you pause, notice and take responsibility for your choices in behavior, thoughts and feelings.  As you practice self-awareness, you will observe some habitual patterns of reactions.  Soon you’ll feel able to choose reactions rather than be driven by them unconsciously.  As you change, you’ll notice that those around you will respond to you differently and better.
  2. CYA has nothing to do with your anatomy.  Rather, it stands for “Check Your Assumptions.” Do a research project with yourself.  Notice how many times that you make assumptions about someone else’s behavior, thoughts or feelings.  How do you know that what you assume is true?  You don’t.  Check your assumptions (CYA) by inquiring.  Ask brief, open-ended questions, such as, “What are your expectations of me?” or “what are our goals for this meeting?”  This type of inquiry (coupled with No. 3 below) opens up new dimensions for getting things done effectively with others.
  3. Listen for new information. Be aware that each of us filters information for alignment of our assumptions.  But listening is more than just waiting to talk.  Challenge yourself to listen for new information each time you ask a question.  You’ll be amazed at how big the world gets. . . and how small you make it every time you assume you know what someone else wants or needs.
  4. Take aim at issues not people. Focus on tasks, not personalities.  As your EQ increases, so will your adeptness with relationships.  You will clearly know how to separate the issues from the people.  Then you will move forward more easily and achieve greater success.

In the past few months our world has changed irrevocably. By increasing your emotional intelligence, you will have more capacity and desire to change, too.  You will be driving your own bus and a funny thing will happen – you’ll notice that others will be clamoring to get on board.

Together with Jane Tight, Joni Harris Minault founded SeeChange Partners to address the growing demand for higher EQ in business.  Their groundbreaking work in coaching, leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution has been instrumental in catalyzing lasting, positive changes and success with clients in a variety of industries.  Joni can be reached through

1.  Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, 1995, A Bantam Book
Comments Off on Hot Trends: What’s your E.Q.?

Insider View: Who Knew?

by Chris Schulz
Account Coordinator

Who knew the “furniture world” was so complex, precise and full of variables that impact an end result?  Not me, that’s for sure!

In fact, I had no clue of the intricate process from sales to installation.  When I joined Inside Source it was – to say the least – challenging.  After all, isn’t a chair just a chair? Aren’t those things called “cubbies?” And don’t they just come that way?  I mean, how hard could this be?  HA!

Fourteen years in the travel industry and coordinating foreign, independent travel was an attribute Inside Source recognized when they hired me for the Account Coordinator position.

Although sad to leave the travel industry, I was thrilled to learn a new industry.  But after a couple of weeks, I thought:”What were they thinking?”  And, even more so, “What was I thinking?”

I mean, I knew I was detail-orientated to the exact minute of an itinerary and conscious of what my clients really envisioned and expected. I had the ability to listen to their needs and wants which enabled me to provide a level of service a cut above. But this furniture stuff?  It’s crazy!  It’s busy, ever-changing, frustrating at times, and multi-tasking.  Don’t get me started.

The hardest part is the reliance on other trades. One mistake on someone else’s end can set the stage for a flop vs. a standing ovation.  A manufacturer “oops”, shipping mishaps, and the every day concern of (hold your breath!) “is there freight damage?”

Furniture can fit a site on paper, but a field measure can reveal one less inch and everyone’s back to the drawing board. Oh, and let’s not forget the delivery driver getting lost in Reno and going MIA for days on end!  Yes, that really happened and fortunately, our customer, Dan from Linear, has such a great sense of humor. We couldn’t help but laugh at all the different scenarios we imagined while waiting to hear updates on the driver’s whereabouts.

As time went on, I learned the lingo. I also learned about parts and what they do (lots of visuals – probably drove everyone crazy).  Yet there were still many times I questioned, “could I really do this?”  Fortunately for me, most of my colleagues are veterans so periodically, they’d pick me up, dust me off, give me a little pep talk, and then send me back into the fray with that smile and said, “You can do it”!

Three years later, the fast pace still exists.  It’s furniture, after all! But within the busyness,  I’ve developed such respect what team work is really all about.  There are no divisions of position at Inside Source and everyone is dedicated to each other.

We work hard together, laugh together, sometimes play together and always jump in and help each other whenever and wherever needed.  We take pride in a job well done and are always cognizant of the attention to detail required, whether it’s a single chair order or a multi-million dollar project.  We believe that the customer’s experience should be as stress free as possible and perfection is always the goal.  It’s the very essence of true collaboration at its best.

I finally think I can do this!  Who knew?

Comments Off on Insider View: Who Knew?