update of bamboo studio construction and run up to World Bamboo Day

Coming down to the wire on the construction of the bamboo studio, as tomorrow is September 18, World Bamboo Day. About one month back, I decided that it was important for Co2 Bambu to participate in a global effort to publicize and promote the use of bamboo with several Granada-based activities. I am aware of bamboo-related activities in Asia, Europe and Latin America for World Bamboo Day 2010 and I thought it was time for us to have a “coming out party” in Nicaragua.

So we made plans to open up the factory, show our bamboo offices and the “soon to be completed” studio loft we are working on.
Now even for an “anything can happen” Nicaragua context, we hadn’t quite planned on having our factory “shut down” for two weeks due to lack of electricity. But so it was, that we had to reinvent our industrial solution real time, or face an embarrassing situation tomorrow.
The CO2 Bambu team rose to the challenge magnificently. Julio, our young civil engineer technical leader, drove 12 hours to the region of RAAN where we stock our recently cut bamboo. He had a technical brief to give for the housing project we are pursuing there. Somehow, he managed to hire a team, borrow someone else’s carpentry equipment and get a lot of material cut to specs for the studio project, which we couldn’t do in Granada for lack of electricity. Three days later, he came back with a truck full of material, in time to build the deck.
But wait, Julio was supposed to lead the construction team. That’s where Edwin pops up, seamlessly. Edwin was hired right out of engineering school by Julio after only 1 month working for CO2 Bambu. Slated to be head of Quality as he is detail-oriented and has the technical profile required for the job, Edwin surprised me in his ability to step into Julio’s shoes to lead the construction team. He did a superb job and the house is at a far enough point to have “show value” for World Bamboo Day.
Meanwhile, Thelma, our Program Manager, is as always “keeping the wheels on” with a stupendous multi-tasking capability, pleasant personality and ability to keep cool under fire. Thelma is instrumental in dealing with the myriad issues that surface on a daily basis, but this time, with the added twist that we have, due to the electricity problem, 4 distinct work teams – the team in Rosita making rustic flooring, the construction team working on the studio, the skeleton crew left at the factory and the crew working out of one of the workers’ garage which does have electricty, waiting for the factory to be turned back on.
Did I mention that, while all this is going on, we are entering the last stretch in a critical, strategic program which will shape the future of our company? Thelma, Julio and I strategize our way through a complex customer environment, Julio modifies real time the latest design to reflect last minute customer input and Thelma updates the cost profile and prepares a full price proposal. That’s when the phone rings and the Spanish Program Manager for the NGO that funds the housing program we are pursuing, informs us of their desire to have a technical review – today.
So… a very busy week indeed for CO2 Bambu and one I am very proud of. I have seen this movie before. A high impact team is as valuable as it is rare. CO2 Bambu’s team is now proving that it has not only the sufficient technical capability, but the “spirit” to work harmoniously and creatively to deal with what comes our way.
Here are the latest pics… the roof is up, a temporary floor is up, two out of four walls are finished…

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