Although like much of the northeast U.S., New Jersey is in the midst of the 4th nor’easter storm over the past three weeks, the calendar says that March 20th is officially the first day of spring. The change of seasons also signals the time for “spring cleaning.” For us, this includes re-organizing our office. Usually, because we’re busy, this has been a relatively simple matter of tossing out old articles and straightening up. However, this year was different.
We surveyed the cabinets stuffed with articles and client files, bookcases crammed to capacity, boxes bulging with old magazines, and shelves filled with cherished items, awards, and old CDs and DVDs we’ve been collecting over the last decade. When we considered this along with the reality that Scott and I decided to work in the same office, we realized we’d hit a new stage of growth. It was time to call out the “elephant in the room”: we were running out of space.
Outgrowing office space is just one of the issues we’ve frequently seen in our clients and other successful companies that are transforming for growth. This is only one aspect of a more general question: “How can we create space to make room for new growth opportunities?”
In our story, we decided to stay put and make tough choices about what we needed to keep and what we could discard. When we stepped back, we recognized that we were already using new technologies that were significantly changing the way we work. For instance, increasingly, we’ve been accessing both news and feature articles mostly over the Internet and through streaming. This includes our podcast, Growth Igniters® Radio (just starting our fourth year), which has enabled us to continue to learn and also to grow in our ability to provide new value with and for our community of listeners.
It’s not always easy to decide what to let go of and what to keep. We discovered that some of the files we were tossing out carried a significant amount of personal and professional meaning for one or both of us. Fortunately, technology has an answer for that as well − scanning and storing the images online.
Ultimately, the most impactful part of this experience came from our collective change in mindset. When we stopped looking at letting go and reorganizing as something we “had” to do and started looking at it as a way to create new space, we found that we felt much more ready for all of the new opportunities that lie ahead.
Likewise, as any company transforms and grows, it can be challenging to find the space for new opportunities. This could include everything from literally changing your physical space to changing the game by shedding or acquiring a brand, customer base or some other aspect of your business to move into a more promising opportunity.
One thing that can make any decision easier is to step back and consider the many changes that have taken place in the business environment since the last time you faced the issue. When you and your team look at these changes in the context of your company’s purpose, vision, strategy, and culture, the decision will become clear.