Monday, June 22, 2009

Surround yourself with "you"

My agency, LaBov & Beyond, was preparing for a visit from a prospective client. As we were preparing, it became clear that we needed to step back and review our facility. Sure, it was in good shape, but what did it say about us? Did it contribute to the experience and enhance it - or was it merely neutral? After careful review, we determined it was the latter. I'll share what we did.

We looked at the upcoming client visit as more than a one-time deal. We viewed this as an opportunity to reshape our physical environment not only for prospects, but for clients, employees (new and old) and even for the public (including prospective employees).

We created an experience. We determined the mantras that we live by on our best days - the days that we are brave and impassioned - needed to be on our walls along with real examples that correspond. A dozen mantras that we live by were stenciled on walls and dozens of examples adorned them. We made "fatheads" - large images that stick to the walls - of some of favorite accomplishments and clients, ranging from a character in our Umbrella Story book series to a Ferrari vehicle. We removed all generic images on the walls. Unless it was created by us or had a meaning to us, it was taken down. We reviewed everything in the building - including the bathrooms - after all, the client sees the bathrooms. We removed many of the awards we had displayed - unless they were relevant, they were vanquished.

The result was inspirational, educational, and it serves as a primer on who LaBov & Beyond is. More than a wacky interior design, far better than generic art work on a wall, it was "us" and it designed to inspire us to continue to be "us." Better yet, take this idea to your personal workspace: Does it inspire and reflect "you"?

Review your surroundings, ask a friend to walk in and give his/her impressions. Is your office a collection of artifacts, generic messages and mediocrity or are your surroundings a reflection of your culture?

Barry LaBov
LaBov and Beyond marketing Communications

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