Bringing Clarity to Clients, Employee-centered Workplace(TM)
Interview by Pat Lynch, PhD of Business Alignment Strategies, in a series of experts sharing professional insights and advice about how to set, align, and implement priorities.
In this interview, Ann reveals how she helps bring clarity to her clients so they can set priorities effectively. In particular, she focuses on process over methodology, and she suggests ways to address the inevitable obstacles along the way.
Thoughts from the Publisher: The Art of Organization
They came from near and far to arrange, sort, file and redecorate. Their organization skills wee awesome – but then I expected no less since they are professional organizers. For those who have ever entered the inner sanctum of my office at the Signal Tribune – my penchant for hoarding memorabilia and failure to dispose of paperwork or anything I deem potentially useful is quite evident. Needing more than just a little help straightening up, my new best friends at Coastal Organizers Innovative Network (COIN) came to my rescue – enter Hallie Jane (Organize 2 Design), Gayle Chapin (EZRI), Ann Negendank (Sensible Space) and Gabriele Kabel.
Contacted several months ago by Wendy Terrado of VTCO (Virtually Taken Care Of), I was informed that the Signal Tribune had been chosen as a group project for COIN. When I asked to what I owed the honor, Wendy did her best to be kind but to also be honest by making it clear that my collections of paperwork and stuff had gotten quite out of hand and that her organization wanted to help me be more productive and content with my workplace surroundings. Hmmm – I didn’t know whether to be insulted or grateful. I decided to go with the latter.
Seinfeld fans love the episode featuring the “Soup Nazi” – it’s one of my favorites too. Let me tell you these ladies are just as passionate as that chef and in some cases just as intimidating. They took no nonsense from me about needing to hang on to junk. Now, don’t misunderstand – they weren’t cruel – just assertive as they made it clear their methods would prove fruitful in the end – fruitful indeed.
Over a four-hour period they gathered and boxed, removed and rearranged, tossed and filed – all behind closed doors. They wouldn’t even let me peek. During the process I parked myself in our company’s break room while the ladies in charge took turns bringing in boxes of various things and stuff. Holding up one item at a time, Ann gave me just seconds to decide whether “it” should be thrown in the trash, given to charity, kept in my office or boxed away. I felt no judgment, just utter relief at the concentrated effort to organize.
The reveal of my “new” office would rival the final moments of any episode of an HGTV program. The results are awesome. I believe they are making plans to put before and after photos on their web site.
For nearly two weeks I have been experiencing pure bliss at the visual and emotionally soothing ambience of my “new” office. I can’t believe how much more productive and calm I feel. Thank you ladies for all your help and understanding – you have changed my life.