There’s a lot of love for Marie Kondo amongst my friends. I’ve had a bagful of conversations about how her “magic tidying” revolution has improved their lives. Their clear cupboards and tidy drawers make them feel freer and think more clearly. They say the less stuff they have, the more bold and creative they become. Marie Kondo has a brilliant and simple core idea: you should only keep something if it “sparks joy”. Anything else, you let go, it’s dragging you down. You can’t feel happy and inspired with clutter crowding the good stuff in your life
I’ve not succumbed yet. Kondo disciples say I’ll have to empty the entire contents of my wardrobe onto the floor. Just the thought of that has me reaching for the paracetamol. But, the principle of a ruthless spring clean as a springboard for bolder, sharper decisions and more creativity is appealing. So, if you can’t face the domestic de-clutter just yet … how about turning your attention to your business?
With Leading Ideas I consult on how to get teams to work more efficiently and innovate more instinctively. Here are a few of the tips I offer to de-clutter businesses and help teams focus positively on the future:
1) Audit all day-to-day business processes and challenge your staff to help make them leaner and easier.
2) Ask everyone on the ground “what’s not working?” and offer them resources, support and freedom to fix it.
3) Identify any projects that are draining effort with little return. Are you keeping them alive just because you’ve invested so much time in them? Don’t be afraid to kill them off. Failures are valuable learning experiences.
4) Look into the future – what are you spending time on now that’s not likely to be relevant in 5 years’ time? Edit and prioritise projects to ensure your business isn’t stalling.
5) Look outside your own business and your own industry to see how others are working smarter. What great ideas can you adopt or adapt to streamline your business.
6) Set some big creative challenges to spark fresh ideas, create energy and force positive change in your business.
Pick a few and have a go. Nobody ever regrets a bit of spring cleaning.