The Tattooed motto above means: Naught Without Labor. It’s one of the open mottos of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. It ought be the service motto of everyone who deals with their customers face-to-face. I recently attended a workshop to rebuild a small private school. The trouble was, the small school wasn’t ready to be rebuilt. There were plenty of good intentions. There was a lot of theory based around education and children. There were a lot of ideas. Those things are all like pretty flowers. They smell nice, but without the work, they die. Even with the best effort, they still don’t DO anything.
We were asked to design intentional learning spaces. traditional classrooms are catch-alls. They need to be the space for everything for everybody, and typically they are then nothing to anybody. Like major party politicians. I digress. Intentional space creates purpose. It may serve more than one, and certainly anything may happen in that space if need be. Intentional space is best-suited for one thing. Your store front window is best suited for one thing, providing insight to your operation. I have seen the incredible Macy’s windows at Christmas, and I knew a small Cuban sandwich shop in Tampa that built out theirs, and put a table in it. The satisfied customers became the show and best advertising as you walked by. Whatever is there, it is best suited for that one thing.
Problem was, after the design, and theory and best intentions, nobody lifted a finger. Almost nobody. Two very cool rooms were actually made. A collaborative think-tank with a few different grouping environments, and a performance and presentation theater. The school was not able to facilitate progress past that. Most of the large furniture was still in storage, many of the rooms were unorganized storehouses. They were not ready to do the work. They were more than ready to have others do it, and even then without the tools they needed.
At once bodies disappeared. Rightfully so. Before you can ask others to be great workers, or others to serve customers, they had better see an example, and have the tools necessary. What tools do you find necessary? Who provides the example for you?