Last fall, a client showed me her company’s new office space. Everywhere I looked, there were no walls, lots of windows, modular desks, cubbies for the storage of employees’ personal belongings (each morning they choose a new desk), standing computer stations, and flexible meeting spaces.
My client was enthusiastic about this new office arrangement, and called it a model for enhanced collaboration. I’ve heard the open-space approach is catching on with other companies.
I can see how open office space helps stimulate collegial conversations and new forms of worker relationship building. But, for professional service firms especially, is it enough to address a critical issue: the integration of marketing and selling?
For the most effective integration of marketing and selling, professional firms should still consider the structural and cultural methods that I have talked about in my previous writing and speaking. For example, the shared development of marketing and selling goals, the co-leadership toward achieving optimal outcomes, the sharing of functional accountabilities, and performance measurement frameworks that are flexible enough to not kill a good idea too quickly.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for breaking down barriers in a professional services environment! I think the open space approach holds much promise. But by itself, it’s not enough to achieve true marketing and selling integration.
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