Lessons From the Classroom: How Your Surroundings Inform Innovation and Progress in the Workplace

Fresh ideas won’t survive in a suffocating environment

Developing on-point business ideas for your startup or brand refresh are more likely to produce effective results if you clear the path first. Brand intuition that leads to targeted names and taglines, revealing content, and vivid marketing copy - the next WOW moment in your business -  is guided by the showcase you provide for it.

If your surroundings are in disarray, ambiguity will follow

For over 15 years I worked throughout the NYC school system as an arts education specialist. Typically, the residencies I conducted lasted for five to ten sessions with at least four or five classes involved in the daily program. During that period of time I must have been in and out of a few hundred schools and almost 1,000 classrooms. I made my imprint on approximately, 10,000 students every year, which amounts to a staggering 150,000 children over the long haul.

I cite these roughly estimated, but very fair, numbers to give some perspective.

The state of the room is the state of affairs

Whether I was teaching workshops in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan, I made the same observation. The physical condition of the classroom directly correlated to the classroom’s efficiency. If the room was a mess, the classroom energy was chaotic and the students lacked focus. If an orderly classroom environment prevailed, the students were high functioning and they met all their benchmarks.

It was that simple... every time

Sometimes, I’d get to a new classroom early, while the teacher and students were somewhere else in the building. All I needed to know about the experience I was about to have was right in front of me. I’d pan slowly around the room. My pre-assessment never failed.

You are your environment

Extracting from the adage, you are what you eat, it’s easy to determine that you are your surroundings and little gets accomplished in bedlam.

An organized process is the gift that keeps on giving

Several industries have a name for what I’m talking about. In the restaurant industry it’s called mise en place, the French culinary term for putting everything in its place.

Be the student in the orderly classroom

Tidy up! Your office, desk and other work surfaces are waiting to be cleared and wiped down. I promise that it will set the framework for forward movement. It’s a simple conclusion with a big payoff when your ideas take on light, form and color.

What’s the state of your physical environment when you are most productive? Please share your experience here or contact Robin at 347.247.2202 or wordentity.com/contact to talk about putting those soon-to-be amazing ideas into words that work for your business venture.