design:retail - July 2017 - 45
around and said, "Now I get it. I understand why you
come here for ideas and inspiration."
After that we both lived happily ever after, collaborating and speaking a common language. You
may not be able to motivate your boss to travel to
New York, but how about a competitive shopping
trip for a couple of hours at a nearby mall? Do some
prep work. Walk the mall on your own and identify five to 10 innovations. Examples might include
unique fixtures, signing with unusual messages or
a new way to display product. Think about how you
could combine some of the ideas, or give them a new
twist to fit your company brand. Invite your boss to
walk the mall with you and point out your findings.
Offer a few ideas that you would like to test and track
sales. If you are given the green light, grab the opportunity and do whatever it takes to make the strategy
What do you think about the concept of working from home (WFH)?
- Future Remote Employee
Judy: I have traveled around the block a few
times with working from home, always eager to stretch my toes and boundaries. When
I was working full time in a corporation, I experimented with WFH in three ways: Tuesdays
and Fridays WFH, Fridays only WFH, and full
time in the office with an occasional afternoon
WFH. I can vouch for working from home; it increased my focus and productivity. And I wasn't
just imagining it. Whartons' blog in January
2016 introduced a book: "Deep Work, Rules
for Focused Success in a Distracted World." An
excerpt from the book examined how Adam
Grant, the highest-rated and youngest tenured
professor at Wharton, made his achievements
"by leveraging the following law of productivity:
High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x
(Intensity of Focus)."
First I tried working from home two days a
week and found that too many of my projects
required in-person collaboration. So I tried
working from home just one day a week. I chose
Fridays, because they were designated "no
a success. There is no better way to get someone's attention and support than an increase in sales. Once
that happens, thank your boss for collaborating with
you on the project. Now you have a path to raise the
stakes and talk about a trip to GlobalShop. Use the
same process. Pre-walk the show on your own and
identify a few innovative ideas. Then spend a halfday with your boss on the show floor to discuss
collaborating on a new series of sales-driving tests.
Think BIG-next destination, New York City!
JUDY BELL IS THE FOUNDER OF ENERGETIC RETAIL (ENERGETICRETAIL.COM) AND AUTHOR OF "SILENT SELLING." SHE HELD AN
INSPIRATIONAL ROLE FOR 22 YEARS AT TARGET CORP. AND NOW
SHARES HER INSIGHTS ON NAVIGATING THE CREATIVE WORKPLACE
WITH DESIGN:RETAIL IN THIS BI-ISSUE COLUMN. SEND YOUR
QUESTIONS FOR "ASK JUDY" TO JESSIE.DOWD@EMERALDEXPO.COM.
meeting" days at the office. I found that Fridays at home were a great way to catch up on
emails or wrap up projects that required writing
and quiet time. But after a while, I missed the
relaxed nature and fun of Fridays in the office
and abandoned my home office experiment.
Some of the most productive meetings in my
career took place in office elevators, hallways
and lobbies, and I wanted to be present to take
advantage of spontaneous opportunities and
synchronicities. So I settled on an occasional
home office session for projects that required
hours of uninterrupted focus.
If you are contemplating working from home,
here are four important considerations:
1) Capacity for self-motivation: Can you rise
each morning committed and enthusiastic?
2) Work style: Do you prefer to collaborate or
3) Work assignment: What do your projects generally require? Quiet blocks of time
4) Networking opportunities: Are you content with your current position and projects or
would you like to explore other opportunities
in your corporation?
Those who prefer little social interaction
may find that working from home is the most
productive for them. In any case, I believe it's
beneficial to work inside the corporate office at
least a few days a week. There is no substitute
for in-person interaction with your colleagues.