Space is opportunity and potential.

This is the second part of a three part series on developing a new language for business. The first part is located here

In architecture, space is the volume or area created or defined by form and structure. It is the opposite of form. 

The Oxford English Dictionary describes space as the following:

  • A continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.
  • An area of land that is not occupied by buildings.
  • A blank between printed, typed, or written words, characters, or numbers.
  • An interval of time.
  • The freedom and scope to live, think, and develop in a way that suits one.

Architects and designers often talk about how people experience and move through space or how it is developed. 

Does a room feel tight or constrained, or open and airy? Space can compress in a narrow hallway and expand in an auditorium. Through the manipulation of physical structure, space can be sculpted. 

This thinking also applies in how we interact with objects, websites, or even people. Structure creates space, which thereby affects how we perceive and interact with a phone, laptop, furniture, or website, for instance. Additionally, the structure that a management team creates to utilize its resources can have a direct impact on how people perform. Does a manager give space to their employees or does it seek to limit them?

In organizations, people are often aware of how their business is structured and where they are operating.

They know where their resources are located and how they are interacting with leadership, managers, suppliers, or customers. The challenge for leaders is learning to see the space and then figuring out how to use it for effect. Opportunity and potential to increase levels of collaboration and develop new markets exists in these spaces.

What is happening in the space around the parts of your organization? Are you creating spaces for people to do their jobs effectively and to develop new customers? How exactly are you and your employees interacting with each other and customers? 

Many organizations focus only on what they can see. To be truly adaptive and to stay ahead of changing market conditions, you need to be aware of what you can't see.