Weekly Editorial

Growth Is Impossible Without Change

Written By Rob Kirkbride, Write Office • January 9, 2023

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It was author Leo Tolstoy who said: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” And it’s true. When we are young, we dream of changing the world. When I was a young journalist, I thought my stories would topple governments, reverse global warming and cause world peace.

My focus is a little narrower as an adult and my expectations are a bit different when it comes to my career and my life. Still, change is constant and it is important for growth. As some of you might have noticed, I’ve had a year filled with professional changes, from leaving Business of Furniture to launching The Insider to doing some very fulfilling work outside the industry.

This is going to be a year of change as well. While I will continue to provide editorials and recommended reads in The Insider, I joined officeinsight as its new editor in chief where I will work alongside my friend and colleague, Bob Beck. If you don’t know the publication, I’d like to invite you to explore it at www.officeinsight.com. I’d also like you to consider advertising in it as well.

I don’t know about you, but change is difficult for me. My anxiety level rises when things are unsettled, as they have been for me over the past few years. And yet I’ve learned that with change comes true growth. I’m a better editor today because of my experiences this year. I’ve learned more in the past year than I have in the past decade — personally and professionally.

My own experience follows closely that of the industry: I was cruising along happily until COVID hit and changed everything. For the industry, it completely changed the target everyone was aiming for. We thought we knew how the office would develop until the pandemic changed everything. It’s never good to get stuck in a rut, which is a danger, especially when you are in an industry that has followed a fairly static script over the last few decades. It’s time all of us work ourselves out of our ruts.

We must pivot. We have to break out of our routines.

Our customers expect something different from us as an industry. They don’t want the same old office designs, especially as they try to keep employees engaged, whether they work in an office, at home or some combination of the two. I don’t have all the answers for how that will look in the future. But I can guarantee that if you don’t adjust to the wholesale changes that are coming to the workplace, it will turn out poorly for your business.

As I embark on my new role as editor of officeinsight, I feel that same pressure — a healthy pressure — to do better for our readers, advertisers and stakeholders. I’m making that commitment to you now: I promise to change and I pledge to you now to provide better information (in The Insider and officeinsight), more news you can use, better use of technology and deeper connections to the industry.

Perhaps you can make the same kind of pledge to your customers — to embrace change, even when painful, and do a better job converting change to real growth.

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