08 Jul 2013
July 8, 2013

Savvy leadership spaces

Leadership 0 Comment

How well do you know your leadership space? It’€™s an interesting question!

Leaders have to consider what kind of space they are working in. It is a very important aspect of leadership – understanding the space in which you lead.

What kind of critical thinking have you done around this?

The “€˜space”€™ can be the physical environment you lead in, the people in your sphere of influence or the staff who report directly to you.

To understanding your space critically reflect on the following questions

1. How is the space responding to the philosophy and vision of the workplace?

2. Why is the space responding in this way?

3. What kind of “€˜renovation”€™ work needs to be done as a response to Q1 and Q2?

Questions I ask myself when starting this kind of “€˜space”€™ analysis are, “What kind of spaces inspire me? Why do they inspire me? How can I appropriate this inspiration into my space?”

To give an example of physical spaces that inspire, I recently visited Challenger offices in the Hilton building, Sydney. They have been inspired to look for opportunities which provide for those “€˜spontaneous”€™ meetings/conversations which are so important for work flow and productivity. Hence their environment is open, with wide staircases for that “€˜quick chat”€™. They have flexible work areas so that different groups of people can work together as and when needed. They have comfortable seating so that staff are able to work comfortably  and stay focussed for long periods of time.  They provide places for individual thinking spaces too, for those moments where staff need to be distraction free.

This space inspired me to rethink my environment. I considered “€˜what”€™ and “€˜how”€™ I could make adjustments to thinking, and current spaces without spending dollars. Talking about the inspiration and seeing it catch on was my first step. Once people were buzzing and expectant I was ready to lead the physical space adjustments. The team enjoyed the collaborative space, the flexible furniture and sustainable thinking space.

I only discovered this need when I started to become savvy around my leadership spaces.

So consider these questions:

What kind of spaces inspire me?

Why do they inspire me?

How can I appropriate this inspiration into my space?

Now start critically and creatively reflecting on what comes up for you. Go on an “€˜excursion”€™, visiting a leadership space that inspires and ultimately assists you to have savvy leadership spaces.

About the Author


Colin Slattery is a Director and founder of Semann & Slattery. He has held a range of senior executive positions with government agencies, the private sector and non-government organisations for 15 years. For the last 13 years Colin has been highly sought after as a change facilitator and coach for individuals and organisations. His unique leadership coaching and mentoring style encourages participants to embrace change on a personal level enabling positive change to occur on a professional business level.