Taking down the walls can be the key to growth

One of the barriers to company progression and growth can be directors who are inaccessible to the staff and sometimes, even each other. Directors hiding away in their separate offices, rarely coming out to interact and find out what’s occurring on the ground is one of the behaviour traits I’ve seen time and time again and can greatly hinder the business.

When I talk about taking down the walls I speak in a very literal sense; one of the first things I did when joining Briggs Equipment as CEO was to have the walls removed on the director’s floor to remove the physical barriers, open up the space, get everyone working together and most importantly, communicating. It’s incredible how much being alone in an office can halt making decisions, or at the very least, delay the process.

It forced people to talk to each other – something I find people do too little of these days with the proliferation of email and mobile device communication developments. Discussions took place with more ease and decisions were made with more speed.

It’s also the perfect way to ‘out’ the obstructors. With nowhere to hide, their actions are forced into the open and if they are not favourable towards the company or are resistant to change for the better, it will be much more easily identifiable.

In today’s world where there can be many barriers to growth; changing market forces, the economic climate, cash flow, skills shortages – adding barriers from within is an extra headache many businesses could do without. When it comes to taking down the walls, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again in any organisation where I felt that forces weren’t working together as they should be.