Relocation, relocation, relocation

Ocean Village Innovation Center Southampton

The decision to relocate your business is never an easy one, certainly with 26 years on the clock and roughly all those years spent in the same place. But could it be a smart move – the one that catapults our little SME to the next level? Who knows, because it seems that there is no magic formula. Just a lot of people saying “That’s brave! But you’ve earned the right!”…Hardly a ringing endorsement. More a ringing of hands!

My opinion? It’s a risk worth taking if it helps the business to evolve even further – and most importantly, to change!

“Change is difficult for everyone … the entire difference between being a good business and a great business may well be your situation”.
I took that to mean our address.

So after over 2 decades, Idealogy is picking up it’s boxes and moving roughly a mile down the road to OVIC (God loves an acronym!) – Ocean Village Innovation Centre, in Southampton. And, like it or not, things are going to change. All the stuff that becomes common place in a building you’ve inhabited for 20 years won’t be there any more – the transport connections, the favourite food outlets, the component parts of a familiar, comfortable working life. And of course, it’s only when you impose this kind of visceral change that people allow that ‘comfortable commentary’ to come to the surface. But you had better pay attention, because it’s important – to a point!

And what of the logistics? Well, 3 months seemed like a project managers dream 2 ½ months ago. But, with 2 weeks to go, people are running around as if we’ve just sprung the unkindest of surprises. “Don’t worry” I’m told, “it will all be OK!”. But what’s the alternative – a business that doesn’t function for several weeks, rather than the weekend we’d factored in? I’m a trusting soul – I prefer to believe in the “it’ll be alright on the night” mantra. Oh, and a darkened room to hide out in…

Which brings me neatly onto the topic of our people and why we are really moving.  With so much time and history invested in one place, a business develops muscle memory. A way of working that, over time, appears natural but is actually the reason a business can’t change, or evolve or reach it’s potential.

There it is in a nutshell – the reason we needed to relocate was because our business was constricted by the ‘geography of a building’ and lack of opportunity to collaborate and share thinking. The business analysts will call that a ‘silo mentality’, which is a great description of a 5-storey townhouse in central Southampton. So OVIC presents us with the open plan option – all together in one space, and only the main staircase for a private conversation nook.

God help us – but as the great man said (?) – “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine!”