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Auditing your Artwork

The artwork in your workspace needs to be challenged and changed on a regular basis.

Too often we add art to our environment and then forget about it. After a few weeks or months, it starts to blend into the wallpaper, virtually invisible.

Where this can be problematic is that the artwork is still functioning in the space – it is still sending messages to you, your team, customers, and clients who visit the space.

I recommend taking a few minutes to run a simple Art Audit. Have a look around your environment and all the art in the space (posters, paintings, sculptures, desktop objects, ‘executive toys’, etc.)

How does the art reflect your goals?

Ask yourself whether those messages are still viable:

  • Do they accurately reflect who you are as a business? Has your model or brand shifted?
  • Do they reflect where you are in your business? Are you still a scrappy startup, or have you matured into something more stable, with more authority?
  • Are they still signalling where you want to be going? How has your vision expanded (or narrowed) and how is this reflected in the space?

There are no downsides to performing an Art Audit.

If you determine that the existing artwork in still relevant, then fantastic. By examining and challenging what is in the space, you bring it back into focus. You create space for the messaging to be seen afresh, increasing its influence on the environment.

If you decide that the artwork doesn’t reflect the current business, then you get to choose fresh pieces that support who and what it is now. You have an opportunity to enliven and invigorate your work environment. And reflect on how your business has evolved.

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But motivational posters don’t work!

Old School ‘Motivation’

I hear this all the time; that pretty Instagram quotes are vacuous and motivational posters are pointless.

And yet they endure.


Because we love what they do to our brains. Like the audacity of Steve Jobs’ “ding in the universe,” they have the power to spark something in our minds.

As with most media, the value is in how we choose to engage with these mental ‘sparks’.

Insta ‘Inspiration’

We have to make a conscious choice to engage and reflect. To ask ourselves, “What would my ‘ding in the universe’ look like?”

  • What are your ‘dreams’?
  • What is the ‘summit’ that you’re striving for?
  • How could you ’10X’ your sales?

By actively inserting ourselves, our businesses, our hopes for the future, into these apparent cliches, we elevate them from being generic to something relevant, powerful, and potentially even transformative.

Motivational quotes do work, provided we are willing to meet them halfway.