KonMari Method: A New Year’s Resolution

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC

Photo credit: Darwin Vegher, Unsplash

Have you been following Netflix’s latest hit, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo? Kondo’s method of organizing is known as the KonMari method. It consists of gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy.”

While many people have been inspired by her thoughtful approach and decluttered their living spaces, the same lessons can be applied to business success:

As you take stock of your organization’s present and future, consider translating these three relatable concepts into a new way of thinking and being in 2019:

1.  Give up things to allow room for others. 

On the show, Kondo challenges clients to visualize a clutter-free space. In business, cutting down on clutter can be a placeholder for something that occurs on a deeper level – more time to pursue projects you enjoy, entertain prospects, interact with things and people you value, etc. The key is to identify what is weighing you down. Then make changes to free up time and resources for those that put a fire in your belly. Think: less is more.

2.  Stop planning and start doing.

Dreading tackling that whale of an item on your to-do list? Take Kondo’s advice and conquer smaller projects first. Or divide up that big project into manageable parts. Don’t get mired in the quest to follow the perfect process (there isn’t one)—just do it. Planning without execution is like a hamster on a treadmill. Jim Collins covers this concept well in my favorite book, Good is Great.

3.  Seek joy.

“Sparking joy” is a catchphrase on the show—and for a good reason. Following her methodology, a clutter-free environment is a surefire way to keep things around that elicit joy and eliminate those things or people that burden us.

To apply this concept to your work, think of it on multiple levels.

  • Consider new habits and how to integrate this thinking into your 2019 planning activities.
  • Think about the customer experience and how can you add “joy” into the mix and surprise and delight your clients or customers.

What goals could you set your mind to, if you cleared through the general clutter? Not sure where to start, use this Good to Great diagnostic framework.


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