Could you create a “being space?”

A being space.

One of my favorite stores is Barnes & Noble.  Yes, they have lots of books, music and movies.  But what I love most about it is that it feels like I’ve been invited to hang out.  Big comfortable chairs.  Coffee and snacks.  Did I mention the big comfortable chairs?

Chair Well it turns out, I love Barnes & Noble because they’ve created a "Being Space."

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg first conceived of the "Being Space" in his 1990 book The Great Good Place and described it as a a place where people hang out —  take it easy and "commune with friends, neighbors, and whoever else shows up."  A place where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, people watch, read a book or play a computer game.

Think about it.   Starbucks.  The Apple Store.  The Laundromat where you can watch a movie while you wash.  It seems like the retailers have caught on. 

But what about the service industry?

Imagine this…what if clients or business friends & vendors were invited to stop by the MMG office.  We happen to be right downtown.  Maybe they’re in between meetings or just need a place to catch their breath. 

They can grab a cup of coffee, hop on our wireless high speed internet (or use the computer in our open work station), make some phone calls or grab a book off our bookshelf.

Do you think they’d take us up on our offer?  Does it say something about our brand that we’ve created a space where they could?  Would it alter or intensify their opinion of us and what working with us might be like?

How about you — could you create a being space?

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