This week we're moving Bates Communications into a beautiful new office space.  I must say it's like Christmas in January. If you've ever built a home or done an extensive renovation, you know how exciting it is to see your vision taking shape.  Everything built out just the way you wanted it.

The journey from vision and reality is replete with a remarkable number of decisions. 167 shades of carpet, 26 variations of white marble flooring, 53 styles of kitchen faucets, 13 types of extra tall office doors.  We put our heads down, made our choices, and it was fairly painless.  Except for the orange accent walls.    

It was to be a bold statement.  One wall of each conference room, visible through the foyer glass.  A modern pop.  

The first pass was too ...rusty.  The second looked like... Home Depot orange.  Nothing against Home Depot... but we don't sell power drills.    

How to be bold!  It looked so fabulous in the designer magazine photo, our inspiration.  I was...PREDISPOSED to love it.  

We just needed to find the right shade.    

Each time I met with the construction manager to give him the verdict, he was nice, but he winced.  Reds!  You know how it is.  Another change order, another seven coats.  The bills were adding up.

I remained determined to love it.  Then the conference room furniture arrived.  I stared and stared.  It was simply awful.

I thought about leaving it up there.  Perhaps I was being too picky.  We'd get used it it.  Eventually. Maybe the right artwork would dress it up.  

And then it hit me.  Switch or be sorry.  One more call.  Get out the paint wheel.  How about gray? We chose and, voila! Transformation.  Beautiful.  

What's the lesson?  We often see things the way we hoped they'd work out.  We walk past those horrible orange walls.  It was a good idea.  Put some flowers in the vase next to that decision.  Maybe it will improve.    

Somebody needs to have the courageous to say, "Hey guys, this ain't working."  Theoretically yes.  Really? It's time to repaint.   

Where are those orange walls in your business right now? Is everybody looking past them? Are they quietly saying, "Boy that's ugly," and doing nothing about it?  Time to get back in touch with your inner designer.  Give voice to the obvious.  Imagine how you'll feel when you get it just right.  

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