Certainly, as change relates to organizational culture, in many cases, excessive management merely gets in the way!
True cultural change must be promoted through a forward thinking Leadership Team pointing the direction of business goals …allowing their respective associates, as individuals and in groups, the autonomy to reach their objectives.
Behavioral change is occurring within the workplace that is far beyond the control of organizational leadership! This transformation of the basic human condition is innate in today’s society and is greatly affecting the “Culture” of every business organization.
For perhaps the first time in history, leadership is not is a position to totally stipulate the overall work arrangement and work processes of their employees. They must work WITH their associates …sharing the goals of the organization and, together, creating a path to their fulfillment.
Likewise, business leaders must thoroughly understand the social atmosphere of their organization. Good or Bad, the existing social culture of an organization is very hard to change. However, through the planned physical manipulation of people, work-tools (including furniture) and the work-space, a highly effective work environment can be realized.
Promoting the strengths of your workforce culture through a planned work environment is a critical element to business success.
Business decisions regarding your direction to the future cannot be taken lightly and must be continually reviewed to assure that you are on the right path to success. At the speed of today’s business, we cannot merely react to change and remain in control of our business objectives. As business leaders, we must be able to perceive change as it relates to our organization and determine the most logical path in which to either avoid its interference or take advantage of the opportunity it brings.
None of us can predict the future with any certainty. However, there are things that we can do to get a baring on our business path. We may not be able to forecast the future but we can utilize Futures Envisioning in order to visualize where we want to be in the future and strive to move in that direction.
A thorough knowledge of the TRENDS & DRIVERS of today’s business will help to determine a plausible path to your business goals. Where do you want your organization to be in five years and what do you need to do in order to get there? Imagining and agreeing where you want to be, as an organization, is the first and most critical step to futures envisioning. Upon agreement by the various disciplines of your organization, the second phase would be determining and prioritizing the steps that will be necessary to get there. What strengths within are the mainstay of your success and what can be done to enhance that particular performance? On the other hand, what weaknesses are impeding your forward progress and what can be done to overcome them? Do your associates have an adequate physical facility with the tools and technology necessary to perform in an effective and efficient manner? A very open and candid understanding of these and other factors within your organization (both good and bad) must be addressed in order to determine your critical steps to the future.
The resulting information gained from a successful envisioning session will lead to a unified leadership team that is actively pursuing, from their respective disciplines, the same end goal to the future.
We must continually peer into the future and direct our course with a pro-active plan that incorporates anticipated change. …researching the future to predict a positive and successful outcome.
This article from GlobeSt.com. Bernice Boucher is lead of JLL’s workplace strategy and is right on in her comments regarding the Evolving Workplace. …Check it out!
- Do your people have the tools they need to do their jobs?
- Does their workplace support collaborative activities as well as other aspects of employee’s jobs?
…Can they concentrate? Can they share ideas? (There is a percentage game there that is critical to space planning!)
- What combination of spaces will best support the variety and proportion of the work modes identified?
- Is the message your environment sends consistent with the rest of the organization? What about sustainability?
- Does your space allocation and management strategy position your organization for the future?
It truly is about people, Your People!
A thorough and candid understanding of your organization must be the center-point of futures thinking in regards to providing an appropriate physical work environment. Again, your organization is unique. Your cultural criteria cannot be based on assumptions of other, like, organizations!
Take the time to create a foundation of knowledge regarding your organization. It will lead to organizational space that truly enhances your valued employees productivity!
I was recently honered to give a presentation to the Kansas City Chapter of the International Facilities Management Association.
My subject matter, as usual, was the unprecedented CHANGE in Individuals within the workforce and what facilities managers, and certainly their Leadership, must do in order to utilitize it to the good of their organization.
Some brief notes from that presentation:
Business Leaders must acknowledge and use a new process on understanding change within their organization and creating a VISION of that new organization that informs and inspires fresh and enlightening views of the required physical workplace.
The work-day, as we know it, is a thing of the past! Jason Fried tells us that, “We have traded the eight-hour work day for twenty-four hours of ‘work-moments’.”
Old paradigms of thought regarding the workplace environment are no longer effective! …Every organization is unique unto itself!
Decisions regarding the organizational workplace can no longer be based on assumptions! Every business leadership team must have a candid and personal understanding of their organization before they proceed to work with outside professional resources in the planning, design and development of new workspace.
You cannot plan a strategy without a Vision of where you want to be in the future and your vision will never be realized without a Strategy!
The two go hand-in-hand. Indeed, we are not able to predict the future. However, with careful, insightful, visioning, you can certainly determine where you want your organization to be in the future. With that ideal in mind, you can establish the path to your goal …continually making course corrections as unforeseen obstacles (and opportunities) occur.
As I peruse my collection of books dedicated to the future of work and the visualization of its accommodating work environment, I have noticed that many of these publications were NOT written yesterday!
In 1968, Robert Propst declared, “The office, as we have come to know it, is an adolescent statement starved for appropriate definition and somewhat oblivious to the forces of change” and, “The real consumer is the mind . The subject starts there. More than anything else, we are dealing with a mind-oriented living space”.
The early emphasis of this pholosophy goes back to Peter F. Drucker who, ten years previously (1958), stated that “The primary resource in the post-capitalist society will be knowledge and the leading social groups will be ‘knowledge workers'”. In 1996, Michael Hammer declared, “These new (work) processes often call for empowered frontline individuals who should be provided with information and expected to make their own decisions” …further stating that business leaders should “adapt their companies’ to the new ways of working”.
Over a decade ago, the authors Drucker, Propst, Hammer, Thomas Davenport, Tom Peters, Steven Rayner and Michael Brill wrote some very pertinent work regarding the transformation of the workplace. With the exception of some incomprehensible advances in technology, the overall message in their publications are still quite relevant today!
Reference these authors and others on my “Resource” page. Their timely messages are just as significant today and well worth the read.