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.
Interesting article in The Des Moines Register regarding change in the workplace.
Yes, “Open Offices” are indeed getting more open as business leaders, “…transform their workplaces into more collaborative, congenial and productive settings”.
There are numerous aspects of change that are driving this evolution and they must ALL be addressed, holistically, if the transition is to be successful. Steelcase research points to the reduction of square footage to reduce real estate costs as the number-one influencer of this movement. However, if that viewpoint is the major driver without factoring in changes among employees regarding social and technological work, the entire process could be a dismal setback in organizational productivity!
Efficient and effective organizational space is the result of Big-Picture Thinking. …taking in all of the aspects of change regarding your, most unique, organization.
Embrace that change and intelligently guide it to positive, productive and profitable results!
“Design Thinking” has become a hot-topic in today’s business world. No matter what it is called these days, the design thought process hasn’t changed all that much but, because of all the hype, it is touted to be the ultimate process in innovative problem solving.
Work has definitely changed and, in many cases, the physical place in which it takes place hasn’t changed at all! Many of our working environments today are the result of numerous modifications that have occured over a period of time in an effort to keep up with change. …Quite frankly, just keeping up isn’t enough anymore!
The traditional approaches to predicting the future are no longer effective. A new process of understanding change and creating a picture (A VISION) that informs and inspires fresh and enlightening views of the future is required.
Business leaders and space planners can no longer plan physical workspace based on assumptions. A program of Holistic Thinking is required to provide workers with the appropriate space as well as the necessary “tools” to be both efficient and effective.
As Drucker predicted over a decade ago, the human condition, aided by technology, is rapidly changing the way we think about everything. Far beyond the “generational” differences in today’s workforce, ALL of us in in a process of adapting to a totally new way of life!
Drucker said this with the idea that we would have figured it out by 2020. Today, we are still struggling with change as if it were to be expected sometime in the future.
It has all changed right in front of us! And, as a result, many of our professional services need to change and be approached from this NEW PERSPECTIVE. Organizational Leaders, HR Professionals, Space Planners, etc..
Drucker also said that “Everything you learned in school was wrong!”
Perhaps we should rethink our professional perspective from a point of reality and not the assumptions of the past.
It seems like about everything regarding working is changing all around us. This article points out the fact that, in spite of all this change, we are still the same people with some remarkably basic needs… http://officeinsight.org/?p=1869
Futures planning, for your organization, is critical to any business objective. The “visioning” process must involve a holistic perspective of your future organization and their potential work environment. Having, and keeping, that vision in place will allow you to make mid-course corrections as ever-present change threatens your orginal goals.
Design and Space Planning is a potent tool in allowing change to take place within the organization as it occurs. These days, change occurs by the hour and must be dealt with in an appropriate time frame. …a physical environment that allows teams to gather at a moments notice while encouraging spontaneous collaboration and interaction is a necessity in today’s fast-paced workplace.
Planned Space has become the Enabler that allows individuals and teams the autonomy to do what needs to be done …accurately and in a timely manner!