The Everlasting Impact
By A1 Office CEO Jared Wade.
Lately I have been asked about my understanding of transforming a workspace and given that it has been a passion of mine for the last 10 years (and we have dedicated our engagement in this arena), I feel I am qualified to offer my understanding, and maybe it has value for others.
I’ve observed that various industries across many disciplines think that transforming workspaces refers to the environment they work in; particularly the cool open plan with minimalistic design, beautiful breakouts and collaboration spaces to name a few. Sadly, we have heard of (and witnessed) many firms who invest in a workspace change and do not achieve any more productivity from what they had before.
Most firms achieve a new environment, they have the personnel, and still their culture did not transform. Their productivity is what it was, and they have an expensive Capex to justify.
Why is this?
It might be my people…
Maybe this is true, maybe it’s staff engagement! Maybe it is leadership!
Let’s bring in a leadership consultant and run leadership workshops, maybe then we will get our culture and engagement back on track. Maybe it’s staff training? Get the right people on the bus, be slow to hire and fast to fire. We have all heard and seen these pearls of wisdom before. In isolation, this can prove to be negative to culture and in some cases detract from the actual vision you have.
Maybe it is market disruption?
This will always be a consideration and will always have an effect. Since the beginning of the second industrial revolution, we have all had to contend with this. The horse and cart are now trucks and trains. The only difference now is the disruption is happening quicker and on so many levels that it’s always more difficult to see coming.
So, what has remained a constant?
The answer? “Your” people! They have always been your constant challenge for better and for worse, and they always will. However considering outsourcing, risk diversification and market disruption; having your people remain constant has become more complex. They are not just “your” people anymore. They are “their” people and “our” people and “those” people and so on.
There is international pressure, labour legislation and competitive forces that show us one thing…they are only “your” people right now.
A transformed workspace is one that enables “your” people right now to perform at their peak, not just to your KPI, (although wise to use as a benchmark) yet more importantly, for them to perform to their highest potential. That is when they feel they have added the most value. People who perform to their highest potential, rarely need to be managed. In a transformed workspace they remain “your” people, willingly – and it has little to do with the décor.
The best workspaces we have transformed have been purposeful and deliberate. They have a specific business agenda and are aligned with the strategic objectives of the company.
Otherwise what did transforming a workspace mean anyway?
Begin a conversation with me on a transformed workspace.