​WorkplaceOne: the new norm

By Steve Delfino

It is said that if you want to get the same results, keep doing things the same way. By inference, if you want new or better results, something has to change. There has to be a shift in one’s thinking, a change in approach, a revision of well-worn strategies.

Such is the case for high performance corporations doing business in the context of the emerging global economy – who recognize the value of the workplace as a strategic asset and also that the traditional workplace does not capture the potential of the knowledge workers who use ideas and information to create organizational value. A well-designed workplace creates a framework for creativity and collaboration; it allows an organization to realize its full potential for innovation.

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”

- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 18th c. German scientist

The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at how the workplace has evolved and the trends currently affecting its process, structure and function. We also propose a new approach to planning – WorkplaceOne – designed to make innovation an integral part of all work processes. This approach describes no one solution, but rather a range of solutions that address complexity, change and the evolving needs of people at work.

First, using some relevant examples, a look at the process of change and patterns that have emerged over recent decades, some of which are unlikely to change dramatically any time soon given the economic downturn. As I point out, trends take time to emerge and evolve. That means that we can evaluate how to respond and design spaces, tools and strategies to meet the challenges these trends present.