In this last part of my series around my visit of the Orgatec 2012, Cologne, I want to elaborate on the results of the future_bizz initiative. They were the foundation of the student’s exhibits, the booth concept and the initial spark for almost all conversations. After discussing the needs/expectations of seven personas the team formulated five hypotheses on information work in 2030. Connected to these hypotheses were five key questions companies should ask themselves while getting ready for the new generation of information workers.

Since project and documentation are so far in German I have translated the content of the following illustration


(c) future_bizz 2012

I have added my take on the question as well. Enjoy the read.

Hypothesis #1
Creative information work will be a dominating success factor.

// resonating question
What ensures that a working environment is open for creative impulse and new, unexpected insights?

/// my take on this
I am slightly torn here. On the one hand I want to shout out what probably all evangelists for the social enterprise wish for: change in leadership, corporate and collaboration culture will be the foundation for the future of productivity and value creation. On the other hand I witness the obstacles and lack of agility in corporate development every single day. I am convinced that the future of work has to address “the I in team” first. Individuals have to be enabled to use all their potential to get their work done. Then collaboration and the use of all available intellectual assets can really happen. Nevertheless, I am totally convinced that we’re on the doorstep to a new age of leadership and management. “Presence = productivity” will have to make way for mobility concepts and objective based success measurement. The networked organization and swarm based work are valid and possible. We have only to make sure that we learn to walk before we try to run a marathon.

Hypothesis #2
Cross-company and project based working will replace the current way of working.

// resonating question
What does a workplace look like that supports people that spend most of their time working in networks and projects?

/// my take on this
It will be inspired by the mechanics for information logistics and communications that we find in today’s social and commercial media services. Relevance and situation based matching of people, data and communications will provide the relief that information workers have been waiting for for a long time. Work will happen idependent from time, situation and device – similar to the way consumers have been enabled to enjoy commercial offers with more or less no boundaries.

Hypothesis #3
Creative knowledge work will become virtual.

// resonating question
How will the physical workspace and established work tools change in a more and more virtual world?

/// my take on this
The next evolution of the work space has to be the convergence between the physical workplace and the virtual world. On the 2012 Orgatec too many concepts were only emphasizing the ability for teams that share the same physical space to change their situation from “individual” to “collaborative” to “spontaneously creative”. The fact that more and more teams are virtualized and need the respective support in the office and on the street wasn’t really addressed yet. The solutions of most vendors were merely an integration of existing “tools” into well designed “frames”. Some of them were a really nice step in the right direction. Convergence, however, isn’t happening yet 🙂

Hypothesis #4
The increase of information and the functionality richness of IT tools starts to become overwhelming.

// resonating question
How will the workplace change with IT tools that pro-actively conduct work, form their own character or have their own evolution?

Hypothesis #5
The increased dynamics of work start to destroy the concept of “home”.

// resonating question
Which work environment allows individuals, teams and the new companies to keep an identity of themselves?

 

The future of information work is exciting. I am happy to have a stake in shaping it.

PART 1
My reflection on the trade show and what the future of work looks like from a ‘physical’ workspace perspective.

PART 2
My reflection on two panel discussions: ‘Enterprise 2.0′ and ‘Open Office Plans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s