Change Your Space, Change Your Culture,
Those shattering facts exist because office space is generally regarded as 'overhead' or 'sunk cost.' Most buildings today clearly communicate the low priority placed on people-friendly design. Poor workforce engagement is baked into the culture. This book provides guidance on turning this around, by rethinking and reshaping space to align with the way people work. Specifically, this book moves from the high-altitude view down to the details on how to: Discover the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to shift culture Add square footage by using space more effectively Boost employee engagement and vitality by the creative use of space Learn how space can become a powerful productivity tool
We all know that design, space, and flow have a powerful effect on the human psyche. Our homes, museums, sports arenas, places of worship, and even airport terminals reveal that. Environment can inspire dread or enthusiasm, distraction or focus, collaboration or isolation. That's why the office must be designed to inspire the desired culture and workflow - if it's not properly designed, no program, training or rules will be effective over time. Change Your Space, Change Your Culture is the practical guide to office space, the foundation of an engaging culture.
Change Your Space, Change Your Culture,
Are You Ready to Sail the North Atlantic?
History becomes an astonishing succession of new media toppling old empires by repatterning perceptions of time and space.
- Michael Schrage, No More Teams 1
On December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian merchant, set himself on fire on the street where he once sold his goods. But this was not simply a personal tragedy or isolated political statement, mourned by a small circle of family, friends, or followers. Bouazizi's act was the spark that ignited a massive protest, the "Arab Spring," because social media had changed the rules. 2 In this case, the elements for social change included a spark (a dramatic suicide), a leveling catalyst (social media), a stage (the public square), and a unifying vision (the overthrow of oppression). Institutional leaders everywhere were put on notice that their constituents had a new voice and new power.
We are witnesses to an astonishing succession of crumbling empires. Social media has changed the way we can and do organize for action. It has removed traditional barriers to participation and makes it almost effortless to connect, rally, and act. Social media also connects once fragmented and faint voices into a unified chorus that has the power to topple institutions.
Until a few years ago institutional acts of injustice (or idiocy) happened behind a curtain, and therefore without serious consequence. Those trying to right a wrong, or make any kind of statement, had to overcome great hurdles of recruiting and coordination. That is changing fast.
A New Era of Engagement
Three years after Bouazizi's protest, four governments had been overthrown and another six had confronted major uprisings. 3 The Arab Spring and the many succeeding protests signaled a dramatic shift. Institutional power is no match for the politics of engagement and the tools of social media. This organizing efficiency and speed have placed new power in the hands of constituents, customers, and employees. Social media creates the context for a new era of social engagement. That brings a new social framework, new politics, and a new leadership with engagement at its core. Any leader who doesn't understand this profound shift and its ripple effect may have to reverse decisions, resign under pressure, or see a mob of angry people at the front door. Think of the recent series of political and corporate leaders who have had to resign because they didn't understand this new phenomenon.
The ability to easily organize and make a difference has spawned a revolution within the workplace, too. It is transforming collective enterprise with the same revolutionary power that Henry Ford's innovations brought to mass production. Here is a big difference about this new era of engagement: Organizing collective enterprises no longer requires capital, management resources, or rigid hierarchies to launch and coordinate. It does require tapping into a common cause, operating transparently, providing people a voice, and allowing them to participate and add value.
The new technologies of collaboration, with their global scale and speed of communication, bring unpredictable reactions, innovations, competitive threats, and new markets of opportunities. But the social or institutional framework that will predictably harness, regulate, or provide a moral ethos around these new capabilities is still being formed. That's why the outcomes are not always positive. In fact, right now, outcomes are not even the point. The Arab Spring is a great example; it was highly engaged in ridding the system of what was hated, but lacked a common vision of a better future. There was no cohesion or common engagement. The questions of why and to what end were missing.
Many of the norms and values from the industrial era, and the behaviors then allowed