Corenet Summit – Workplace Community

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Live blogging the Corenet Workplace Community: What’s the Future?

Come back for updates over the next 90 minutes

Kate North opening up,  welcoming people, explaining the concept of WPC

Brady Mick – introducing panel

Jan Johnson, Steve Hargis, John Hampton, Georgia Collins, Julie Seitz, Melissa Marsh, David Barban, Roy Lopinski

Intention to have quick conversations on topics, poll the audience, reveal results immediately

Question One: harder to collaborate remotely or f2f? Panel comments – focus on technologies that enable collaboration; depends on management – rely on results, not activities. Managers still don’t see parallels between remote teams and local teams working outside the office. Another issue for global teams is multiple languages, dealing with remote time zones and expecting people to be on calls at midnight, etc.

Update: most people in group experience primarily distributed work with some travel for f2f. Second most popular is primarily f2f with some distributed work

Many companies adding lots of informal collaboration space – for unplanned meetings, conversations. Technology helps.

Update: we confuse space with the protocols for use of the space. A library is an open place, but the expectation is of quiet and respect for others, so it’s possible to concentrate in a public space. Collaboration is a shared activity, concentration is heads-down and individual.

Reality is that everyone still wants their own private space to be there when they want it – and they aren’t willing to make advance commitments. But that means a need for more space.

Update: most orgs today have a clear mix of collaboration and concentration – very few are predominantly one or the other. [Audience poll]

Idea: we have third places; we need fourth places – that have qualities requiring us to behave in different ways.

Update: extended conversation about collaboration versus concentration – there are many different kinds of activities, some good collaboration, some bad, needs change over time, and from one group to another; one size misfits all – it’s complicated, and we do a disservice to our companies if we seek overly simple solutions.

Update: what is the next disruptive technology? John Hampton: this conversation shows we really don’t understand these problems very well. Q: will company role be to provide logins and access to databases, with ‘ees bringing their own devices? Consensus seems to be “yes.” Consumerization of everything is a big trend. But companies have to worry about storage and control over their IP.

Update: Companies do have to provide some enterprise-level technologies, like networks, servers, HD telepresence, etc. And they will want to offer lots of choices, but not allow “anything goes.” Offer choices but not unlimited.l

Update: most people have both company-provided devices and their own personal devices. Company tools are “free” to workforce, but sometimes limited in functionality. Chris Hood: younger people have very strong views about technology, but are not afraid of it either. IT organizations have to accomodate what they want.

But there are also industry factors – e.g,. medical information and regulations regarding privacy and security.

Update: we also need to factor in company culture and management practices – different companies expect different ways of using technology, and recognize differences in end user needs.

Workplace professionals MUST be in sync with IT and technology producers – so we can provision the workforce in the best possible way. Technology at work must be as easy and as cool as what consumers can get. And it affects workplace design – eg, avatars, robots who represent remote workers, etc.

Update: Rex Miller reminds us of Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants.” We can learn from the technological imperative – cannot use a screwdriver as a handsaw…

Important part of consumer IT is that users/consumers figure out what to do with the products after they come on the market. What if we thought of workspaces that way?

Update: Brady Mick: enabling change was the number one topic at our weekend class. How do we deal with change? Panel responses focus on “marketing” and widespread participation and training/informing With all due respect I don’t believe they understand the psychology of change. Lots of room for improvement here.

Update: Rex Miller: see the movie “Money Ball” for lessons about change leadership.

Wrapping up now – great conversation but lots of unanswered questions – and much work to do (that’s s a good thing!)

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