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Those providing workspaces — landlords, agents and tenants — are all suffering as more formerly daily commuters decide they prefer the relative COVID-safety of working from home.

Yet, as its backdrop, the coronavirus crisis will also accelerate entirely new ways of working, and forms of workplace, for other, more purely commercial reasons.

In part, it will do this because it is also the trigger that in every workplace can expose and put to work the power of the emergent, transformative, human, wealth-creating capability now present in every organisation.

This is also the capacity that can deliver safer and better-performing, value-adding, knowledge-focusing spaces in which to work. …


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Those providing workspaces — landlords, agents and tenants — are all suffering as more formerly daily commuters decide they prefer the relative COVID-safety of working from home.

Yet, as its backdrop, the coronavirus crisis will also accelerate entirely new ways of working, and forms of workplace, for other, more purely commercial reasons.

In part, it will do this because it is also the trigger that in every workplace can expose and put to work the power of the emergent, transformative, human, wealth-creating capability now present in every organisation.

This is also the capacity that can deliver safer and better-performing, value-adding, knowledge-focusing spaces in which to work. …


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The road to productive, enduring transformation lies in persistent organisation-wide learning

In the age when everyone seems to be at it, the road to successful digital transformation in any company is most likely be built upon the effectiveness with which its information officers can capture and put to work its native intelligence and ability to create new knowledge.

Transformation is, after all, not a simple, one-off, set-and-forget event, but now a perpetual daily challenge to any business’s status quo.

The great promise offered by collaborative workplace technologies is that through a more effective communication process, the whole can be motivated to perform better than the sum of its parts.

By exercising collective intelligence, it can make its minds smarter and better at anticipating, spotting and adapting to the realities of relentless change. …


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The road to productive, enduring transformation lies in persistent organisation-wide learning

In the age when everyone seems to be at it, the road to successful digital transformation in any company is most likely be built upon the effectiveness with which its information officers can capture and put to work its native intelligence and ability to create new knowledge.

Transformation is, after all, not a simple, one-off, set-and-forget event, but now a perpetual daily challenge to any business’s status quo.

The great promise offered by collaborative workplace technologies is that through a more effective communication process, the whole can be motivated to perform better than the sum of its parts.

By exercising collective intelligence, it can make its minds smarter and better at anticipating, spotting and adapting to the realities of relentless change. …


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In most organisations, what the business knows isn’t articulated in plain view in simple language that decision makers can understand and act on.

Until now, it has been largely impossible to get to the state at which true workplace knowledge productivity could be galvanised by uniformly capturing and organising collective know-how, to stimulate creativity and capacity for breakthrough insight.

This is no longer so.

The ability to use workplace social technologies to tease out and direct the knowledge a business already contains may now prove one of the most potent emerging organisational differentiators in driving and adapting to change.

If you want to be the disruptor, not the disrupted, you may need a different principle for steering how your people think and learn.


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There was a time when realising true knowledge productivity through the capture and organisation of a workplace’s collective know-how, creativity and capacity for breakthrough insight simply wasn’t possible.

Yet, the ability to use workplace social technologies to tease out and organise the knowledge a business already contains may now prove one of the most potent and disruptive emerging organisational capabilities for driving and adapting to change.

The solution is disarmingly simple. Workplace knowledge can now be harvested and tuned. How to turn it to purpose and advantage is the subject of this piece.

Why try to get your organisation’s knowledge in shape?

The coupling of workplace social technologies with workplace knowledge, know-how and intelligence provides the most formidable formula we’ve ever known to thrive in a world of relentless business model innovation and hastening, discontinuous change. …


Experience in delivering customised, on-demand personal service may favour the prospects of hospitality industry operators aiming to grow their share in hosting future coworking at the expense of many current CBD commercial office property owners.

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As a consequence of my workplace strategy-related research and conversations, I was recently commissioned by another company to write its white paper on coworking.

Now having interviewed both leading coworking operators and their residents, I perceive coworking to have great emerging significance to the development of the discipline of workplace strategy.

Workplace strategy is increasingly about maximising knowledge productivity through the design of work with minimal overhead. Coworking may represent its future precisely because its offer is so granular, on-demand, cost-effective, accountable and work-specific. …


Collaboration is the inevitable end state for the modern working environment for two good reasons. First, it gets more done: collaboration represents the history of success in our species. Second, we have technologies increasingly capable of enabling it in and beyond the physical workplace. Advances in tenant-driven workplace strategy suggest that gaining greater expertise in landlord-tenant collaboration represents a hurdle commercial property owners may be wise to jump.

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Efficient societies demand that people work together

To realise the full benefits of our native ingenuity, possibilities for improved collaboration must be nurtured at every turn, across our entire society.

The will, the ability and the need to collaborate more effectively in smaller, more agile teams implies that coworking, or something much closer to it, is an inevitable state for the immediate future of work. …


If you operate commercial workplaces, what could be the value to your brand of the promise to tenants that your spaces can make their business smarter?

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The competition of workplace curation

The Australian Financial Review reported in late 2016 Australian architect Hassell’s acquisition of British “space curation” company FreeState.

It wrote, “The commercial property business has already moved beyond simply selling and leasing space. The emerging world of “proptech” … is giving landlords the ability to service and respond to individual users of their space…”

Hassell chief executive Gerard Corcoran said, “your smartphone connects to a building that wants to attract you there… and [if it sways you] away from another building, there’s a competitive…


Things might currently look good for CBD commercial property owners, but to serve customers better they must themselves become more knowledgeable about workplace strategy, the core of which, for tenants, is working smarter and paying less rent.

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Tenants will take less space, and so will their successors

The existential threat to commercial property owners and developers is taking off: tenants getting smarter in their execution of workplace strategy take less space, and so will the generation that follows them.

Thus, workplace strategy changes the landlord’s game, and addressing this reality requires new agility on their part.

One consequence is, of course, that commercial property owners must themselves become more knowledgeable about workplace strategy, the core of which, for tenants, is working smarter. …

About

Graham Lauren

Shiro Architects director and business writer, writing, reading and researching workplace strategy, learning organisations and knowledge architecture.

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