Unlocking Human Promise Will Drive Innovation in the Year Ahead: 5 Trends Leaders Can’t Ignore

I like to ask a lot of questions. One of the areas I am always curious to understand more about from the leaders holding offsite meetings at Workspring, is what is driving their corporate agenda. Last year I heard a lot about technology enabling stronger, faster, smarter ways of working; how existing technologies are gaining traction and new technologies are emerging on the longer-term horizon. However, early in 2017 the tone of these discussions has already changed. The macro trend is about getting human, putting the right talent together to be more effective as teams. Winning companies will be focused on the dynamics of relationships: harnessing connection and meaningful interaction, ensuring efficient and productive practices. It will be unlocking human promise that drives innovation in the year ahead, and the meeting industry will need to raise the bar to support what the business community needs.

Five 2017 Trends

#1: Training Team Leaders
More companies will invest in training in the coming year to equip executives to create, lead and empower agile, distributed teams. Distributed teams make it possible for the very best talent to work on one team regardless of geography, but staying connected is difficult as remote work becomes the norm. (A Citrix survey says one third of employees will access corporate applications from outside the office over the next three years.) So, organizations are investing in focused training to elevate team leaders’ skill levels at managing distributed teams while also managing unprecedented levels of change. Offsite training sessions help reinforce — and even change — an organization’s culture.

#2: Disruption Requires Focus
2017 will be a year of potentially huge change in many industries, disrupting the status quo. A lot is unknown about the future economic, regulatory, and political landscape and, for businesses, this leads to uncertain times for risk taking and decision making. For those dealing with the threat of major disruption, the need for productive offsite meetings increases. Leaders need highly focused time to grapple with issues related to change management and future planning. Healthcare and higher education are two industries we have seen spending increased time in critical meetings offsite.

#3: Talent 2.0
Technology that supports real-time co-creation has companies rethinking attraction and retention strategies as they assemble the best talent anywhere to work together. Geography will become even less of a factor in the all-out war for talent. In 2017, they’ll invest in professional development, special projects, and urban outposts to ensure effective interaction within an increasing number of distributed teams. And, they’ll fund face-to-face meetings on critical projects to balance attention to the human element as they embrace new technologies.

#4: Meeting Effectiveness

2017 will be the year companies face the fact that the reputation of meetings is not good. While 37% of employee time is spent in meetings, a whopping 47% say time spent in meetings is time wasted. That’s even higher than the number of employees who say time spent on social media or email is a waste of time. Yes, really. As a result, organizations are embracing the quest to improve meeting effectiveness, and all of the 4% growth expected in the meetings industry can be tied to strategies designed to do so.

#5: Third Space Options

Changes in real estate economics will drive increases in “third space” options, as corporate teams join co-working spaces to absorb the culture, find new talent, source ideas for innovation, and support remote employees. New business models in the third space industry will emerge, led by innovators like Workspring. For example, expanding beyond providing a highly effective work experience for critical meetings and trainings, Workspring will work with customers to offer month-to-month team spaces staged to reflect an organization’s brand and allow them to flex and manage the right talent.

About Workspring
Located at 30 W. Monroe, Workspring® (http://www.workspring.com/) is an innovative offsite meeting experience with 10,000 square feet and 10 purposely designed meeting studios to support creative collaboration, productive retreat and transformative exchange. Workspring has served 800 plus teams in this location. Workspring’s highly- trained, 13-person team hosts multiple customized meeting experiences every week, involving 2 to 80 participants per meeting, hosting teams from innovative companies across the globe and the Fortune 500, including top 50 Chicago corporations. With a mission to help teams unlock their true potential, Workspring is an experiential brand of the global office furniture leader Steelcase.

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