Reimagining The Office

An image of a lot of cubicles that seem to go ...Image via Wikipedia

Technology will never substitute face time. (Web 5.0: Face Time) But is the cubicle the best way to respect that fact? And if you have to stare at the screen for several hours each day, does that screen have to be in a cubicle?

And if people become so central to the knowledge economy ways, don't sexism and racism and other isms become unbearably intolerable? I mean, if you are trying to get the very best out of each member of your team. You want each person on your team to give the very best they can.

And if it is the knowledge economy and knowledge workers we are talking about, what does it mean to be committed to lifelong education? Education never stops. What does that mean?

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If the best idea could come from anywhere on the team, what does that do to the traditional hierarchy? Is there a hierarchy? Has the pyramid become a cloud? The best ideas might come from outside the team. What does that do to the team? Could the team be learning?

What would it mean to take a company through one paradigm shift after another, every few years? How long can you keep that startup feeling before you are big but no longer on the bleeding edge?

People will leave. You will ask some people to leave. You will outsource some of your work, you will crowdsource some of your work. What does it mean to have a core team in that sea of volatility? What does it mean to build and enrichen and deepen relationships?

What would it mean to have a company completely at peace with social media?

But there's a flip side to the face time concept. What if geography is irrelevant, as it is, and I can attempt face time with you still? There's emailing, chatting, audio, video, there's facebooking, tweetering. That changes things. You can feel India's presence right here in New York City.

But the new office can't just be a fashion statement. The new office has to make more money than the old office. The new office should get rid of discredited, old paradigms, but it should also breathe new life into timeless values. Profits still matter. Innovation matters. Hard work matters. Playing by the rules matters. Breaking rules matters. Teamwork matters. Out of the box thinking matters. Leadership matters more than ever. Customer service matters. The market is the goddess we worship. Market forces matter. Democracy is the goddess we pay homage to. Doing good matters.

Some things change fundamentally. Some things never change.





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