Deloitte pointed to several troubling symptoms of the issues companies are trying to address.
92% of companies are therefore restructuring or redesigning their organisations to try and address these issues. What has caused these issues in the first place?
The author believes companies have failed to adapt to some fairly significant, but subtle changes:
1. The office of the past was somewhere that was carefully designed so that people worked closely together
2. Technology was something you went to the office to use
3. Connecting and managing a team; creating a buzz, a true team spirit and direction was therefore relatively easy to accomplish from your specifically designed office environment
Then came the changes:
1. Technology in several quick steps, became your office. Your workplace could then be anywhere. And then suddenly personal technology took a huge leap, accelerating so fast in usability and features that workplace tools struggled to keep up.
2. In turn that introduced the distance and disconnect between teams; email/screensharing were never substitutes for face-to-face, in fact they helped drive the 'detached culture' many employees today experience.
3. The office became a place where it has to be 'an experience' or why would you go there?
So now you get a proliferation of Experience Designs round the new office, seeking to pull you back to what worked before; with crêches, gyms, cafés, bean bags - is this the answer?
Create a performance Business Culture that engages employees, gives them purpose and has them pulling in the same direction; whilst recognising that mobile working, home working and technology combined have shifted the needs of today's organisations and employees, forcing a change in leadership styles that now need a new toolkit, one that doesn't highlight the distance and disconnect.
The Penalty - for those who are poor adapters
The average age of an S&P 500 company is 16 years; 25 years ago it was 81 years. A 5-fold decline in the average age means CEO's and companies have to be very different or be outmanoeuvred or acquired by the disruptors. For employees, the inevitable 'efficiencies kick in' restructuring; which we all know stands for less jobs in the combined company.
What does good or success look like?
A company has to be creative, always designing the next best thing or re-engineering; to put it bluntly, if not someone else will.
Adaptive, fast changing innovative teams therefore have to become the norm in what are often slow moving companies, designed to maintain the status quo or worse; where too often the momentum default is backwards as the efficiency driven teams try and remove costs to create a lean organisation without killing the corporate patient.
Those innovative teams need a culture that is completely different, to communicate quickly and efficiently. What will define them is the ability to comprehend new ideas, problems and to adapt or solve them.
The use of audio conferences - 1 communication sense is used (audio)
Why? Often the audience is listening passively, multitasking and not engaged in active participation or listening carefully.
The use of screensharing - 2 senses are involved (audio and images)
Why? Solves some of the first issue, however, whilst pictures tell a 1,000 words it completely ignores the 3rd sense - body language. Those who study neurolinguistic programming know that you ignore body language at your peril.
3D communication using all 3 senses has started to become the norm for fast moving companies - and has long been the default setting for those that value 'emotional intelligence.'
So now the challenge is deploying 3D communication. Google is one of the first companies to deploy 3D Visual Communication in every meeting room, excepting specifically allocated quiet rooms for engineers.
The future points to 5D communication
However, even Google haven't moved to the forefront of trail blazers, for the real 'trailblazers' are adding 2 new dimensions in their thirst to drive 3D communication across the company, maximising the impact. Those new communication dimensions are 4D and 5D communication.
Arup, whose founder believes the value of his company is based upon sharing knowledge, have moved to companywide 4D (any device access to 3D communication) and now 5D any platform access. This has huge advantages:
Any device 4D access to 3D communication
A huge impact in driving companywide adoption, offering access to all senses communication from familiar devices.
Any platform access 5D means
Arup are well equipped to extend 3D communication to suppliers, partners and contractors, extending their 3D communication reach to their entire Ecosystem thereby solving the challenges and problems with 5D communication. For more on how you can improve your communication click here