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Workplaces as Collaboration Zones - Fostering Creativity and Innovation (Part 2)


In Dan Pink’s seminal book, A Whole New Mind of a few years ago, Dan gave us a new archetype of today’s creative worker supplanting Peter Drucker’s concept of the knowledge worker. The knowledge worker a generation ago was a novel concept compared to more of a blue collar, industrial, manufacturing mindset. Look, we barely had cell phones then and our computers resembled off white, clunky cubes with tiny horrible screens.

Then, we could only begin to imagine the kinds of technology available to us now. Back then clouds were real clouds not euphemisms for online data storage. We used Diskettes. Need I say more? What was considered high value, knowledge jobs back then, today are largely irrelevant, or becoming more so everyday. So much of what we do today can be automated, on shored, off shored etc.  A primary value of forward looking, high performance organizations is to capture and bring to market our innovative and entrepreneurial aspirations.

The getting it done or execution side may or may not lie on site anymore, but the creative side remains. I suggest this “creative heart” is what matters most, hence how apt the idea of a mother ship. Fostering that creative, collaborative, innovative side in the workplaces of today and tomorrow fundamentally matters. By focusing there, such places can be sure to connect, inspire, renew and refresh work cultures and build communities around a shared purpose.

So in this short piece, I tried to set out the bold challenge we all face. I mentioned how the world of work is rapidly transforming from transactional-based knowledge work towards more creative, innovation focused, value creation work. I sketched out a view workplaces as places of connection and gathering, renewal, all the while seeding innovation and collaboration. Are we brave enough to re-imagine how we work, asking tough questions about what it is we really need to be effective and seed innovation and creativity? Are we open to the possibilities before us? I hope so. It’s going to be really interesting.

Filed under: Business Practices

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