"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." "The adage has been used in countless ways since the early 1900s, and it’s still the best way I know to describe the challenge of critiquing creative work. What it means to me is, we’re using the wrong language, but it’s all we have."
IDEO went in search of a common language to describe and critique creative excellence. After much deliberation they settled on:
They then created a card with questions to provoke thought about each. For example, the Bravery card poses the questions:
- Does the work, and the team, embody risk taking?
- Did the work introduce a new perspective, or inspire an organization to change?
- Will the world remember this decades from now?
So instead of stumbling around for words to describe why a design doesn't quite feel right, you might say "it's not brave enough."
It took me several re-reads to buy into their concept, but now I find myself seeing all kinds of kinds of business applications for this deck of cards from strategic planning, to product development, to workplace design, and beyond.
"Capital One has released the results of its 2018 Work Environment Survey. The survey asked full-time professionals their thoughts on workplace design and environment as it relates to their productivity, innovation, and collaboration with colleagues.
This year's workplace environment survey of 3,500 adults found:
- 85% of employees say a flexible design is important to them
- 42% Millennials say it's very important, compared to 32% of Boomers
- 30% strongly agree companies need an innovative environment to encourage innovation, another 49% agree
- 83% say flexible workplace design fosters innovation
- 80% say it enhances productivity
- 66% say design is equally (33%) or more important than location
What they expect from their next employer:
- 58% say flexible hours
- 51% say being able to work remotely
- 47% say access to the latest technology
- 31% say standing desks
- 30% say onsite fitness
What they would like to see in their workplace:
- 57% natural light
- 37% easily configurable furniture and spaces
- 36% artwork
- 30% collaborative spaces
- 25% rest/relaxation spaces
- 25% bold colors
BrainNet allows collaborative problem-solving using direct brain-to-brain communication.
While it's no longer sci-fi, there probably won't be any brain-to-brain collaboration tool vendors at IFMA or CoreNet events for some years yet. Still, the fact that this research team has already demonstrated that it can be done is pretty fascinating.
Here's the short story: Three people, in different locations, are collaborating to solve a Tetris-like game. Two can see the whole screen, one can only see part of it (not the critical part). Using EEGs to record brain signals and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively deliver information to the two with full screen views lead the third player to the solution.
"Ambius revealed that that office workers spend just 47 minutes outside during a typical working day, which is less than prisoners, who require at least one hour of outdoor exposure each day, according to UN guidelines."
This thousand-person study of US and UK workers also reported that over a third spend less than 15 minutes outside each day. Not surprisingly, 64% say natural lighting is very important to them. [Disclosure: the study was conducted by a company that specializes in interior landscapes.]
Many of today’s companies are putting in place global guidelines that strive to create consistent work and cultural experiences.
Kay Sargent from HOK offers an excellent round-up of the challenges and opportunities for workplace design across different parts of the world. She stresses the importance of guidelines vs. standards to accommodate differences in culture, organizational structure, demographics, market conditions, legal issues, and technological factors.