Gartner research shows innovation isn’t about being connected, it’s about having the right connections
From Gartner's CHRO Quarterly magazine: "Network Innovation in the Digital Age"
Contrary to popular opinion, Gartner's research shows individual innovation strategies (i.e. hackathons, personal innovation-time) and even dedicated agile innovation teams move the needle on innovation effectiveness (IE) by only 6%. By contrast, network innovation increases IE by 24%. Organizations can foster this by helping people create and leverage the connections they need to socialize their ideas, generate buzz, penetrate silos, and gain executive support.
“Big teams take the current frontier and exploit it,” Evans says. “They wring the towel. They get that last ounce of possibility out of yesterday’s ideas, faster than anyone else. But small teams fuel the future, generating ideas that, if they succeed, will be the source of big-team development.”
The researchers looked at more than 65 million scientific papers, patents, and software projects from the past six decades. They concluded that disruptive ideas overwhelmingly come from small teams. But here's the catch, when small teams are funded by large government funds, they lose their advantage and perform no better than large teams.
"For some people, “open office” means tearing down the walls, installing benches, and giving workers the option to sit wherever they want—as long as it’s somewhere in the big open space. For others it represents one choice in an ecosystem of workspaces that allow people to work wherever they want."
The debate about "open offices" is more about semantics than workplaces. Before we start the bashing or praising, we need to get on the same page about what it means.
This article suggest we focus instead on creating places that cover these "seven critical c's: concentration, contemplation, collaboration, creativity, conversation, community, and caffeine.
Journaled study measured a 70% reduction in face-to-face interaction after the introduction of an open office
Organizations’ pursuit of increased workplace collaboration has led managers to transform traditional office spaces into ‘open’, transparency-enhancing architectures with fewer walls, doors and other spatial boundaries, yet there is scant direct empirical research on how human interaction patterns change as a result of these architectural changes."
In two separate field-based studies, the researchers documented a 70% reduction in face-to-face interaction after the introduction of an open office environment. Email communications increased by 25% to 50% during the same period. Co-located teams suffered the same decline as those that were not.
Pulling from other research, the article stresses:
- the relative richness of face-to-face over email and texting
- the importance of intermittent, rather than constant social interaction on collaborative work and problem solving
It concludes that open offices have the perverse effect of reducing, rather than increasing productive communication.
This claims to be the first study to empirically measure both face-to-face and electronic interaction before and after the introduction of an open office environment.
The measurement tools included sociometric badges (equipped with microphones, infrared sensors, accelerometers, and bluetooth sensors). Digital communications were collected from company servers. All participants were volunteers (52 in one case and 100 in the other). HR data indicated no bias.
As a staggering 43% of us are working remotely right now we partnered with YouGov to ask 1,543 US workers their reality of working remotely in 2017
Survey points to the need for better remote collaboration solutions:
- 4 in 10 say an important call has been dropped
- 4 in 10 remote workers say it's hard to be noticed
- 4 in 10 say remote workers miss out on culture
- 3 in 10 have used the wrong version of a document
- 2 in 5 have misinterpreted the tone of written communication
- 2 in 10 have been late to or missed a meeting because it was too complicated to join
- 1 in 4 say an important video meeting has dropped
- 1 in 5 have mistakenly replied all to an email
[1,543 surveyed by YouGov for Cyberlink]