The Leader Magazine

MAR 2019

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22 March 2019 the leader F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Co-creation: designing a workplace that attracts top talent and maximizes innovation by Elizabeth Lowrey IIDA, RDI A recent report by Deloitte Consulting identifies new realities in the future of work, and one of the key findings is that organizations are increasingly composed of an "unleashed workforce." 1 Instead of a static group of employees, today's workforce is a dynamic system of full-timers, part-timers, job-sharing teams, contractors, freelancers, crowdsourcing, joint ventures and temporary partners. Combined with well-documented skills shortages, today's business environment raises the stakes for workplace design. How can corporate real estate (CRE) executives design a workplace that attracts top talent and maximizes workforce innovation? W orkplace designers are drowning in data. Our proposals are filled with data on demographics, economics, environmental factors and technology projections. We present the latest information on maximizing usage of lobbies and minimizing square footage per employee. We present research on what attracts today's most valuable talent, and how the latest technologies, management techniques and cultural attributes will best enable the work of these smart, independent and in-demand employees. We search for the precious signal in the noise of all this data. We study the models of business transformations and talk to leaders about the need for open innovation. We study reports on the radical changes rippling through the global workplace – agile teams, learning organizations, mobile work, mobile talent and all the other issues relevant to a particular project. This is important stuff, critical for making sound business decisions – but are architects and designers missing the most powerful information of all? What if workplace designers are neglecting the creative potential of their clients? Designers are trained to think we're smarter than anyone else when it comes to creating a building and its interiors. Our little secret is that, deep down, we think we know what our clients need better than they do. But developers, CRE professionals and the individual employee are smart people, and we need to engage them instead of talking at them. Let's change our thinking about how great commercial design happens, by enlisting our clients – all of them – as full partners in a philosophy of co-creation. continued on pg. 24

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