Unless you’ve been unplugged from any work related online commentary in the past year or so, you’ve no doubt come across a whole lot of content around the future of work.
Suffice to say, there is no shortage of discussion on the topic, and most of it says largely the same thing, with changing demographics (usually the rise of the Millennials), the mobile revolution, the sharing economy and so on all tending to feature regularly.
So what makes the recently launched Workplace Conversation any different?
On the surface, not a great deal. The Conversation is an open challenge to solicit ideas on how work should be.
The process is powered by ideation company Crowdicity, and the challenge takes the traditional stage based approach favored by them, with winning ideas set to be announced in just under 3 months time.
The project is the brainchild of former BBC real estate chief Chris Kane, and is one of a number of projects being run by Kane around the topic, all run under the umbrella of Beyond the Workplace.
I’ll get my gripe out of the way first as it concerns something I’ve grumbled about a few times on this blog. I think ideas are great, but they’re worthless unless someone implements them.
With so much literature online about workplace trends, I suspect a greater challenge is implementing some of the ideas already floating around rather than a lack of ideas in the first place.
The challenge itself doesn’t concern itself with implementation, although Kane tells me that the winning ideas will be discussed in more depth at an autumn summit to hopefully turn them into reality.
Bridging the silos
One thing I do very much like about the project however is its attempts to take a multi-disciplinary approach to improving the workplace.
It’s backed by both the CIPD and the BIFM, the professional bodies for HR and facilities professionals respectively.
Of course, this isn’t the first foray into such a multi-disciplinary approach, with Crowdicity also facilitating the Valuing Your Talent project at the start of 2014.
The project featured a host of professional bodies and aimed to create a universal framework to help organizations value the talent they have.
The report produced by CIPD suggests that they were hunting for practical implementation of the framework to ensure it becomes used in the field rather than gathering dust on the intellectual bookshelf.
There doesn’t appear to have been any update on that, so how fruitful their ambitions have been is hard to discern. I suspect a similar challenge will await the Workplace Conversation, with the desire having to be to turn intellectual energy into tangible changes in the workplace.
Time will tell how successful they prove to be. If you’d like to get involved in the Conversation, you can do so via their website, or you can watch the video below for more information on the process.