unique What we do
The six Es
Inspiration and New Ideas
One of our key roles at the outset is to inspire business leaders by showing the ‘art of the possible’. Generally, people tend to iterate because they ‘don’t know what they don’t know’…
To achieve innovation people need to be shown a vision, inspired by the achievements of other organisations and presented with a range of futures, from new technologies to demography and sustainability.
Traditional approaches to R&D often fail because ‘people can’t express what they want when they have no idea what they can have’…
We use a variety of materials and techniques to excite people and allow them an understanding of the future and opportunity for innovation.
Engaging with People – the conventional and unconventional
Our Workshops and focus groups
Knowledge cafés provide a forum for open and creative conversation to surface collective knowledge, share ideas and insights, and gain a deeper understanding of the subject and the issues involved
Workcamp provides a user-generated session (modelling on the BarCamp approach) where sessions are proposed and scheduled by users. They rely on the passion of participants and everyone is expected to participate by presenting or facilitating a session. Ideas are shared using real-time resources.
Our Workplace Innovation Centre
Unwork has a Workplace Innovation Centre in London near Heathrow where many of the technologies of the future are working in an inspirational space (many thinktanks take place in this centre).
Living Lab research process
- Scenario testing
- Case studies and visions
- Rolling back the future modelling
- Deep dives
- Business Dynamics
We use interactive voting technology in our workshops. Each participant gets a wireless voting unit and these can be programmed to respond to a range of question types. Results appear live in the PowerPoint pack, providing the group with real time feedback and option.
- Engagement in the workshop
Voting provides a fantastic way to get debate and engagement in workshops and other interactive sessions. For example, if 8 people vote ‘yes’ and two vote ‘no’ in response to say liking a case study, the group can then debate and understand people’s different perspectives and points of view. After debate, a consensus can be reached or a decision for further investigation.
By presenting live voting results, it demonstrates where the group is aligned and where options digress.
- Report of outcomes with empirical data
The ability for us to present quantitative data on the outcomes of workshops and focus groups create a more tangible output from these sessions.
Big ideas and drivers of change
We look at solutions for places to work and our research points to the corporate workplace becoming an academy – a place for people to come together to share knowledge and ideas, be mentored and feel belonging.
People find a balance between contained and permeable work, using the market or agora as they are enabled to be mobile or footloose in the city.
The logical destination for the academy workplace is activity based working – specialist spaces focused on tasks – that provides the most credible alternative to the usual approach of desk sharing or hot desking which is rarely successful.
What is often overlooked is the demand for ‘third space’ in between home and the corporate office – your offsite and mobile workers – who need effective places to connect and work.
Third space is now another worksphere for an organisation and has to be part of the solution.
Technology Enablers and Drivers of Change
Some of the key technologies require a base infrastructure investment strategy that needs presenting clearly. One of the most common reasons for despondency and rejection of new ways of working projects is IT failure – where solutions were not implemented, aligned or training was not provided. Investment in technology is often justified by reductions in property over head, and so the cost benefit has to be developed together.
Some of the key areas in technology include:
- Productivity of the individual
Focus on the nature of work and the tools that can be adopted to change the nature of work efficiency
Focus on the journey towards mobile solutions, virtualisation, new devices and the benefits of mobility
Focus on a migration to softphones accessible on any device and ‘fixed mobile convergence’
- Communication/Unified Messaging/social networks
Focus on new ways of connecting and communicating based around synchronous communications, presence indicators, contextual presence and social networks.
- Collaboration and knowledge sharing
A look at the future of real time collaboration through software and smart devices in new physical spaces
- Cloud and data centres
The empty building – software as a utility, available from anywhere
- Room/space booking solutions
Solutions and best practice
As well as these key enablers, we would look at a number of futures such as location based services and real time workplace technologies, for example to engineer encounters or reduce carbon.
Evaluating how we make a difference
Some of the outcomes that have been derived from new ways to work:
- Culture change
- Management style
- Team and community
- Effectiveness of meetings
- Speed of process – accelerated decision making, reduced time to market
- Cost reduction (opex and capex)
- Real estate and floor space reduction
- Carbon reduction
- Filing, paper and storage reduction