In the last article, we spoke of how the ultimate form of leadership is ‘servant leadership’. Author Stephen Covey’s phrase neatly implies that the best organisations are the ones where leaders empower the followers. I am starting to see this philosophy of upholding followers impact the evolution of workspace design in organisations too.
Below are the 5 trends that reflect this shift in power.
The renewed focus on wellness.
More and more companies are now trying to create environments that nourish the mind, body and soul of their team members. The recent partnership between Delos, a wellness technology firm, and property consultants Knight Frank is a significant development in this direction. It’s great to see how workplaces like Spaces have taken the lead to emphasis on factors like indoor air quality, lighting design, number of water dispensers and ergonomics.
The receding of private offices.
Leaders are now no more enshrined in ivory towers, secluded from the rest of the team. The leadership now wants to be in as much proximity to the team as possible. This is giving way to unique, more open layouts, no more restricted to private offices. The open door policy is now a tangible workspace design element.
Co-creation and co-working as a strategy.
This is an extrapolation of the previous trend – the decrease in the segregation has led to more spaces and consequently, more opportunities for cross team interactions. There is a definite nudge towards collaboration between team members, thanks to more huddle spaces, social hubs and interaction areas within the main floor – not just the watercooler or the cafeteria.
The upholding of Unique Ability as an asset.
As Dan Sullivan puts it, it’s the “who, not how” that matters. The effectiveness of any leader now depends on who is being allocated functions rather than how the functions are being performed. The ability to recognise the unique ability of each individual team member and channeling it for the organisation is a prime identifier for true leaders.
The effect of data volume on AI.
As Artificial Intelligence assumes significant importance in our regular lifestyle, it’s more evident that its effectiveness is determined by the number of followers adapting it. The AI is powerless without the sheer magnitude of data being fed into it. The AI is just as relevant as the number of users fuelling it and lending their natures to it – and this democratisation of technology is the ultimate reason I believe followers are going to dictate the future.
I am lucky to be surrounded by leaders who share my thoughts on empowering team members. The trick to making any organisation work smoothly as one unit, counterintuitively lies in recognising and optimising the unique characteristics that make up each team member.