The magazine of workplace research, insight, and trends Issue 59
360steelcase.com June 2010
Harder Working Spaces
The workplace just got smarter.
Q&A with Roger Martin 14 Trends360 17
Sustainability Spotlight 19
Finding the Holy Grail in
NeoCon 2010 Special Edition 20
business today: innovation
Atoms & Bits 56
ABOUT THIS ISSUE: The workplace has never had to work so hard. On the cover, our mind
map (a brainstorming technique used by our colleagues at IDEO to support design thinking)
illustrates how the workplace has to maximize use of real estate, attract and engage workers,
communicate company brand and culture, and foster collaboration and innovation. To help
make this idea a reality, we offer insights from designers, architects, and Steelcase research-
ers on how to plan these harder working spaces, and show companies that have pulled it
off. Next, noted business author Roger Martin discusses design thinking and how it can help
foster innovation. In our special NeoCon 2010 section, we feature the Steelcase family of
showrooms and new products that can help create harder working spaces. Working harder
just got easier.
j u n e 2010
FEATuRE NEOCON 2010 SpECiAl SECTiON
2 Harder Working Spaces 20 Come See us
People are working harder A guide to all the good stuff
than ever. So should their NeoCon 2010 happening in the Steelcase
space. See how leading family of brands this year.
companies are reducing
real estate, building brand,
fostering collaboration, 21 Don’t Miss This
and engaging employees. From inspiring speakers to great
parties, there’s a lot to see and do
while you’re in Chicago.
14 Q&A 22 Steelcase Showroom Map
Roger Martin, one of the most
36 Turnstone Showroom Map
insightful business thinkers
and writers around, answers 37 Details Showroom Map
questions about innovation
38 Nurture Showroom Map
and how companies can get
better at it. 39 Coalesse Showroom Map
17 Trends360 40 New at NeoCon
Insightful signposts we’re The showrooms are packed
seeing about business, with insightful new products
work, and the workplace. and thoughtful enhancements
from Steelcase companies.
A quick look starts here.
19 Sustainability Spotlight
David Berger has a brilliant idea
for bringing light to off-the-grid
parts of the world.
56 Atoms & Bits
Things to check out
in person or online.
Threesixty is published bimonthly by Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. Material in this publication may not be reproduced
in any form unless you really want to help people love how they work — just ask us first, okay? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 1
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Workers at Accenture’s Houston
offices use media:scape to collaborate
using extensive digital information.
2 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
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The workplace just got smarter.
is it possible to compress real estate and shrink individual
footprints while at the same time helping people to collaborate
and create more effectively? Yes.
As companies work their way out of the Several leading companies show how it
recession, they often feel a tug-of-war can be done. Consulting giant Accenture
between two seemingly contradictory goals: developed a work environment strategy
the need to stay lean and efficient yet, at called Workplace 2.0 that it piloted in its
the same time, become more flexible and newly relocated Houston office. “When
creative. Businesses are more efficient now, most organizations pull a workplace strategy
having cut their biggest expenses – real together, it really has a real estate focus.
estate and people. Companies need We aligned our overall business strategy, our
every part of the operation, especially the human capital, real estate, and technology
workplace, to work harder than ever. not strategies very closely and pulled all of those
just individual workspaces, but the entire together into a comprehensive strategy,” says
office. every. Square. Foot. “We don’t have Dan johnson, Accenture’s global director,
a client who isn’t asking for their real estate workplace. The results are impressive in
and workplace solutions to work harder, to terms of real estate compression alone:
do more,” says Lauri Lampson, principal with Their office went from three floors and
Houston-based planning Design Research 66,000 square feet down to one floor of
(pDR), expressing the experiences of 25,000 square feet, while still supporting
designers and architects everywhere. more than 800 people.
In a world of 24/7 competition, project A leader in alternative work strategies such
teams stretch from Midtown to Mumbai, and as hotelling, Accenture prides itself on its
business moves at race pace. Companies are efficient use of real estate. But what sets
looking to create harder working spaces that: the company apart is how it considers the
workplace holistically. Instead of simply
• maximize real estate utilization
using smaller workstation footprints and
• foster and support collaboration similar approaches to increase density,
• help attract and engage talent the workplace is both smaller and harder
working, using a combination of business
• reinforce the culture and build the brand
strategies in ways that work best for the
of the organization.
organization. The company also insists
Can space really work that hard? Is it its workplace meet high standards for
possible to compress real estate and shrink what it terms “The Four e’s” of “efficiency,
individual footprints while helping people effectiveness, engagement, and environ-
collaborate and create more effectively? ment,” with collaboration as a baseline.
To inspire workers and help them feel more Like a lot of companies, Accenture found
connected to company culture and brand? that many workstations were empty for
How can you simultaneously combine lean, long periods of time because workers were
innovative, and effective? collaborating in team spaces, project rooms,
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or offsite. “The briefcase, the PC, and the
coat had one of the best views in town,”
says Bill Mearse, Houston location managing
director. The company realized that its staff
was working differently, so its workplace
had to reflect and support those new ways of
working. The integrated work strategies and
the Four e’s strategy address these changes.
Mobile telecom leader Vodafone also applied
an integrated strategy for the company’s new
netherlands headquarters in Amsterdam.
The company was not only moving its office
from another city, but also consolidating
staff from three different sites at the new
Vodafone’s new netherlands headquarters (top photos) in Amsterdam and Accenture’s
location. “We needed to make a big step
new Houston offices (bottom photos) share much in common: unassigned workspaces,
forward in our workspace to break out from
benching applications, and plenty of room for collaborative work in both open and
traditional offices to something fresh, new,
closed spaces. Both companies reduced real estate substantially with these new
even heretical,” says jens Schulte-Bockum,
CeO of Vodafone netherlands. To support
mobile and collaborative knowledge work, every Vodafone staffer – from leadership tion; the former use calls for some small
and to demonstrate the company brand, to the newest worker – operates from the privacy screens and space for portable tools,
Vodafone’s workplace has a very open layout same workspaces. Much like Accenture’s while the latter needs more work surface,
with no assigned workspaces combined with office, Vodafone’s workplace is colorful, space for more people and no screens at
a wide variety of meeting and project spaces. welcoming, and energetic, and uses less all. Real estate savings realized through
real estate than their previous offices. benching should be leveraged for the benefit
of all workers – for cafés, lounge areas,
Benching is a go-to strategy for gaining
team rooms, and other shared spaces.
more efficiency in real estate footprints,
and, while it’s been used in europe for Accenture and Vodafone made sure their
many years, it’s a growing phenomenon in benching workspaces were augmented
north America. Benching is an application by shared spaces, a move that pays real
approach for supporting workers with parallel dividends. “There’s a lot more informal
work surfaces along a spine. Typically there communication going on in the office,” says
are no space-defining panels and little or no Vodafone’s Bockum. “People are closer to
dedicated storage and privacy. It’s definitely one another, it’s easier to have a quick chat
Smaller and smarter. an efficient approach: Research conducted about issues. People are communicating
Accenture’s Houston office didn’t by Steelcase WorkSpace Futures in europe more than in previous environments and
just get smaller, it got smarter, and north America shows space savings I think that adds to productivity. Mission-
more open, and more collaborative of 22-26% in benching applications verses critical information is passed between people
to better support its 800 workers.
individual workstations, and an initial cost more easily and people have the feeling
savings of 10-15%. But there’s a risk as well: that there’s more information sharing going
• 3 floors • 1 floor cramming more desks into less space to on, that they’re on the inside rather than
• 66,000 sq. ft. • 25,000 sq. ft. save money can affect the performance of struggling to keep up with what’s going on.”
• private offices • unassigned the workplace and staff. Benching should be
The flow of information and ideas is critical
& dedicated workspaces & tailored to the work being done. For example,
workstations collaboration to collaboration, the de facto protocol for
project team members might use a bench for
spaces knowledge work today. It’s also the standard
individual work or as a place for collabora-
embraced in the new offices of the Housing,
4 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
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A benching workspace at the new Accenture
Houston office. Workers move from bench
areas for focused work to a variety of group
work spaces, cafés, and lounge areas.
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The Coca-Cola Supply workplace encourages and supports information sharing, teamwork,
and collaboration in a variety of workspaces.
Dining, and Hospitality (HDH) department working in the field and are not in the office display and flexible storage. Storage doubles
at the university of California, San Diego, every day, 40% of the workspaces are unas- as guest seating and work surface, and
opened earlier this year. Workers from 11 signed. The essential nature of the space even offers embedded technology that helps
different locations were brought together is open and collegial. O’Sullivan planned people share information on monitors with
in a workplace designed to break down different types of collaboration spaces - large another person or a group. Forget struggling
internal silos and improve communication and small, open and enclosed - and all offer to see a computer screen tucked back on
and information sharing. Down came the plenty of technology support for displaying the credenza.
panels, in came impromptu meeting and and sharing information. One space, dubbed
The notion of “private” itself is being
team spaces along with technology for easier the data-presence room, features four large
redefined. An enclosed office remains
sharing of information – all to encourage the monitors in a group and media:scape ®
a private refuge, but it also must support
ongoing conversations vital to collaboration. technology that allows four people to display
the increasingly collaborative nature of work,
what’s on their laptops in real time, side
“It’s been just three months and information even for those who occupy private spaces.
flows faster now, and that’s a huge benefit. The office must be able to make a quick
We’ve brought people together and given Alongside shared workspaces and collabora- transition from supporting focused individual
them an environment they can work in more tive work areas stands a traditional office work to group collaboration. Designers are
effectively. We had no idea it could work icon: the private office. At Coca-Cola Supply, planning these new private offices in work
this well, but it seems so apparent now. Accenture, uC San Diego, and countless zones: one for conversation by the entry,
It’s amazing the way you can construct a other companies, private offices endure – another zone for collaboration farther inside,
community with a building and furniture,” with good reason. They offer the highest level and one for concentrated work farthest from
says Mark P. Cunningham, executive of privacy, they’re ideal for concentrative the door. The collaboration zone should
director of HDH. work, and they’re part of the organizational include a work surface for use by one person
culture of many companies. In the past, or a small group, mobile seating, the means
organizations often allocated private offices to display work in progress, and technology
Building a new organizational culture was based on hierarchy. now many organizations support that is simple and ubiquitous.
the main goal for a space designed for the are making those decisions based on job
Hotelling works in the open plan, so why not
newly formed supply chain logistics team, function and worker needs. The private office
in the private office? At some companies,
Coca-Cola Supply, an LLC of Coca-Cola isn’t going away; it’s being re-imagined
an employee may be assigned a private office
Enterprises, and the Coca-Cola Company and redesigned to support the type of
that is made available to others when that
in Atlanta. Deirdre O’Sullivan, designer and work being done, which often requires
person is away for some time. The private
principal at idea|span, says the combined quick shifts between focused individual
office worker simply isolates confidential
group “wanted to let go of the entrenched work and collaboration.
materials in a file or other storage, and just
ways of doing things and figure out how
Footprints for all spaces are getting smaller, that easily the office becomes available as
they could work together better,” and they
so every private office surface needs to a meeting room, huddle space. In some
used their workplace to help define the new
perform at higher levels. Walls support visual companies, two people share a private
era. Since many of the workers typically are
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knowledge workers’ biggest beef:
not having a workplace that helps
attract and retain good talent.
Steelcase Workplace Satisfaction Survey
office full-time, often by workers who are being adopted by their older Gen X and project leader – build and share knowledge
regularly work together, such as financial Boomer colleagues, creating a whole new set that in turn drives creativity and innovation,
auditors and legal associates. of requirements for any company that wants using these four modes:
to compete for talent.” • Focusing – every worker needs some time
Rethinking the workplace takes planning,
vision, and a commitment from leadership Creating a space that attracts all generations that’s uninterrupted to concentrate and
and staff. At Coca-Cola Supply, “the and helps to engage them in their work is attend to specific tasks such as thinking,
president formed a leadership steering no longer optional. The vast majority of studying, contemplating, strategizing,
committee of corporate real estate, team workers say having an office that helps processing, and other “heads-down” work.
leaders from both organizations, and other attract and retain knowledge workers is • Collaborating – Fundamentally,
workers to help define this new workplace,” important, according to the Steelcase
collaboration is about working with
says O’Sullivan. This multigenerational team Workplace Satisfaction Survey, an ongoing
one or more people to achieve a goal,
participated in a day-long education process global survey of attitudes on work issues that
such as collectively creating content
about new trends in the workplace and has engaged nearly 23,000 respondents at
or brainstorming. Ideally, all perspectives
realized the opportunity they had to embrace 133 companies. It’s the single biggest issue
are equally respected, brought together
new ideas for increasing collaboration. not being met – and it’s been that way every
to leverage the group’s shared mind.
Stepping away from the paradigm of each year since the survey began in 2004.
person owning their own space, the team • Learning – Learning is about building
recognized that by allowing some workers knowledge. Whether in a classroom
to shift to a free address system, it would or a conversation with peers, learning
open up space that could be reallocated for happens best by building on each
collaboration areas. other’s knowledge. When thinking is
made visible and shared with others,
Figuring out how to attract and engage
learning is accelerated.
the multigenerational workforce is a sticky
problem for many organizations. experts • Socializing – Knowledge becomes
often suggest the needs of different genera- ingrained in the organization through
tions are diametrically opposed, but in fact socialization. As people socialize and work
their diverse needs are more aligned than with others in formal and informal ways,
dissimilar, according to primary research learning and trust are nurtured. And those
conducted by Steelcase. A nine-month are necessary ingredients for innovation.
study of u.S. companies shows that Gen Y’s Across the four work modes, workers create
new behaviors and work styles are driving and use two types of knowledge: explicit
eight dramatic shifts in knowledge work and and tacit. explicit knowledge is the formal,
To better engage all workers regardless of
the workplace. Moreover, these workplace systematic information typically found
generation, high-performing spaces effec-
shifts are being embraced rapidly by in documents, procedures, and manuals.
tively support the four modes of knowledge
workers of all generations. “Gen Y workers In contrast, tacit knowledge is deeply
work (as described by nonaka and Takeuchi
are transforming the rules of engagement personal, harder to formalize, and learned
in the seminal book, The Knowledge Creating
between employers and employees,” says by experience. It’s communicated indirectly
Company) common to all knowledge workers:
Sudhakar Lahade, senior design researcher through metaphor, analogy, mentoring, and
focused work, collaboration, learning, and
with Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures group, working side by side. It’s how knowledge
socializing. All knowledge workers – whether
which conducted the research. “Younger gets shared, ideas are explored and tested,
consultant or scientist, product manager or
knowledge workers’ attitudes and behaviors and the value of experience is passed from
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 7
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No cubes, no silos,
new offices for the Housing, Dining and Hospitality department at the university of California,
San Diego were meant to improve communication and nurture collaboration, so the number
of private offices was cut in half, workstations were placed adjacent to group meeting spots,
and technology tools were added to help people share information. In an organization where
“it was considered better to have a broom closet than an open workspace,” the new space
has changed everything, says Mark P. Cunningham, the department’s executive director.
“The interaction now is amazing, at all levels. We have no issues with noise or privacy,
yet people are talking and sharing more. The office has become a destination.”
worker to worker. Both explicit and tacit where workers build on each other’s ideas
knowledge are essential to the process and together create something new. “That’s
of building knowledge and fueling really what a lot of companies are looking
creativity and innovation, a process to achieve,” says Mark Adams, principal, of
that requires collaboration. Phoenix-based architecture and design firm,
SmithGroup. “It’s all about helping people
But not just any kind of collaboration. The
work together more effectively by creating
simple coordination of tasks (“here’s some
visual connectivity, interaction, and a sense
info for you...”) or communication (“wanted
to let you know...”) is important to running
it’s all about visual connectivity,
interaction, and a sense of community.
a company. But genuine collaboration, the Organizations whose offices exemplify
kind that leads to breakthrough ideas, comes their culture and brand, attract and engage
from people working together specifically workers, provide a highly collaborative
to gain new insights. As Accenture’s johnson atmosphere, and do it all in less space are
says, “We wanted to make sure that (coming getting their spaces to work harder than
to the office) was a very engaging experi- ever. They also tend to be among today’s
ence, and people learned something by leaders in business. “They let people be as
being here that they wouldn’t by not being absolutely productive and as strong as they
here. It made the office a destination. can be, providing them a support backbone
People are actually coming into the office that allows them to do their job better than
now more for face-to-face collaboration and anywhere else, and allows them to be
interaction with people, and much less for creative, collaborative thinkers. When you
individual work.” really, truly look at the ones that do these
Organizations can mistake low-intensity interactions, things and have this philosophy, they tend to
such as coordination of tasks (“tossing it over to you”)
In the past, most work was individually
be off-the-charts successful,” says Adams.
or communication (“keeping you up to speed”) for true focused, but today the reverse has become
collaboration, which is about people working together
true: 82% of white-collar workers feel they
for a common purpose and gaining new insights.
need to partner with others throughout their
day to get work done. Knowledge work has
become fundamentally a social activity,
8 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
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NExT GENERATiON WORkSpACES “Innovation cannot be isolated from col- sharing between and among employees,”
FOR iNNOVATiON laboration,” notes Steelcase’s Lahade, who as one writer dubbed it, to help keep Google
Space that’s harder working supports a recently led a team studying innovation and acting like a creative start-up organization.
company that wants to be lean, effective, space. “While all collaborative work is not
Mayo Clinic is another serial innovator. Their
and, especially important today, more necessarily geared toward innovation, all
SPARC Innovation Program, a first-of-its-kind
innovative. Companies are seeing signs that innovations require some level of collabora-
operation for designing and developing
the economy is turning around. Business tion.” And effective collaboration requires
health care innovations that opened in 2004,
confidence is returning and the focus is the right space.
leverages the organization’s deep expertise
shifting to growth, which according to most
Consider Google. The global search in health care, and makes the innovation
experts depends on what Harvard Business
engine giant has worked to build a culture process and facility an integral part of the
Review calls the “secret sauce” of business
of innovation at every level of the company. larger culture. In its first year alone, SPARC
success: innovation. The ingredients include
They operate as a marketplace for ideas, generated more new ideas than the program
the right organizational culture, collaboration,
heavily cross-pollinating internally through could handle, while the new approach
a tightly integrated culture where contribu- proved its ability to take a wealth of ideas,
Author and innovation expert john Seely tions from everyone on staff are encouraged. conceptualize them, and demonstrate their
Brown says all innovation requires an accom- It’s a natural approach for many companies value to patient care.
modating company culture and workplace. to look to their internal staff, not just R&D,
Innovation can't be mandated. A culture that
“The cultures that constantly produce for innovations. An iBM study found that the
reveres and pursues creative ideas must be
innovation have visionary leadership, an most common source of innovative ideas
carefully nurtured. In fact, the quantitative
organizational commitment to breakthrough for companies is its employees, relied on by
skills that most companies develop for
thinking, and a place that supports the work 41% of CeOs with only 17% relying on R&D.
analysis, production, processing, etc., are
jan-Peter Kastelein, a partner at YNNO often anathema to a culture of innovation,
There are two types of innovation: sustaining consultants in utrecht, the netherlands, according to Roger Martin, author and dean
and disruptive. The former is an improvement worked with Google on their new R&D center of the university of Toronto Rotman School
to an existing thing – say, release 2.0 of a in Zurich. He notes that “Google workers of Management. “Most companies are utterly
software program. Disruptive innovation is have to be innovative every day, whether ill-equipped to innovate. Leaders have to
a true breakthrough, often creating a new it’s through new solutions, new ways of be willing to accept an argument that
product category or market – think iPod. doing things, or innovative products. The says, ‘We can’t be certain, because this is
Sustaining innovation satisfies customer space enables people to be innovative.” something new. But here are the reasons
needs, sells for higher margins, and may To generate novel solutions for information we think it might work.’ Many executives
offer a competitive edge. Disruptive in- retrieval, user interfaces, and new search would say ‘That doesn’t seem like a strong
novation ensures competitive advantage, features, this Google space, like the offices of case. It looks different, it feels different,
often for a longer period of time, and builds Accenture and Vodafone, includes wide open it doesn’t make me as confident. Why can’t
momentum inside the organization and in workspaces, communal cafes, and plenty you prove this? Come back when you have
the marketplace. Companies need both of ways to share information. At its core, the proof.’ Another year or two goes by, some
kinds of innovation. space reflects an organizational attitude of competitor does it and you’re behind the
“obsessive communication and information- leader. You’re not an innovator.”
To innovate, collaborate.
The Mayo Clinic workspace reflects
key principles of innovation: space
for collaboration and displaying work
in progress, and furniture that groups
can move around and reconfigure
to the needs of the project.
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 9
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No one’s ever built a start-up
business over a telephone line.
Ryan Armbruster, unitedHealth Group
HElp iNNOVATiON FlOuRiSH care company. Technology can support ability to innovate,” says Lahade. After all,
Space is a key element that nurtures collaboration – cell phones and video- rethinking how space can help innovation
the process of innovation. Martin says conferencing help separated co-workers flourish is one of the best ways to make
“Innovation-oriented organizations are communicate – but there’s no substitute space work harder than ever.
inherently going to be more project-based: for rubbing shoulders. “The analogy we use A full report on Steelcase’s innovation research
is: no one’s ever built a start-up business will run in the December issue of Threesixty Magazine.
most creative things in life are projects.
Teams have to be able to work together over a telephone line,” says Armbruster. “It’s White papers on innovation and benching are available
now at steelcase.com.
and collaborate, so spaces that are usually a bunch of people getting together,
reconfigurable and more about the team working nonstop, right? It’s intense collabo-
than about long-term stability reinforce ration, because you have to talk and work
a culture of innovation.” things out and solve problems on the fly.”
YnnO’s Kastelein says “Place is incredibly Teams collaborate differently and for different
important, especially for collaboration, purposes. Furniture, tools, technology,
knowledge sharing and learning. People and space will vary by innovation model,
have to have awareness of what colleagues company culture or other factors. “Collabora-
are doing, they have to have access to tion has been a big topic for the last 10 or 15
each other, and that’s why you’re seeing years, but people are realizing the different
more open planning in europe, for example, types of collaboration we need to support.
and people have to engage with others More emphasis on more informal, casual
in conversation. Space can help you with spaces for informal get-togethers and cross
all of those.” fertilization, and less about planned, formal
meetings,” says Lauri Lampson of PDR.
“Space provides places for people to get
together, interact, and that’s so important “As organizations struggle to remain relevant
when it comes to innovating around big and meaningful, we are rethinking how space
challenges,” says Ryan Armbruster, can support, inspire, and enable innovation
former director of the Mayo Clinic SPARC business practices. We’re continuing to work
program, and vice president of innovation on how the design and use of innovation
for unitedHealth Group, a managed health spaces can reinforce the other organizational
components that contribute to a company’s
10 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
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ideas for creating harder working spaces:
iNTEGRATE STRATEGiES TO CREATE MAkE SpACES TECH-SAVVY REViTAlizE pRiVATE OFFiCES
HARDER WORkiNG SpACE
The busiest group spaces in any They usually house a company’s highest-
Maximize real estate performance workplace are well equipped. Don’t paid workers; how effectively those
by considering its relationship with plan a project team or working group workers are supported is an important
and impact on work processes (col- space without tools for accessing, business issue. Maximize private office
laboration), HR (attracting and retaining sharing, and showing information. real estate, provide flexible tech support,
talent), technology (information sharing), and make the office collaboration-ready:
and organizational brand and culture uSE SpACE TO NuRTuRE SOCiAl
a zone for conversation by the door,
CApiTAl AND TRuST
(communication, socialization). collaboration farther inside, and concen-
A workplace strategy must consider Formal and informal social interaction is trated work farthest from the door.
all of these factors. key, so encourage ad-hoc conversations
with casual places for thinking and brain- uSE SpACE TO FOSTER CHANGE
MAkE EVERY SQuARE FOOT COuNT storming. Benching applications help Ryan Armbruster, vice president of
“Every seat must be a good seat,” span boundaries that keep communica- innovation for UnitedHealth Group, says
says Lauri Lampson of Planning Design tion and collaboration free and easy. And “space can help push the organization
Research (PDR). “You don’t want any never underestimate the power of food into change. There’s a line that you
‘low-rent districts.’ Access to natural and beverage to attract people and get have to brush up against, where you’re
light, separation from traffic, creating them talking. PDR’s Lampson recalls a changing enough that it’s making people
neighborhoods, different spaces with scientist at an energy company explain- a little uncomfortable, yet not so uncom-
different functions and features.” Every ing why galley-like mini-kitchens in the fortable that they completely disengage
square foot of real estate must perform. corridor were so important. “She said, or work against what you’re trying to
‘That’s where we run into each other and accomplish.” Space where people can
FOR MORE iNTERACTiON, THiNk DENSiTY
where science talks happen. The best try new ideas, make a mess, and fail
New research finds that people in work- ideas come out of those science talks.’” safely behind the scenes nurtures the
stations along main circulation routes process of innovation and lets workers
have almost 60% more face-to-face CREATE A DESTiNATiON
know that risk taking is encouraged.
communication with team members than Knowledge professionals can work
those in low-visibility spots. (Harvard practically anywhere, but the right space YOu CAN’T ENCOuRAGE
Business Review, March, 2010, citing makes the organization work. Genuine COllABORATiON ENOuGH
work by James Stryker, Saint Mary’s collaboration relies on face-to-face It’s not only the way more knowledge
College of California) High-density interaction. Insights and experience are work gets done, it’s the fuel for innova-
workstation applications produced shared among colleagues in intimate, tion. Space saved by creating smaller
84% more team-member communica- supportive surroundings. Innovation individual workspaces can be used for
tions than low-density layouts. It’s a needs places where people can share spaces everyone will use: impromptu
huge upside to higher density. More knowledge and build on each other’s meeting areas, project rooms, huddle
interactions lead to more collaboration, ideas. And company culture is nurtured rooms. Tools for information sharing,
knowledge sharing, and idea generation in the office, not at the coffee shop. Build work surfaces where groups can spread
– the horsepower that drives innovation. a workplace that’s a destination where out the work, and vertical surfaces for
all of this important work can happen. making work visible are essential to
collaboration. Hot coffee and cold drinks
are drawing cards, and they support
learning, socializing, and collaborating.
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 11
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A harder working
health care space
The health care industry Sixty-three pairs of patients and doctors took Futures (WSF) observations in 2005 that
part in the study. The pairs were assigned by traditional exam/consultation rooms allowed
is highly regulated, chance to either a conventional consultation the provider primary access to information
subject to strict laws, room (in the left photo) or to an experimental on the computer, while patients and family
and circumscribed by one (right). The experimental space placed members struggled to see the information
carefully developed the patient, care partner, and the clinician from seats at the side. Sometimes physi-
side by side, facing the computer screen cians would give up their seats to allow the
standards of practice. while seated at a semicircular desk. patient and family to better see the screen.
Yet even health care This prompted nurture to redesign the
In post-visit follow-up surveys, researchers
space needs to work found that patient and clinician satisfaction
space to better support the behaviors they
harder. A recent study with the conventional room was very high.
observed. The design included a half-round
table that put the information in the center
by Nurture, Steelcase’s In the experimental room, however, clinicians
on a movable arm with an accompanying
could share more information with patients
health care division, and wireless keyboard and mouse. “It’s a more
while both viewed the screen. Patients
the Mayo Clinic sought felt they had more and better access to
egalitarian setting for the consultation and
to understand the extent information, including their own records,
better supports new, best practices in clinical
communication,” says WSF health care
to which a consultation test results, images, and education materials.
researcher Caroline Kelly.
room designed to support “This study supports the notion that the
present-day clinical space in which people meet can influence
how they work together,” says Victor
encounters could affect Montori, M.D., the lead Mayo researcher.
the quality of the The consultation room design improved the
consultation between quality of a patient visit, although Dr. Montori
patients and clinicians. says more studies in other health care
systems are needed to confirm the findings.
This study grew out of Steelcase WorkSpace
12 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
j u n e 2010
Photo by jeff Dykehouse
with Roger Martin
On innovation, and why
companies struggle with it.
Roger Martin leads a busy life. He’s dean of the Rotman School of Management at the
University of Toronto, a professor at the school, and a successful author. His most recent book,
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage (Harvard
Business Press, 2009) is a best-seller among business books at Amazon. He serves on several
corporate boards, consults with corporations, writes extensively on design, and is a regular
writer for BusinessWeek.com, The Washington Post’s On Leadership blog, and The Financial
Times. Dubbed an “Innovation Guru” by Business Week, Martin has a multifaceted perspective
on business and innovation. The following is an excerpt from a 90-minute conversation during
a recent visit Martin made to Steelcase Global Headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich.
14 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
j u n e 2010
Why do so many companies fail at being innovators?
They’ve gotten really good at what I call reliability functions:
production processing, cost cutting, efficiency, etc., which is the
business of exploiting the ideas of the past. Innovation is about
exploring new ideas that haven’t been proven and can’t yet be
measured. Some companies are dreaming in Technicolor that
they’re going to be turned on a dime just because they want
innovation. To succeed at innovation, you have to be willing to
accept an idea even though you really can’t be certain it will work.
So, how do you become change. We are going to be more the CFO and not feel that
more innovative? collaborative, more creative.” they are hearing incomprehen-
Company culture is critical. When you go into that space sible bafflegab – for example
If someone tries something now, it’s a beehive of activity. financial ratios they don’t
brand new and it doesn’t work, People are wandering around, understand. They come to learn
and the next day her career’s they can work together, stop by a language system that enables
lying on the floor with a bullet one another’s offices. There’s a them to communicate with
hole in it, word gets around lot of stuff happening. That all business people.
fast that risk taking should be represents the transformation
of P&G, and you’ve seen the You’re an advocate for more
avoided. Management has to
results they’ve posted over the broad-based education.
make sure that things like that
don’t happen. What did she bet past decade. I just don’t think that we’re
on that turned out to not be the being sensible about the level
What other things do of specialization that people
case? As long as she’s learning,
innovative companies do? are seeking these days. There
that behavior should be encour-
aged and rewarded. They have a lot of ideas, and is a dogma out there that the
they don’t converge on one very most important thing to do is to
How can space help? quickly. They look for real get good at one thing. “Don’t be
Corporations could take on variety up front. Everybody’s a jack of all trades and master
some of the personalities of asked to contribute. That’s of none,” and all that. I despair
design shops. If you go into something that I see all at how specialized so many
IDEO or Frog Design or Design innovative companies do. The of our students are. Instead,
Continuum, they’ve got movable front end of the funnel is a really you should, for example, take
walls and reconfigurable work- wide one and they’re willing to history as an undergrad and
spaces – places that are flexible consider very disparate ideas, design at a master’s level, so
and support experimentation. versus us business types who try you can pull from those two
Collaboration is another thing. to converge on what’s the best bodies of knowledge. It makes
Project teams have to be able to idea quickly so we can push it sense to have a certain level of
feel like they can work together the farthest and fastest. Real specialization, but you have to
and collaborate. Another need innovators just don’t do that. have cross-cutting knowledge
is transparency. When A. G. and skills.
Why are you getting
Lafley became CEO of Procter
designers coming to
& Gamble, he had the executive
space ripped back to the girders.
He converted half of it into One of the reasons is to learn the
a corporate learning center, vocabulary. Many non-financial
and the rest is open plan for business people want to learn
the executives. He was sending marketing and finance terminol-
a big signal: “We are going to ogy, so that they can go to talk to
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 15
j u n e 2010
THE NExT COMpETiTiVE
ADVANTAGE: DESiGN THiNkiNG
Martin says businesses can’t
succeed solely on the basis
of either analysis (quantitative
thinking) or intuition (qualita-
tive thinking). Both are needed
in a dynamic balance he calls
design thinking. It’s a form
of thought that, once
mastered, gives businesses
a “nearly inexhaustible,
Roger Martin will discuss concepts from his latest book, The Design of Business:
Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage, at neoCon on Monday, june 14,
3-4 PM, in the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza Sauganash Ballroom, 14th Floor. Sponsored in part
by Steelcase, the program is free for neoCon attendees.
“If someone tries something new and it doesn’t work, and the
next day her career’s lying on the floor with a bullet hole in
From The Design of Business: Why Design
Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage
it, word gets around fast that risk taking should be avoided.”
Design thinking enables
the organization to move
along the knowledge funnel.
What’s your next so forth. The theory was that to change the entire doctrine Mysteries are business
book about? shareholder maximization by which you are supposed to challenges: A scientist might
I’m doing two books. One is should be the clear goal of assure Wall Street that: “Yes, explore how to cure a disease;
kind of an antidote to books companies. And to make sure shareholders, you are absolutely a salesman might wonder
on execution that say business that’s the case, companies number one. You’re all we care what food products people on
strategy doesn’t really matter, gave senior management stock- about, that’s what we live for.” the go want to buy. A heuristic
that performance is all about based compensation, options, But really, how motivational is
is a rule of thumb that helps
execution. I think those books and the like to align their that? Who goes to work in the
narrow the inquiry down to
are wrong. They have an implicit interests with shareholders. morning to increase shareholder
I argue that you cannot value? But would you go to work manageable size. The disease
premise that, if you’ve got a good
maximize shareholder value to try and make a better-suited may have certain genetic
strategy, then you just have to
perpetually, because shareholder environment so people could be properties, for example.
focus on execution. But they
don’t ask the question: What if value is about expectations more comfortable, more healthy, Or the salesman notes that
you don’t have a good strategy, of the future, and you cannot more productive, to help grow customers like quick service
will execution get you anywhere? keep on beating expectations. this economy? and easy access. It’s a way
You could execute the wrong of thinking about the mystery
What’s the alternative?
thing. So this book is about how that helps simplify it and
Procter & Gamble got turned I mapped out the 30 years allows more focus on the
around through strategy. before 1976, before we had this issue. As an organization puts
theory. How did shareholders
a heuristic into operation,
And the other? do versus 30 years after? The
it converts it from a rule of
How capitalism is being answer is shareholders did
better when we weren’t trying thumb to a fixed formula,
made ineffective by a crazy
to maximize shareholder value. or algorithm. Thus, a rule of
over-emphasis on maximizing
My position is you should seek thumb that customers want
shareholder value. About 30
years ago there was a movement to earn the shareholders a fair a quick, convenient, simple
to get managers to focus on return, and you do that by meal might be converted to
shareholder value, with little putting customers number one, a fixed formula for the fast
regard for other stakeholders employees number two, and food restaurant with a 24/7
such as customers, employees, the communities in which you drive-through.
suppliers, society at large, and work number three. We need
16 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
j u n e 2010
R&D VS. RECESSiON, AND THE WiNNER iS… It’s here that Swiffer was born, along
Capital investment: down. Payroll: down. with other breakthrough products that
Marketing: down. Research and develop- make up P&G’s billion-dollar brands.
ment spending: up. According to findings At GlaxoSmithKline, “Innovation Hubs”
of an annual survey conducted by Booz co-locate work teams around brands in
& Co. released in early May, 70% of a flexible, non-hierarchical workplace.
companies planned to hold or increase It’s proven so successful that eight GSK
their R&D outlays in 2009. “Innovation Hubs have been constructed since 2005
SMART COMpANiES ARE iNVESTiNG in the U.S., the U.K., and Germany.
is a fundamental strategy for these
AGAiN iN THEiR REAl ESTATE
companies to hold onto their markets
Good news on the real estate horizon: and gain an edge on their competitors,”
Organizations are using their real estate says Barry Jaruzelski, a Booz partner.
to rebrand, reinvent and reposition
themselves, according to a recent study
by Jones Lang LaSalle. “It appears that
the global economy and real estate
market fundamentals are past their
worst,” says the study. Whew. In 2010,
Jones Lang LaSalle expects to see a
30 – 40% increase in commercial real
estate investment globally, with North DOllARS TO DEuTSCHE MARkS –
THE u.S. OuTSpENDS ON R&D
and South America at a faster 50 – 60%.
Asia Pacific will expand by 30 – 50% and Overall, the U.S. spends more on
Europe at 20 – 30%. Where’s the real research and development than
estate money flowing fastest? In the U.S, DESiGN THiNkiNG, ESpECiAllY NOW any other country, according to a
it’s the federal government, health care, The essence of design thinking — new report from the National Science
energy, and clean technology. trying to experience a product or Foundation. And private industry
service from the perspective of the has been spending more on it than
user — has reached movement status the government since 1982.
within business today.
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of iNNOVATiON
Change by Design, says the imperative Big corporate R&D labs used to hold
for design thinking is even greater in a innovation close to their massive chests.
sluggish economy. “The opportunity to Today a more open model — a.k.a.
capture more market share is greater “crowdsourcing” — is taking hold
because many of your competitors have in large companies. Crowdsourcing
MEETiNGS WiTHOuT MEETiNG
taken their eye off the ball,” he says. leverages the work of people outside
With airplane ticket prices sky high, It’s all about creating an optimistic, the organization — at universities and
more companies are opting instead for experimental culture throughout the start-ups, with business partners and
online meetings, webinars, and video- whole organization. government labs. By opening itself to the
conferences, according to Workplace
outside world, the corporation becomes
Management. As the costs and hassles lEFT BRAiN, MEET THE RiGHT BRAiN
the coordinator and integrator. IBM, for
of travel escalate, the ease and speed Bringing together interdisciplinary teams example, is now a major underwriter of
of technology just keeps getting better, in one space is like putting seedlings research at universities. At the same
so why not? As just one recent indicator, in a hothouse: You’ll get results faster. time, as a connoisseur of innovation it
42% of 610 respondents to a survey For example, Procter & Gamble built consistently collects more patents than
from Business Traveler magazine gave an “Innovation Gym” as a resource for any other company.
a thumbs-up to videoconferencing longer-term thinking by people from
instead of packing a bag. different parts of the organization.
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 17
j u n e 2010
David Berger is intent
on lighting up the world.
but to embrace it and enthusias- jars, tin cans, old plastic
tically address it,” says Berger. bottles – even gourds.
“It is our work as designers
Developed in cooperation
that will affect the lives of
with team members from
people today, and future genera-
Wa Polytechnic in Ghana and
tions. Given that responsibility,
universite nationale du Rwanda,
we have no choice but to
the project has already attracted
interest from 26 countries and
SociaLite replaces kerosene- been featured by media outlets
if a breeder in remote Africa The goal? To light up the world
based lighting that’s known including Discovery Channel,
can’t find his goats that for the 1.8 billion poor people
to pollute and cause respira- The Washington Times, Voice
have wandered off at night, living in off-the-grid parts of
tory problems. In addition, the of America, Business Week,
is it a design problem? the world.
SociaLite venture is designed and The New Times of Rwanda.
David Berger, a 2009 Their innovation, SociaLite, to inspire local entrepreneurship Berger won one of three Greener
Cooper union graduate is an inexpensive and durable by providing simple kits and by Design Steelcase Scholarship
turned social entrepreneur, self-assembled solar-powered training so that enterprising awards offered in partnership
says it absolutely is. lantern. It provides interior villagers can easily assemble, with net Impact.
lighting and can also be used sell, maintain, and repair the
Millions of people around the SociaLite kits are sold just above
as a portable lantern. The lanterns for neighbors.
world stand to benefit from cost to ensure that the venture
initial target market is Ghana,
well-designed solutions to The design consists of a can be sustained. A website
Rwanda, and other parts of
basic, fundamental problems, solar panel connected to an is launching soon. More info is
sub-Saharan Africa, eventually
he contends, and smart design integrated circuit and a car immediately available at the blog
remote areas of Asia and South
is integral to the effort. Berger is battery, which becomes a http://solarlightingmicroenter-
now part of a small group that’s shared, central charging station prise.wordpress.com, including
turning a 2006 freshman-year “While the sheer scale of that can power up to 80 lanterns. how to make tax-deductable
engineering project into a responsibility may be over- The housings are recycled local donations.
sustainable business venture. whelming, we have no choice materials, including ceramic
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 19
2010 COME SEE uS
Make sure to visit the Steelcase
showrooms while you’re at neoCon.
When: june 14-16, 9–5 p.m.
Where: Steelcase, Suite 300
Turnstone, Suite 3-100
nurture, Suite 3-101
Details, Suite 3-107
Coalesse, Suite 1032
Designtex, Suite 1032A
Don’t Miss This
There’s so much to see and do at NeoCon it’s tough to fit it all in.
Make sure to save some time for these events you won’t want to miss:
THE DESiGN OF BuSiNESS: WHY DESiGN ECOCRADlE™ SuSTAiNABlE pACkAGiNG CREATiNG 21ST CENTuRY liBRARiES
THiNkiNG iS THE NExT COMpETiTiVE BY ECOVATiVEDESiGN llC
Come see the most recent Steelcase
Eben Bayer is co-founder and CEO of research on education libraries identifying
Roger Martin is everywhere these days: Ecovative Design, a Green Island, N.Y., a shift from information-centered libraries
Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, biomaterials company; and co-inventor of to social-centered ones. This new research
Business Week and Threesixty Magazine. MycoBond, a patent-pending technology will be shared by Elise Valoe, a human-
Renowned author and dean of the Rotman that uses a growing organism to transform centered design researcher for Steelcase,
School of Management at the University agricultural waste products into strong and Tod Stevens, principal designer for
of Toronto, Martin will speak at NeoCon composite materials. These materials can SHW Group. In this session, learn about
about his new book exploring questions be home composted and require a 10th the key issues driving how libraries are
like: If so many companies want to of the energy to create compared to being designed and what activities must
innovate, why are we so poor at it? Why is environmentally-damaging synthetics, be supported in the 21st century. They will
breakthrough innovation so inconsistently like foam. Eben will be in the Steelcase also share their experiences on developing
achieved and hard to replicate? How can showroom for informal conversations about and using human-centered design methods
we get better at bringing innovation into this innovative approach to packaging and to develop solutions. neocon.com/register/
the heart of our organizations? In some exciting new projects he is working
answering the questions, Roger suggests When: Monday, June 14, 4–5 p.m.
on with Steelcase.
how to move knowledge forward, connect Where: Check Registration or NeoCon
When: Monday, June 14, 2–3 p.m. Directory for room location
theory to business reality, and prescribes
Where: Steelcase Showroom, Suite 300
a solution to the innovation dilemma:
When: Monday, June 14, 3–4 p.m.
Where: Holiday Inn Mart Plaza,
Sauganash Ballroom, 14th Floor
You can also meet Roger and talk with
HARDER WORkiNG COCkTAilS DASH BEFORE YOu DiNE
him about design thinking, innovation,
shareholder value and other topics before After a long day at NeoCon you deserve Before hitting the Chicago dining scene,
his presentation: a Harder Working Cocktail! Join us in the stop by and relax with a dash cocktail.
showroom for beverages and conversation We’re celebrating the introduction of
When: Monday, June 14, 1–2 p.m.
with friends. dash™, the sleek new LED task light by
Where: Steelcase Showroom, Suite 300
Details co-developed with London-based
When: Monday, June 14, 4–5 p.m.
Foster + Partners.
Where: Steelcase Showroom, Suite 300
When: Tuesday, June 15, 4–5 p.m.
Where: Steelcase Showroom, Suite 300
ENJOY THE CAMpFiRE
When it’s time wind down after a busy day,
join us for a beverage around the Campfire.
When: Monday, June 14, 4–6 p.m.
Where: Turnstone Showroom, Suite 3-100
n eO C O n 2010 STeelCaSe
Welcome to our showroom
This year at neoCon the Steelcase showroom
is all about spaces that work harder by working
smarter. This map and the application drawings
on the following pages are designed to inspire
ideas for spaces supporting a broad range of
work – whether it’s for “heads-down” concentration
or boisterous collaboration sessions, our aim is to
help you explore ways your space can work harder.
22 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
STeelCaSe n eO C O n 2010
18 17 16 15 14
8 9 10
7 6 5
1 2 3
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 23
n eO C O n 2010 STeelCaSe
a Harder Working Space
There’s a new reality today: Organizations are working harder than ever. They need to balance
demands to be both lean and creative. To innovate. Be agile.
That means workplaces have to work harder too. Spaces have to be smart about the way real
estate is used. They need to foster collaboration. Attract the best and brightest talent and help
keep those employees engaged. And help build the organization’s brand and culture.
Organizations know they must support the different ways people really work. Research shows
four individual and collective states of work* help employees realize their full innovative and
Concentrating and attending to a specific task; thinking, close study, contemplation, reflection,
analysis, and other “heads-down” work best performed without interruption.
Working with one or more people to achieve a goal, listening, discussing, presenting information
and ideas, brainstorming, etc. Ideally, it’s a democratic process, with all perspectives shared
equally to maximize the group’s collective experience and knowledge.
Building knowledge through education or experience. Learning happens best by doing, building
on what’s already known. When people make their thinking visible to each another, learning is
accelerated and becomes an integrated part of an organization’s culture.
Talking, interacting, networking, mentoring, celebrating, sharing connections that lead to common
bonds and building trust. More work is accomplished through these informal social networks than
through organizational hierarchies and form a true competitive advantage because of their ability
to produce new ideas and innovation.
Harder working spaces are also sustainable, promoting environmental health and the health
and productivity of the people who work and live in it. That’s why all of the products you’ll see
on the following pages has been designed, produced, and delivered with lifecycle thinking,
materials chemistry, and recyclability in mind.
Welcome to the Steelcase NeoCon 2010 showroom!
* The Knowledge-Creating Company, by Ikujiro nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi.
24 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °
STeelCaSe n eO C O n 2010
it’s about: nomads products featured
1 • frameone
Highly-mobile nomads need a place to set up camp for a few hours, • soto II worktools
focus, catch-up on work and with colleagues. They need quick
and easy access to technology, so they can plug in fast and get solution supports
to work. Screens provide moderate visual privacy, but still allow focusing
workers to see and be seen so they can network and learn from collaborating
others. Simple storage elements help people on the move pack and socializing
unpack quickly. lOW HiGH
it’s about: functional groups products featured
2 • frameone
every day they work together, shifting between individual work • amia
and collaboration. They need visual access to each other, their • soto II worktools
information and even remote teammates. This space fosters
spontaneous interactions among the team, promotes side-by- solution supports
side collaboration. Convenient storage areas allow easy access focusing
to materials, provide piling surfaces and become casual seating learning
for collaboration. socializing
360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces ° 25
n eO C O n 2010 STeelCaSe
it’s about: casual collaboration products featured
3 • media:scape lounge and
This spot helps small groups touch base, provide updates or share hd videoconferencing
ideas. It’s open and relaxed, but equipped with technology that • i2i
gives everyone equal access to information. Collaborative seating • ee6
lets people move and change positions so it’s easier to stay engaged • post and beam with duo
and connected with the team. Café tables allow people to prepare
before joining the meeting, or make notes afterward. Workers of all solution supports
generations will migrate to this spot for casual collaboration. focusing
26 360steelcase.com Harder Working Spaces °