Scenario-based innovation takes mega trends and industry-specific trends and translates them into future scenarios. These scenarios define future states – for example, over the next five to eight years – to identify potential long-term ideas. Those ideas are then typically used to create a concrete business model and a tangible action plan.
If you read through the litany of commentators who wax extemporaneously about what workplaces will be like in years to come, you hear about things like “open concepts” and “remote workers.” You also hear a lot about creating effective workplace culture and crafting maximized organizational structures. And of course, you hear a lot about the benefits of AI. These are buzzwords, and if I had a nickel for every buzzword that gets thrown at me on a daily basis, I would have retired many years ago. That said, if you peel away the buzzwords, you uncover some truly impactful trends that are driving the workplace of the future.
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“Introducing [new employees] to the culture has been very important; it’s important that the people we hire are growth-oriented,” PacketZoom co-founder Chetan Ahuja says. “We want them to already be useful to the business, but their main goal is to grow and to grow with the company. They’re much more valuable that way.”
“We want people who have historically been lucky. People who have demonstrated the ability to go out and create their own luck,” CEO Michael Katz says. “People who are curious, who engage and ask questions and generally listen, [who are] not just waiting for a pause in the conversation. “
Getting rid of job titles and helping people detach from job titles are two of the biggest challenges around refocusing a company on its culture and its values, CTO John Schnipkoweit says. At Choozle, the culture is focused around the product it is creating, and allowing that product to drive the company.
Wholesale ecommerce retailer Boxed is taking its position as team leader seriously. The company pays for its employees’ kids to go to college. It looked at the industry-wide “pink tax” and started a campaign against the higher prices. It even started contributing $20,000 to pay for employees’ weddings.
While some company founders sit down and write out their core values and identify what their company’s culture should be before they even find the people who will help them, others just go with their gut. For Pete Gombert, founder of local marketing company Balihoo, his gut feeling about culture has turned into a whole new company.
Environment, talent, and process all encourage the growth of innovation, according to IT research firm CEB, which was recently acquired by Gartner. But there’s a balancing act that must take place between structure and exploration — especially for smaller companies on a fast upward growth curve.