MEREDITH Strategy + Design

We design the places and spaces where people come together to do great work

"Recovery" is over

I had the pleasure recently of being invited to offer a viewpoint on trends in design of the workplace, looking back 20 years to assess where we've been, and forward 20 years to anticipate what may be coming and how to prepare. I'll offer more on that exercise soon. In the meantime, two items in the business press today surged into relevance. Sometimes these indicators are merely part of the stream, but these seemed to be strong affirmations of the inflection in direction we've been anticipating and talking about for a while.

"The nation’s corporations will be strong, well capitalized and ready to act aggressively when executives finally decide it is time to expand their businesses." This, from an article in the New York Times today, about how corporations are borrowing and hoarding cash, and not yet acting on the wealth they have.

"We've focused on permanent changes that won't have to be undone as sales improve." This is from John Riccitiello, chief executive of Electronic Arts, quote in the Wall Street Journal today in a related article on the recent corporate profit surge and how companies have taken "far-reaching actions to remake themselves."

Whatever form the economy takes when it moves, it appears it will not be a "recovery" but will be something new and with a significantly different content.