If the future of business is a networked ecosystem, what will its workplace look like?
The future of business is a networked ecosystem
The conventional approach to workspace design shapes a concept around a single company’s brand, culture and organizational model (although using mass-market ideas and components).
If the future of business is a networked ecosystem, this conventional approach threatens speed, agility, and scale.
IBM’s advice on building an ecosystem around blockchain may signal ways to generate and test concepts for a new kind of workspace to support a new kind of enterprise.
Because the unit of competition is the network – and no longer a single enterprise – the business case for the network and how it will grow matters as much as, if not more, than the product or service itself.
They point to three stages:
In search of value
Getting to scale
Designing for new markets
If the ecosystem is the enterprise concept, how will people from partner organizations come together to do work? Assuming some parts of the enterprise will need physical space, and assuming that the identity of any partner component is non-positive to the motivation toward for the whole, what identity, services, resources, and allocations will that new kind of workspace have?
Since rapid growth in scale is an essential strategy and characteristic of the enterprise, what spatial concepts will overcome the barriers of assigned allocations and spatial boundaries? How will the fixed perimeters of businesses and leases demand new ways of thinking about the organizations and operations inside?
And, since the core purpose of the new kind of enterprise is to generate audacious new business markets and models, how will the workspace support the activities of people engaged in continuous innovation and iterations of business concepts? What concepts of existing workspace planning and design have any relevance in this new world?