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A modern work environment could be understood as the spaces between two coffee lounges

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Clark Elliott, A modern work environment
Clark Elliott 4 Feb 2019
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IHK Akademie Personalfachkaufmann/kauffrau

Clark Elliott, one of the most experienced Workplace Strategists in Europe, he is known as an advisor to C level Decision Makers exploring the opportunities that workplace transformation projects can provide.

Clark Elliott’s extensive experience developing projects to implement NWoW and related Change Management programmes use holistic solutions that integrate people, work processes, technology, and place.

Area of expertise:

  • Core Competencies: Workplace Transformation Projects – Communications Strategies for New Ways of Working (NWoW)
  • Organisational Culture Change and Accompaniment programmes for NWoW.

What does “Learning Innovation” mean to you?

In my perspective, Learning Innovation encompasses all of the ever-changing experiences of life at work and outside of work in today’s modern connected world. We will soon enter the third decade of the 21st century, yet some people still pretend that nothing has changed in the past 20 years since we entered the new Millennium. We now have access to the most amazing body of knowledge humanity has ever accumulated … and it expands exponentially every day. This is all available with a flick of a finger on a smartphone. How we work, share information and collaborate with others face-to-face or virtually to learn new skills and evolve new mind-sets is critical to creating new knowledge and succeeding in whatever we choose to do. My education in Psychology, Architecture and Environment Design trained me to consider all these elements as part of an ecosystem of people, processes and places that perform optimally. My entire career focus as a workplace strategist is to identify all the components of the organizational ecosystems and iterate work environments in the largest sense that coherently support human beings in these complex “living” networks.

Where do you see the trends in the area of learning and working?

Physical work environments can be instrumental in accompanying companies, organizations and educational institutions as we enter the next Industrial Revolution, often referred to as Industry 4.0. Digital Transformation. New ways of working, new ways of collaborating and new ways of managing people are on the top of the to-do lists of most leaders. Continuous Learning is being promoted to wider audiences as the future of work is evolving so rapidly. Many of my client’s priorities in the past decade have focused on transforming organizational cultures by using technology and workplaces as strategic elements to encourage new levels of collaboration, less formal meeting space and high levels of interactions to support flatter hierarchies. Brainstorming rooms, creativity rooms, quiet pods for study or reflection, training rooms with modular furniture and panels that can be moved around are just some of the elements appearing in most projects today. The trend is quite simple, use laptops or smartphones and offer a menu of spaces for doing different activities in different places using Wi-Fi and new applications.

What do companies, organizations and educational institutions have to do to implement learning innovations?

New perspectives are needed to implement and encourage innovations in Learning. As everyone learns in different ways … and different topics can be best mastered in different modes, the importance of offering a menu of choices, as mentioned above, would be on the top of my list of suggestions. I would stress the importance of less traditional mindsets about Learning. The most successful workplaces offer many kinds of social settings that encourage human exchanges along with coherent technical solutions to work (or learn) anytime – anywhere. The notion that a workplace is a one-size-fits-all desk and a few conference rooms is so last Millennium. In conferences I often state that a modern work environment could be understood as the spaces between two coffee lounges. The informal meeting areas around those coffee machines are today’s new Research and Development laboratories. The positive effect of spontaneous meetings on collaboration and creativity is significant. Bright ideas and new solutions are stimulated by inspiring settings, different points of view from diverse people and sudden break throughs. Informal learning, mentoring among 4 generations now working together and sharing knowledge is finally being recognized for the value it brings to creativity, critical thinking and knowledge transfer.

What would you like to work on in the next few years?

My goal is to continue to share stories about successful projects that have delivered true transformation to organisations and bring benefits to users. Win-Win benefits can be created when physical work environments and learning environments are conceived in ways that respond to extensively researched programme requirements and designed to offer the range of choices adults in the Knowledge Age deserve.

Clark Elliott, Keynote LEARNING INNOVATION Conference 2019

Interview: Achim Frerker

Quelle:
Dieses Interview erschien zuerst in dem Sammelband “10 Jahre Learning Innovation Conference – 22 Interviews”. Hrsg. von Alexander Petsch und Dr. Daniel Stoller Schai, HRM Research Institute 2019.

Lesen Sie mehr Interviews zum Thema “Learning Innovation”:
Beyond Innovation

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