The Path to the Future – Retrospective of the 2nd Unite Event
This year we are all facing the same problems. We need to put out all the fires as they happen, and we need to anticipate how we can do business in the near and far future. Naturally, as collaboration enablers, GPA seeks to work together with many to solve our shared problems. That includes not only stakeholders but especially partners and clients as well. This is why we hosted the second Unite virtual summit event in 2020 – not to tell you our way – but to listen and enable a discussion between many who share the same pain from which some of you are already close to a remedy oftentimes. And while there is no one solution to fix all problems, often enough, hearing the success stories from others helps to spark more ideas, leading to industry innovation. All thanks to you.
About the keynotes
Sacha Matulovich has founded and built organizations in the media, telecoms, technology, and financial services sectors by employing his Frictioneering premise, built around an understanding that what drives consumers and businesses today is an insatiable demand for frictionless experiences. Whether customers or employees, wherever productivity is hindered, they experience friction.
In this new cloud-powered digital world, our most important job is to “create frictionless experiences.” To become “Frictioneers”! These first months of COVID have been about reactive response and rapid reinvention, and tolerance for friction. Still, as we can now move into a period where we can invest in a more thoughtful and proactive long term refinement effort, that friction and inefficiency tolerance will rapidly diminish. Sacha will take us through his 3 laws of Frictioneering and provide a new lens with which to look at the opportunity ahead.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OFFICE TRANSFORMATION
THE EMERGENCE OF “AGILE WORKPLACE STRATEGY”
A TOOLKIT FOR NEXT NORMAL TRANSFORMATION
As the design of the Unite events heavily relies on interaction with the audience and not just broadcasting our message out, we prepared break-out sessions in which smaller groups of attendees could discuss what they have learned and talked about their perspectives in the industry. The participants exchanged thoughts on the future outlook. They conversed about shared problems and how they could be possibly overcome – partially with technology – and culture and change management as part of a larger digital transformation program.
Some interesting points that were made focused on matters such as:
- Is my organization prepared for agile ways of working methods?
- How to embrace New Work methodology from a technology point of view?
- How to enable staff to be working from home and working from anywhere, really?
- What does the facility managers think about these trends and shift in realty space utilization?
- Smart Building technology is great, but privacy and GDPR compliance needs to be considered.
- The workforce is diverse in their work behavior. There are individual patterns, as well as silo-based patterns.
- Who comes into the office, and when, and why? How to measure and act on trends?
- There could be hybrid greenhouse effects when considering VR or mixed reality technology.
- If people need to be at work physically, doing red and blue team separation has been useful.
However, the overall consensus was, if your strategy is good, and if your technology works, usually people don’t thank you for it – and that’s fine as long it helps them better navigate their workday. On the other hand, people might take your technology and everything you’re enabling them with and build their own solutions to problems you might not even know about. These “invisible” wins are hard, if not even impossible, to measure, and in many cases, nobody will know about how great something worked until you try to take it away from the users. Whether you are part of a GPA team or part of a client from the GPA, try to stay close to the users and listen to them. Understand their problems and try to see how they use technology to solve problems. There are often interesting things to be unveiled if that is done.
This time we had Bose at the virtual expo booths, and they had plenty of guests too. Bose has introduced their latest solutions and demonstrated Bose Work portfolio products like the Bose noise-canceling headphone 700 UC, which can turn the whole world into your conference room, or the Bose Videobar VB1, which can turn small and medium-sized spaces into video collaboration suits with a high-quality user experience.
The panel discussion at the end of the event is often in many ways a sort of summary, but it is also the moment of gathering momentum. The speakers face a series of questions and share their experiences from the whole year, tackling problems that COVID-19 introduced, but not limited to that. They will talk about what the results of their individual workshop sessions were about.
This talk also does not mark the end of the event. It marks the beginning of sticking together. It’s the moment where people do not flood out of the virtual doors and never hear from each other again. Due to the nature of our events, this is where theory turns into practice and where acquaintances may become partners in endeavors to tackle current issues and the problems they anticipate going forward.
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