ReWorking the Workplace
Keys to Sustained Peak Performance

How to Begin

04/03/1997

by Gail and Matt Taylor

Editor's Note:

This article was originally published in the December, 1993 issue of Mobius magazine. Copyright 1993, The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business
Reprinted with permission

  • Bring your team together and do a seven domains audit. Build your best and most ambitious vision of each of the domains--and of the domains working as a system. Build this vision from the best you have seen and your strongest exercise of imagination. Don't attenuate yourself by being "practical." Don't limit yourself by budget assumptions. Design your ideal workplace.
  • Then critique your present environment, domain by domain. Be frank, honest, candid. Again, do not "skip over" issues that you think you cannot change or that seem unconventional or controversial.
  • Next, build a shift paper. Use white boards or get some butcher paper so that the whole team can see the work, and work with it. A shift paper is a three column chart that has each point of your "HERE" (present reality) in the left-hand column matched with each point of your "THERE" in the right-hand column (your workplace vision). In the center column, describe the bridging design strategies that you can now employ to "bring THERE to HERE." Be bold. Be resourceful. All good does not come from the corporate finance committee or purchasing. Design using available resources in your virtual network to make your workplace work.
  • Do this exercise often. Do it at the beginning of a major project. Do it as "Spring cleaning." Do it when a new member joins your project. Just do it! make each iteration a quantum improvement in the integration of your work process, tool kit and physical environment.
  • Take whatever help you can get from your organization's TQM, reengineering, meeting facilitation, computer consultants and facility planners. But don't accept their limitations. Take charge of your own work environment. You, your team and your company, will be paid back many times in job satisfaction, work productivity, increases in the quality of product, customer satisfaction and return on investment.

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