2020 VISIONS by dfsiopmhy6


									ISSUE 3                                                                                       SEPTEMBER 2010


Implications for
Organisations and
More than anything else over        Benjamin attributes it to the           Benjamin, because it plays to the
the past decade our lives at        meteoric rise of social software        basic human condition typified by
home, work and play have been       which connects people either            what he described as the two
shaped irrevocably by               directly of via ‘social objects’ such   most interesting things in the
developments in information         as a video, document, or picture.       world namely ‘me’ followed by
and communication                                                           ‘other people’.
technologies (ICT). Whether         The myriad of different types of
such developments are seen as       social software that are available is   Through what he calls ‘change
saviours or demons, the             only surpassed by the                   from within’ Benjamin suggests
inexorable pervasiveness of ICT
                                    extraordinary growth in the             that social software can be a
is unquestionable. In the same
                                    numbers of people using them. To        vehicle to increase an
week that the UK’s first live 3D
                                    put this phenomenal growth in           organisation’s creativity and
television broadcast was made,
the third of six AWA 2020           context, 10 years ago before the        productivity. Citing examples of
Visions sessions considered         advent of Facebook and Twitter,         major brands that are using
key developments in ICT and         applications such as Microsoft          social media externally to talk to
their likely impact upon the        Messenger had 30m users, today it       their customers, to provide
world of work, the workplace        has 300m users. So as Benjamin          enhanced service and get
and workplace management in         asserts, social software is not new     customers more engaged with
the year 2020 - led by Leon         and it works! The reason social         the business, he questions why
Benjamin, Group Partners (the       software has taken off in such a        more are not using the same
Pixar of Consulting) and Ian        rampant manner is, claims               approach inside the organisation,
Hughes (epredator), Feeding                                                 as this is where he believes it can
Edge Ltd.                             Scale of Social Media:                be at its most transformative.
                                      •   Facebook – 500m profiles
In opening his presentation Leon      •   Wikipedia – c 4m articles (10     To exemplify the power of social
Benjamin pointed to what he               languages)                        networks Benjamin describes his
considers is the biggest story of     •   YouTube – 100m videos,            own experience at an
the 21 century namely the death           65,000/day                        organisation with which he
of the default ‘command and           •   Typepad – 200m blogs              worked as one of 25 interim
control’ model and its associated     •   Second Life – 1.5m residents      managers involved in running
hierarchy as a useful way of          •   In 2009 ‘twitter’ became the      programmes as part of a major
organising businesses. So what is         world’s most popular word         project. On his arrival, Benjamin
bringing about such a change?                                               and the other managers were
ISSUE 3                                                                                                       PAGE 2

informed that the company had a
culture of not helping anybody, the
                                              Command and Control                           Networks
staff disliked interim managers and       •    Orders                             •   Everyone is a leader
they were assured they would be
                                          •    Order                              •   Everyone sensing
blocked at every opportunity to
prevent them from progressing the         •    Stability                          •   Everyone responding
project. To address these                 •    Continuity                         •   Transparency
difficulties the company’s project        •    Rules                              •   Trust
director set-up a weekly surgery at       •    Fear                               •   Peers
which the interim managers could          •    Withholding information            •   Agile
discuss the problems they were
                                          •    Measurement                        •   Adaptable
encountering and how they could
be addressed. In the first three          •    Incentives                         •   Self-organising
week’s surgeries in which the             •    Competition
interim managers shared their
problems Benjamin informed the
group that he had no problems            organisations. Further, although        how Google, Facebook, Yahoo,
and was progressing well. When           ‘command and control’ has been          Amazon, eBay and others could not
this was repeated on the fourth          successful for business, in recent      exist without open-source software
week Benjamin was asked why it           years it has not been without its       which is developed using a network
was that he was the only interim         problems. By way of example             centric model of organisation. To
manager who was not reporting            Benjamin cited the impact of work       illustrate the scale of what can be
problems. He then described how          rage as a contributory factor to the    achieved through harnessing the
a week before he arrived he had          suicide rate at France Telecom - 21     innate power of networks, Benjamin
accessed ‘LinkedIn’ where he             instances since February 2008.          described how NASA wishing to
identified all the managers in the       Further, in the UK 2.6m people are      catalogue the craters on Mars set-up
company who had profiles on the          on incapacity benefits, over 60% of     an initiative with a single junior in-
site indicating their proclivity to      them as a consequence of                house research scientist who
share. He arranged coffee                workplace stress. While India has       established a website through which
sessions with them for his first         benefitted massively from the           ‘clickworkers’ were engaged. Over
week at the company and found            economic benefits of off-shoring        an eight month period using a
out how things were done in the          especially in the financial services    technique called ‘crowd sourcing’,
organisation, and from then on he        industry, along with the jobs and       NASA secured circa 80,000
had found it plain sailing - a           prosperity they have also imported      contributors to map over 2m data
demonstration of the power of            western lifestyles and diet which it    points on photographs of Mars’
social media. Further, as Benjamin       is assessed have contributed to the     craters, the quality of which when
pointed out, the surgeries attended      sharp rise of type 2 diabetes           reviewed subsequently by geologists
by all 25 interim managers were          currently affecting 35m people and      was considered to be
an expensive way to address the          estimated to increase to 75m by         indistinguishable from what would be
situation, the need for which could      2030.                                   expected from a geologist with ten
have been avoided if the company                                                 years experience. In making his
had a simple directory containing        But setting-up a social networking      case for their wide-scale adoption
profiles of what their people do         business does not of itself             and development, Benjamin
enabling the appropriate                 guarantee success. Benjamin             concludes that levels of productivity
individuals to be identified quickly     highlighted how in 2005 Rupert          and performance such as achieved
and inexpensively.                       Murdoch’s News Corps acquired           by the NASA clickworkers are only
                                         the social network site MySpace for     made possible by operating as
Benjamin acknowledges that               $580m and ITV bought Friends            networks. Other organisations,
switching from ‘command and              Reunited for £120m, both of which       exhorts Benjamin, could do likewise
control’ to a structure that is ‘peer-   he considers have been                  by changing their organisational
to-peer’ is either an anathema to        commercial failures, a result which     focus to become more network-
most organisations or it is seen as      he attributes to the imposition of      centric enabled through social
a huge threat by some individuals.       the parent company’s ‘command           software. As French ‘transformer’
The ‘command and control’ model          and control’ mindset and                Jean-Francois Noubel puts it:
as deployed by organisations such        management style on the ‘peer-to-
as the army, government, and the         peer’ operations of a network.
church, was useful for the first 200     Further Benjamin postulates that
                                                                                 “The future of a company
years following the industrial           for companies to interact               depends less on the nature
revolution with its single unitary       successfully with networks they         of its issues, and more on
actor at the top of the organisation     themselves have to be ‘network
who ‘holds all the pieces of the         centric’.
                                                                                 its capacity to invent social
puzzle’. However in a globally                                                   structures able to solve
connected world this role is no          In setting out the value of the peer-   them”
longer viable for most                   to-peer model, Benjamin highlights
ISSUE 3                                                                                                     PAGE 3

Given the pace of change             such sites, will lead them to            employee engagement is no
within the world of ICT would        become societies in their own            longer optional, Benjamin expects
this expert be brave enough to       right, encouraging some to               to see their intranet sites replaced
make predictions for 2020? He        operate their own ‘currencies’ as        by social networks, as a function
certainly would! Benjamin sees       the exchange of value of a               of adopting ‘peer-to-peer’ models
social networking sites taking       transaction will no longer be            of organisation in recognition of it
on an ever more dominant role        based solely on a corresponding          outperforming ‘command and
in our lives. By 2020 he expects     transfer of money. But it is in the      control’, and becoming the default
such sites through their             shape and structure of corporate         structure for new businesses and
enormous user base, to be the        organisations that Benjamin              many existing ones, where the
default channel to market for        sees the greatest changes as             unit of work is no longer a whole
the distribution for a substantial   social networking becomes all            job but rather fractional work
number of goods and services.        pervasive. He anticipates that as        undertaken by an on-demand
More than that, Benjamin             large corporations become                workforce.
expects that the rise and rise of    increasingly aware that

In opening his session, Ian          on the gadgets available in the          which you ‘move around’ in the
Hughes reminds us that the 7-12      shops today, but rather                  environment are based on game
year olds of today (viewers of       technologies that may appear more        technologies with the consequence
his ‘Cool Stuff Collective’ slot     like science fiction, odd and quirky     that to some more used to web
on children’s television) will be    to some who believe they will never      pages they look freaky and
the new entrants to the world of     catch-on, which in his view will be      unusual. In such worlds users have
work in 2020, so it is worth         commonplace in 10 years time. In         a representation of themselves (an
considering their behaviour and      support of his session Hughes            avatar) which appears when they
reactions to immersion in new        used a virtual world called              are logged-on to the system, similar
technologies such as social          ‘OpenSim’ (an open-source version        to the dot or character that appears
software, 3D and virtual worlds      of a virtual world similar to ‘Second-   when logged-on to Facebook or
and what impact this is likely to    Life’) which any person or               Instant Messenger. For some this
have.                                organisation can deploy behind           virtual manifestation of self can be a
                                     their IT firewall in a manner which      problem since it will be ‘visible’ to
By new technologies Hughes           bests suits them. As Hughes              others logged-on at the same time,
emphasises that his focus is not     explained, most virtual worlds in        making them self-conscious of how
ISSUE 3                                                                                                        PAGE 4

they (their avatar) looks. How an       massive amounts of energy, money         their virtual world and brought into
avatar is dressed can, as Hughes        and carbon. Further, using a virtual     the real world via 3D output
points out, be an opportunity to        environment, can combat the              devices. With such tools it is
express your personality or just        detachment often associated with         possible to take an object that was
how you are feeling at any given        conference calls by phone, (while        created in a virtual world and only
time. In ‘Second Life’ Hughes           of course still being able to use the    exists there, and produce a physical
adopts the persona of ‘epredator’       voice and text devices that support      3D version of it in the real world in a
with his avatar dressed in a giant      our activities currently) as the         range of materials, thereby enabling
predator outfit, which makes him        graphic representation of the virtual    those who participated in the
immediately recognisable when he        environment enables participants to      creation of the virtual object to have
goes to places and events in the        engage more directly not only            their own physical version of it.
virtual world, indicating to others     enhancing the functionality of the       Clearly such tools are changing the
not only that he is ‘present’ but       event but making it a more               way some manufacturers are
also his interest in science-fiction.   memorable experience.                    developing their products and may
Further, just as in real life, when                                              even change the way products are
                                        Hughes explains how, in preparing        distributed to customers. Hughes

Implications for
epredator attends events Hughes
will place him alongside other          his presentations, he puts all of the    quotes the example of how in a
attendees that he recognises and        objects to which he intends to refer     virtual world his avatar was fitted
with whom he shares some                within a virtual environment and         with trainers bought in Second Life
common interests. These                 then ‘walks’ to them and ’explores’      from Reebok as part of a product

Organisations and
characteristics are reminiscent of
how in many offices people try to
conform as a function of the
protocols of an organisation
                                        them as the session is delivered. In
                                        his virtual presentation when
                                        Hughes wishes to emphasise the
                                        criticality of a situation he marks
                                                                                 promotion campaign it was running.
                                                                                 When Hughes then had his
                                                                                 epredator avatar produced as a 12
                                                                                 inch high physical 3D model it was

through wearing a suit or being         the ‘turning point’ by actually          wearing its Reebok trainers, which
seen with ‘the right people’ – in the   ‘walking’ round a corner in the          as he exhorts shows the power to
virtual world inhibitions are more      virtual environment. As he explains      major brands of the interaction
relaxed.                                in virtual worlds the laws of physics    between virtual and real worlds.
                                        do not apply and hence ‘walking’
In pointing out one of the benefits     might in some situations be too          The impact of such approaches and
of virtual worlds Hughes explained      conventional so to make a point          tools will, Hughes believes, in
how when people congregate they         more dramatically he (or at least        addition to having a profound
can interact, share information and     his avatar) can ‘fly’ from one item to   impact upon the way manufacturers
create things just as can be done       another. Not only that, but rather       produce goods will also change
in the real world. But more, as         than having his presentations on         how they distribute products to their
unlike websites where things            walls in the virtual environment         customers. No longer will it be
rarely change while you are on the      Hughes occasionally ‘wears’ his          necessary for products to be
site, Hughes explains that in virtual   presentation on his avatar, a            designed in one location, the
worlds things can change all the        procedure which he assures is not        designs shipped half way round the
time as the participants interact. In   particularly hi-tech and time            world to be manufactured, where
a virtual world new objects can be      consuming but can make a high            they are then packaged and
created and built by individuals or     impact.                                  shipped back round the planet to be
through the collaborative efforts of                                             delivered to a warehouse, from
a group of people each in a             It is not just in presentations that     where a retailer acquires it as stock,
different geographic location –         virtual worlds can contribute to         who then arranges for a carrier to
making everywhere local. Instead        business. When objects are               transport it to a customer who
of using the conventional ‘chalk        deposited or created in the virtual      bought it – with all of the associated
and talk’ approach adopted in           environment everyone who                 energy and carbon consumption.
many business meetings and              participates receives the object as      Instead customers can try out
workshops, participants are able in     it is instantly delivered to them,       products in their virtual world before
a virtual environment to create the     making it a content delivery             buying them, then ‘manufacturing’
object (text, illustration and 3D       platform for virtual objects. In some    the product themselves via 3D
product) that is the focus of their     situations the creators or owners of     output devices.
attention by each contributing to       the virtual objects will charge
the ‘building’ process.                 recipients money (real or virtual) for   When combined with 3D scanning
                                        delivering the product to them,          devices the whole process
Virtual life does not replace real      similar to the apps made available       becomes two-way, in that physical
life, as Hughes is quick to clarify,    on mobile phones. However the fun        objects can be scanned and placed
however it does enable forms of         doesn’t stop there! As Hughes            in the virtual world, modified by
collaboration that either could not     explains it is possible to interact      collaborators located anywhere who
be achieved in other ways or could      with virtual environments such that      are then able to output the object
only be achieved by expending           virtual objects can be taken out of      via 3D output devices – merging the
ISSUE 3                                                                                                           PAGE 5

virtual and physical
environments. What is even            2020 VISIONS                                 Session 4: 30 November 2010
                                                                                   Work in 2020
more remarkable is, as Hughes         PROGRAMME
                                                                                   How will people and organisations
points out, that this can be                                                       work in 2020.?How will organisations
achieved with technologies that       A series of high level enquiries
                                      examining life, work and the workplace       take advantage of 2020 technology?
already exist.                                                                     What demographic pressures will they
                                      in 2020. Supporting leaders in preparing
                                                                                   have to cope with? Will CO2 play a
                                      for the future.
So what are Hughes’                                                                part in the way people and
predictions for 2020? Through                                                      organisations work? Will Hutton, The
                                      Session 1: 28 April 2010                     Work Foundation and David Smith,
developments in 3D output
                                      The World in 2020                            CEO Global Futures and Foresight
devices (their capabilities and
                                      A macro-economic, demographic and
reducing cost) Hughes expects                                                      Session 5: 8 February 2011
                                      social context for the UK and its position
manufacturing to become much          in the world. Graeme Leach, Chief
                                                                                   The Workplace in 2020
more equally spread across the                                                     Exploring what the place of work and
                                      Economist, Institute of Directors and
planet. We will interface with                                                     the workplace could look like in 2020
                                      Mark Wood Deputy Chairman
                                                                                   and the implications and new
computers in ways that suit us        Paternoster, (previously CEO Prudential

Implications for
                                                                                   capabilities needed by organisations
as humans rather than has             UK) – Can now be viewed at
                                                                                   for sustained success. Wes McGregor,
been the case in the past where       www.advanced-workplace.com
                                                                                   Director, Advanced Workplace
we have had to adapt to the                                                        Associates and Dr Craig Knight,
ways of the machines. That            Session 2: 1 July 2010                       Managing Director, Prism.

Organisations and
said, Hughes expects
technologies to embrace the
human dimensions of gestures
and depth of ‘intelligence’
                                      Driving to a sustainable future
                                      The drive to improve sustainability, and
                                      what this will mean for organisations,
                                      work and life by 2020. Jonathon Porritt,
                                      Forum for the Future and Zahl
                                                                                   Session 6: 6 April 2011
                                                                                   Managing the transition to the

through emotional and human           Limbuwala, CEO Romonet and                   A vision for 2020 and how to get there.
brain interfaces. Displays from       Chairman of the Computer Society’s           Exploring the necessary steps to make
computers will not be about           Data Centre SIG – Can now be viewed          the transition, and examining ways to
                                      at www.advanced-workplace.com                overcome the inevitable barriers to
fixed screens but projection,
                                                                                   change. Professor Rob Briner,
augmentation and immersion,                                                        Birkbeck College and Andrew Mawson,
with the ‘gameification’ of           Session 3: 22 September 2010                 Managing Director, Advanced
everything providing interest         IT developments and implications             Workplace Associates
and narrative to the most             for organisations and society
mundane of tasks.                     What does 2020 hold for the internet,
                                      virtual worlds, social networking, video     For further information on the
                                      and hardware, implications for CO2 and       2020 Visions programme contact
A truly amazing insight into          the way we work and live? Leon
the impact ICT will continue                                                       Andrew Mawson at Advanced
                                      Benjamin Group Partners (the Pixar of        Workplace Associates on
to have upon our lives. Its           Consulting) and Ian Hughes (epredator),      020 7743 7110 or at
impact upon work will be one          Feeding Edge Ltd – Can now be viewed
dimension of the next AWA             at www.advanced-workplace.com
2020 Visions session to be
held on 30 November 2010.

   The views expressed in the 2020 Visions programme and in this bulletin, are those of the contributors and do
                  not necessarily reflect the views of Advance Workplace Associates Limited.

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