28 September 2018

Shift to agile working held back by ageing technology

The digital transformation of organisations and a shift to agile working is being held back by a reluctance to invest in new technology, according to a new report from Citrix and Capita.  The Workplace agility report claims that legacy applications are delaying digital transformation of the entire organisation for more than half of respondents (56 percent) of the 200 CIOs who took part in the study. The report also claims that the inability to introduce new tech also restricts the uptake of new ways of working and the creation of agile working environments.
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A changing world with inbuilt human obsolescence defines first day of CoreNet Global

The  forces that are changing the world, from AI and the current digital and technological transformation, to the short and long-term implications of Brexit, provided many of the key lessons during the first day of the CoreNet Global Summit in Madrid.
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British Property Federation announces plans to modernise commercial property sector

The British Property Federation (BPF) has launched a Technology and Innovation programme for the UK commercial property sector – to support the sector in its digital transformation – following the Government’s challenge to all sectors of the economy to improve productivity and deliver growth. The programme is launched with the publication of a new report produced by Future Cities Catapult, commissioned by the BPF, to understand the barriers to and opportunities for improving the productivity of the real estate sector through the application of technology.
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CIPD and Mind launch guidance for managers to support mental health at work

The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, and Mind, the mental health charity, have today jointly published a revised mental health guide for managers to improve support for those experiencing stress and mental health issues at work.   The updated guidance follows recent CIPD research which found that less than one in three organisations (32 percent) train line managers to support staff with poor mental health.
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Busy people tend to make healthier choices and enjoy more self-esteem

Busyness is often thought of as a modern day affliction, but it can also help you delay gratification and make decisions that benefit you in the longer-term, according to new research from the global business school INSEAD. In a new paper, Chattopadhyay and his co-authors, Monica Wadhwa, Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Fox School of Business at Temple University and Jeehye Christine Kim, Assistant Professor of Marketing at HKUST, show that the mere perception of being one of the busy people, or what they call a busy mindset, is a “badge of honour” that can be leveraged to promote better self-control. Their paper, titled “When Busy Is Less Indulging: Impact of a Busy Mindset on Self-Control Behaviours”, has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
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Executives understand the importance of big data but have little idea what to do with it

When board members in big firms make critical decisions about their organisations, it is almost always behind closed doors. So exactly how and if senior leaders draw on big data factors in their decision-making is largely unexplained. Researchers from Brunel University studied top-level decisions by board managers at 19 organisations in manufacturing, finance, consultancy, IT and air travel. The study, published in the Journal of Business Research looked at how board managers think and act and the mental models and skills they use to weigh up big data. Directors, it suggests, recognise big data’s potential to improve their decision-making. But many admit feeling ill-equipped to do this, whether through their own technical skills or the new type of non-linear thinking needed.
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Change of mindset can transform workplace performance says Smart Summit

Changing mindsets and the workplace through co-creative leadership was the theme of the latest Quora Smartworking Summit which took place this week at ExCeL London. Hosted by Quora’s Managing Director John Blackwell, the event featured a distinguished group of senior leaders who discussed under Chatham House rules, how they have helped change their organisation's mindsets using leadership styles aimed at achieving successful work performance transformations.
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New issue of world's most influential workplace journal Work&Place now available to read for free. Click here


We need to take a scientific approach to the potential impact of AI

Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell the end for humanity. Clearly, your view on whether AI will take over the world will depend on whether you think it can develop intelligent behaviour surpassing that of humans – something referred to as “super intelligence”.
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The golden age of procrastination and the tyranny of time keeping

Many of us will have returned to work with a long to-do list, a new set of goals and a commitment not to repeat the same mistakes we have in the past. It's likely that we will have promised ourselves to stop putting things off. On our hit list of the foibles we most want to dispose of, procrastination will be somewhere near the top. The problem is that because procrastination is linked to psychological factors such as an innate preference to do something we deem pleasurable to something we don’t, modern life encourages us to do it.
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It is not particularly easy to change human behaviour by design

Many of the techniques employed by modern illusionists rely on a thorough grounding in the research of psychologists. They're not alone in standing on the shoulders of academics to bend people to their will. Many of our beliefs about the workings of our society and workplaces and their design are based on this sort of manipulation. It’s telling that the growth of consumerism in the 20th Century, especially after the War when we first began to move from a needs based economy to one fuelled by desire, was driven by the ideas of Sigmund Freud's nephew. Edward Bernays became the ‘father of PR’ by popularising his uncle’s theories in the US then applying them to mould the subconscious desires of the American masses. He did this not just in the name of commerce but also in that of politics because he believed that society was becoming increasingly irrational, immoral and dangerous.

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Shakespeare, steampunk and our immersion in tech soup

Technology is always remarkable in its own time, indistinguishable from magic for an increasingly fleeting moment before the stardust fades and it becomes mundane, subverted by our unintended uses, its own unintended consequences and the very way it inveigles itself into the background of our existence, blurring identities, changing the way we view ourselves and others and shattering the compartments into which we once found it easy to separate the different parts of our lives.
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We might spot patterns in office design, but a global picture is beyond us

The ongoing evolution in the design of the places we work has much in common with evolution in the natural world. But whereas natural selection is dependent on its ‘Blind Watchmaker’ to indirectly shape creatures in response to the constantly changing forces in their environment own, office design is anything but blind – at least it is when done intelligently and with insight. To push this metaphor a bit further, evolutionary theory suggests that it is no great surprise that similar although unrelated natural forms develop in different parts of the world.
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Work&Place new issue showcases most informed and challenging workplace thinking

The new issue of Work&Place has been published and is free to read on the journal’s new website. Its overall readership is now around 100,000, including in the new Spanish language edition, so it’s not just more accessible, it is even more influential. The journal continues to explore the most cutting-edge ideas surrounding the physical, digital and cultural domains in which we work. The convergence of these elements of the workplace define the greatest challenges we face in the workplace of the early 21st Century. Some of these are addressed in the features included in this edition.
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From footprint to footfall: how the experiential workplace is set to take over the world

The culture within which we work determines how effective, successful, fulfilled and well we are in both our professional and personal lives. The organisations for which we work – on whatever basis that might be – the physical surroundings they create, and the other places in which we choose to work are now woven into the fabric of our lives as never before. The technological immersion that allows us to work in new ways also means that each day becomes a series of experiences. Because we are free to work wherever and whenever we choose, we are increasingly able to determine the nature of those experiences. For those who design and manage offices this represents both a great opportunity and an unprecedented series of challenges.
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White Paper: the magic of disruption and what it means for the workplace

In a 1973 essay called Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination, the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke sets out Three Laws regarding our relationship with technology. Only the third of these is well remembered these days:. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. He was one of the first writers to coin the sort  of law that have now become commonplace on the subject of the way our world, including the workplace, can be disrupted by technological developments. They include a corollary to Clarke’s:  Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced (Gehm's Law)
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