Perfect Training or Meeting for Your Company [5 Planning Tips]

No one wants a training event or meeting to go better than you—the person who is planning it. But if you’re a leader of a member organization such as an association or a nonprofit, chances are that you’re an expert in your particular field—but not necessarily in the specific area of training event planning and management.

Whether this description fits you, or you’re just looking to improve your organization’s training program implementation, here are five tips that you execute a successful event or meeting:

1. Keep the Training Class Size Small

While it may be cost-effective to pack hundreds of people into a room at one time, studies show that an optimal learning environment breaks up students into smaller groups for more personalized sessions. Smaller class sizes are more conducive to learning, with learning experts recommending between 15 and 20 people for the ideal learning experience.

Of course, it’s not always practical to limit training events to small groups, especially with a high demand speaker or if you’re working on a short planning timeline, but it is important to find ways to make the training feel more intimate in some way. Some instructors encourage people to text in questions mid-presentation for the trainer to address or employ gaming to keep the class engaged. Small group interaction has also become common for testing material in a closed environment. But if your training must be a large event, it’s best to find a way to make at least a portion of it small.

2. Emphasize Interactivity for Better Knowledge Retention

A training event should be interactive. According to the Association for Talent Development, people remember only 20% of what they hear, but they will retain 90% of what they do, which means that learners will respond better to less lecture and more application and hands-on learning.

Four Learners Laptops Diverse

Plan time for participants to practice the material or knowledge on their own or with the group. This can come in the form of role-playing, discussion questions, or tactile exercises—depending on the subject of the training. Get creative with participation and the learners will remember the material better, remember you for the unique exercise, and recall the training as a positive experience.

3. Select the Ideal Training Center

A venue can make or break a training event. An ideal training venue will support the needs of the event, spatially, technologically and logistically. When choosing a training space, make sure there is technical support or special accommodations if needed. Work with a training delivery firm that will help you contain costs while providing the best service.

What does your choice of training venue tell your learners? Read our post, “Why a Training Venue Matters”

4. Schedule Break Times

Time spent resting is just as important as time spent learning. After hours of training, the students—and trainer—will be ready for a break. Scheduling frequent breaks helps refresh learners, give them time to catch up on texts or e-mails and provides necessary personal time to learners.

Breaks can also be a good way to organize information. Place them between learning modules and participants will receive the information better and retain it.

Providing snacks during training can also be useful in reducing distractions from an empty stomach.

5. Hire a Qualified Instructor

An interactive and exciting instructor will naturally lead to an interactive and exciting training. Choosing the right trainer is key to successful knowledge transfer and a positive learning experience. The instructor should be a subject matter expert. Their perspective should be new, innovative and relevant to the learners’ perspective.

Expertise must also be matched with communication skills. A good trainer is able to express dynamic ideas and complex information in an accessible way. Experience in the subject matter should be matched by experience in teaching, both in a public forum and one-on-one. The trainer is the person that the participants are coming to see, so he or she should be knowledgeable and charismatic enough to justify the event.

You have put in a lot of time in planning this event and nobody wants it to go better than you do. Keep these 5 tips in mind in order to create a positive learning experience.

Workspaces That Enhance the Employee Experience | Curated Offices

The desire to improve the employee experience presents an opportunity for application leaders of digital workplace programs to work with real-estate and facilities leaders to create inspiring workspaces.

This research provides proven practices to encourage collaboration and allow remote working.

Overview

Impacts


  • The need for well-designed workspaces that attract talent, inspire creativity and enable people to collaborate more effectively requires application leaders to include physical space in their digital workplace program planning.
  • The parallel trends of more remote working and changes to accounting rules for lease transactions increase the need for synergy between application, real estate and facilities management (RE/FM) leaders to better manage office space.

Recommendations


For application leaders responsible for enhancing employee effectiveness as part of digital workplace programs:

  • Build a catalog of activity-based workspaces to accommodate a wide range of work styles, and ensure that the IT technology fabric supports them.
  • Evaluate technologies that support the mobile workforce with a smaller footprint and no loss of productivity.
  • Integrate a visible presence, such as a genius bar or user experience labs, into space plans to force greater interaction between employees and IT.
  • Seek efficiencies by aligning and integrating separate IT and RE/FM efforts.

Strategic Planning Assumptions


By 2020, organizations that support a choose-your-own-work-style culture will boost employee retention rates by more than 10%.

By 2021, the increase in the number of employees who prefer to work remotely will allow organizations to support 40% more workers in the same amount of space as they use today.

By 2020, 25% of organizations will have a catalog of smart workspaces maintained by IT, real estate and facilities management.

Analysis

The kinds of workspaces an organization’s leadership provides its workers speak volumes about how much they value their employees. Numerous studies explore the relationship between the physical space and the employee experience. 1 They establish that employees who enjoy their physical work environments are more engaged, productive and happy. Nearly 7% of workers said that physical workspace would be a major factor in considering leaving for a position outside their current organization. 2 An engaged workforce is pivotal for a successful transformation to a digital business.

Gartner analysis of digital workplace initiatives in numerous organizations reflects the growing importance of workspaces in the digital workplace program (see  “Global Digital Workplace Programs Exemplify Promise and Progress Worthy of Emulating”). Crafting digital workplaces that enhance employee effectiveness requires the collaborative efforts of IT, HR and real estate/facility management (RE/FM) leaders (see  “Build Your ‘A Team’ to Lead Successful Digital Workplace Programs”). The digital workplace is intertwined with the physical workspace. Digital experiences are mediated through apps on devices, and devices are part of the physical workspace. Increasingly, their form and position in the physical workspace impact the employee experience.

Traditionally, both IT and RE/FM leaders focused on the legacy of the “one-size-fits-all” approach for both space and technology. The gray cubicle was standard issue regardless of the work people were doing. IT and RE/FM had separate budgets and were populated by people with very different skills.

Today, application leaders who understand the changing business context of “office space” are better able to respond to technology service demands — network access, mobile applications, digital signage and so on — while contributing to a more-engaging employee experience. Digital workers can literally work from any place and at any time. IT is the technology enabler; the RE/FM teams drive the design of the space. All are working toward a shared business outcome that cannot be realized unless they pursue it together.

Recognition is growing that application and RE/FM leaders jointly own the responsibility for combining the virtual and physical to create an environment where employees are excited to work (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Impacts and Top Recommendations for Application Leaders
Source: Gartner (December 2017)

Executive Office

 

Include Well-Designed Workspaces in Digital Workplace Programs to Attract Talent, Inspire Creativity and Increase Collaboration

Space design has a powerful impact on the people who occupy it. The physical attributes of space can encourage behaviors such as collaboration and creativity, or discourage them. Unfortunately, only 11% of respondents to the 2017 Gartner Digital Workplace Survey said they were completely satisfied with their workspace (the mean level of satisfaction was 5, where 1 = completely dissatisfied and 7 = completely satisfied — see Figure 2). The same survey reported that 38% of employees can choose from multiple workspaces when in the office, yet 29% cannot and wish they could. 2

Application leaders responsible for digital workplace programs (hereafter called “digital workplace leaders”) can address this deficit. They can create greater employee satisfaction by incorporating the principles of activity-based working (ABW) into their workspace design.

Figure 2. “How Satisfied Are You With the Physical Workspace Your Organization Provides You?”
Base: Work from office (n = 3,012)
Source: Gartner (December 2017)

The average age of an office building is 60 years. The private office has existed for more than 80 years, and the cubicle for more than 50 years. 3 ABW leaves these antiquated notions behind and instead provides people with a choice of work settings. With ABW, people do not have a permanently assigned space — they move throughout the office choosing whatever type of space fits what they are trying to do, as well as their personal preferences.

A well-designed ABW office provides a mix of “hot” (lots of activity) and “cold” (private) places. It is based on the principle that finding the right balance between public and private workspace best supports collaboration and personal productivity. Digital workplace leaders who begin work now to identify the work styles of their employees will be well-positioned to take advantage of this trend (see  “Create a Catalog of Activity-Based Spaces in the Digital Workplace to Improve the Employee Experience”).

Gartner research indicates that IT most often leads digital workplace programs. 4 This is an opportune time to begin to work more closely with RE/FM leaders to create a shared charter for IT and RE/FM. In addition to planning investments, having a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach will support a vendor procurement process that addresses both technology and physical space challenges.

Case Examples

A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to a natural environment enhances productivity and improves employee well-being. 5 Biophilic design takes inspiration from nature, integrating natural light, materials and vegetation into the work environment for a positive effect on workers. For example, India-based JLL’s new office in Mumbai is “nature-aligned” with life-size trees and nature sounds at frequent intervals to de-stress the workforce. 6

Land Securities — one of largest commercial property development companies in the U.K. — redesigned its office space to allow employees and visitors to decide how, when and where they work depending on their requirements. The workspace has a combination of space types where people can work quietly or interact with others depending on what tasks they need to carry out during a typical work day. 7

Space planners can take care of human factors and design the appropriate layout, but the space cannot come alive without including the technologies (IT) and the policies and practices around usage (HR). The pieces must work together. Hence, it is the partnership between IT and RE/FM, along with support from HR, that ensures that IT provides the right technology fabric to support various kinds of space and activity. People’s preference is to consume these capabilities as a service — “space as a service.” Thinking in this way will allow planners to understand the utility (use cases and capabilities), warranty (SLAs) and costs (see  “Introducing the Digital Workplace Strategic IT Services Portfolio”).

IT Considerations When Redesigning Office Spaces

Smarter workspaces. Technology forces such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality (augmented reality/virtual reality [AR/VR]) are introducing a myriad of new possibilities for digital workplace leaders to create smart workspaces and, eventually, smart buildings. Seventy-two percent of respondents in the 2016 Gartner IoT Survey said they were implementing or had already implemented IoT-related technology. 8  Digital workplace leaders can facilitate integration of the information from such building and facilities technology into an exceptional employee experience. This information could include lighting systems, air conditioning, heating, air quality, occupancy and so on (see  “Use the Internet of Things in Smart Buildings to Achieve Work-Life Ambience” and  “Align Smart Workplace Efforts With Employee Needs for Knowledge-Based Work”).

Space-based technology requirements. Different types of meeting space have different IT requirements. There has been an explosion in new technologies targeted at everyday meeting rooms in offices. Analyze the various kinds of meeting space within the organization and equip them with the right technology (see  “Select the Right Technology for Modern Meeting Rooms”).

Digital signage/screens. Offer digital signage as an element of digital workplace services. Embedding visual communication capabilities as part of a more modern, dynamic workplace can lead to better employee communication and experience.

Improve IT support/perception. Harness this initiative to introduce a visible presence for IT, such as walk-up service bars. Implementing a “genius bar” can make IT seem more approachable and responsive. Currently, employees feel that their IT groups are not very responsive. A walk-up service can elevate the relationship between employee and IT. Instead of leaving a problem with a technician, the employee is involved in the resolution, and so may be able to solve similar issues themselves next time. Canadian insurance company Manulife has set up a series of what it calls TechLounges in several divisions, starting in Toronto. These are drop-in technical support centers where end users can bring their laptops and other company-issued devices for upgrades and minor fixes. The TechLounges also help remote workers who might not know when they will be in the office for a training session or upgrade. 9

Unified communication needs. Since not everyone can always be in the office, interactions need to support remote participants. For IT, this means continued investment in technologies such as unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and group video, to support collaborative workspaces and facilitate collaboration with third-party partners and vendors. (See  “IT Challenges to Planning the End User’s Physical Work and Collaboration Spaces” for additional IT service challenges emerging from the changes in office space.)

Integrated workplace management systems. Harness the partnership with RE/FM leaders to determine an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) vendor that meets the requirements for smart and cost-effective operation of the facilities (see  “Market Guide for Integrated Workplace Management Systems”).

New procurement skills.Encourage new skills development by having IT leaders work with new types of vendors that they might not normally encounter, such as those for furniture, digital signage, architecture and design firms, IWMS, and resource scheduling.

Recommendations:

  • Develop a common understanding of how people work, starting with a worker segmentation model that satisfies both IT and RE/FM needs.
  • Build a catalog of activity-based workspaces that address the range of work styles you uncover.
  • Ensure that the IT technology fabric supports the requirements of these activity-based workspaces.
  • Adopt a comprehensive endpoint strategy that includes new types of endpoint, such as digital signage.
  • Integrate a visible presence, such as a genius bar or user experience labs, into space plans to force greater interaction between employees and IT.
  • Include RE/FM leaders, along with HR, in digital workplace governance and planning initiatives.

Remote Working Trends and Accounting Rule Changes Increase the Need for Synergy Between Application and RE/FM Leaders

Two parallel trends are increasing the urgency for digital workplace leaders to join forces with RE/FM leaders to better manage office space in their organization:

  • An increase in remote working
  • Changes to accounting rules for lease transactions

Increase in Remote Working

The increase in remote working is a global phenomenon. Three out of 10 Americans spend at least 80% of their time working remotely. 10 In the U.K., 91% of firms have at least one employee working from home, and 19% of companies have over 50% of their employees working remotely. 11, 12 Figure 3 depicts the proportion of remote workers by country. 13

Figure 3. Remote Working Is a Global Phenomenon
Source: ILO-Eurofound

 

Working remotely — sometimes referred to as teleworking or telecommuting — means employees are not working in a traditional corporate office. As shown in Figure 4, the preferences of various segments of workers indicate that workers want the flexibility to work from their choice of locations. They want to be productive regardless of whether they are working from a corporate office, at home or some other place. (For an explanation of the five worker segments — caretakers, pilots, engineers, mavericks, navigators — see  “Understand Five Key Kinds of Workers to Energize Your Digital Workplace.”)

Figure 4. Five Worker Segments and Where They Prefer to Work
Source: Gartner (December 2017)

 

As interest in remote working increases, digital workplace leaders need to make sure that these nomadic employees can easily find and reserve the kind of workspace they require when they do go into the corporate office. Working with RE/FM colleagues, they can support a mobile workforce with a smaller real estate footprint and no loss of productivity.

As part of continually re-evaluating how space is used, RE/FM professionals are exploring more-dynamic subleasing arrangements for unused space. Use of shared workplace or co-working spaces, whereby companies rent office space on flexible terms (hourly, daily, monthly or yearly) directly from businesses with space to share, is increasing. By the end of 2017, nearly 1.2 million people worldwide will have worked in a co-working space. This phenomenon is not restricted to freelancers, individual business executives and fast-growing startups; it includes large enterprises such as AT&T, Tyco, Autodesk and Accenture.

Changes to Accounting Rules for Lease Transactions

FASB/IASB accounting changes to take effect on 1 January 2019 will radically change accounting for operating leases and affect almost every organization, especially those that lease real estate. These changes will effectively do away with the traditional off-balance sheet operating lease for terms longer than 12 months, and will require that they appear as liabilities on the balance sheet. Listed companies using IFRS (international) or GAAP (U.S.) accounting standards have around $3.3 trillion in lease commitments. Specific assets that will be most affected by these accounting changes include corporate real-estate holdings that are often financed via an off-balance-sheet operating lease (see  “Beware the Effect of the Operating Lease’s Demise on Finance and Real Estate”).

While these reporting changes will not directly affect how business is conducted, the changes will impact how a company’s financial health appears on paper. As a company’s total cost of occupancy is typically its second-largest category of expense after the cost of labor, the impacts on financial results for many will be significant. Therefore, this accounting change serves as a catalyst for corporate RE leaders to urgently seek cost-saving opportunities and, in the long term, to revisit or even overhaul their RE management strategies.

RE/FM leaders are already making investments in technology to create smarter, more efficient buildings. Digital workplace leaders need to actively engage with them to ensure that the business outcomes that are fundamental to the RE/FM business case can be addressed with the communication infrastructure. Alignment can drive lower technology costs, lower technology risks, better agility to new hybrid projects and access for IT to new sources of data (see  “Show the Value of OT and IT Alignment, and Realize Digital Business Results”).

IT Considerations to Enable Remote Working and Efficient Use of Space

Right technology and amount of remote work. Enabling remote work requires significant technological investment. For example, IT leaders will have to provide the right technology infrastructure from laptops with preconfigured VPN access to the internet backbone. It will also force IT leaders to reassess their mobile and endpoint strategies, the foundation for which must be the concept of unified workspaces. Technologies and services must securely deliver the right applications and data to the right user, on the right device, at the right time and location (see  “Embrace Unified Workspaces to Deliver on Your Digital Workplace Vision”).

The increase in remote work might give the impression that the future of work is entirely remote, but that is far from true. Not every kind of work can be done remotely, hence it is not applicable to all organizations and job profiles. Respondents to a recent Gartner global survey indicated a wish to spend most of their work time in a corporate office. Remote work has both pros (productivity, reduction in real-estate expense) and cons (burnout, loneliness, lack of collaboration). Some companies, such as IBM and Yahoo, discourage remote working. IT and business leaders must determine how much remote working the firm can handle, as well as ensure that the culture and the technology infrastructure can support it. Digital workplace leaders who design practices that strike a balance between remote work and office work will enjoy the benefits of both.

Managing the workspace with mobile workers. When remote workers need to go to their corporate location, they must be able to find the resources that will enable them to be productive, such as a private workspace, a conference room, directions and even a parking space. Such situations surface the need for resource scheduling tools that will help remote workers to check availability and book these resources. IT needs to work with RE/FM leaders to determine their requirements and deploy resource scheduling tools that provide an optimal employee experience. Co-working spaces or shared spaces, where a number of companies coexist, clearly require technology that can efficiently schedule the shared resources and bill them accordingly (see  “Market Guide for Resource Scheduling Applications”).

Data-based space planning. Leverage the utilization data from RE/FM tools such as IWMS and resource scheduling to design your future workplace. Buildings are no longer built to last for decades; they need to more flexible and adaptable. For example, Japanese imaging and electronics company Ricoh was able to create annual space savings of up to 50% by analyzing data from workspace occupancy sensors. The desk data captured indicated average desk utilization of below 30%, with busiest periods peaking at 51%. The data revealed that 58% of Ricoh’s desks were used under 20% of the time throughout the study. Many such insights on workspace allowed Ricoh to use its resources more efficiently.

Combined user segmentation modelling.It is becoming impractical for RE/FM and IT to address employee needs individually. As part of space utilization studies, RE/FM leaders are beginning to classify workers based on how often they are in the office and what they do when they are there. This is strikingly similar to the user segmentation used by IT organizations to plan for and control service provisioning (for example, who gets a laptop or a desktop and who is entitled to a company-provided mobile device). All organizations should have a single, evolving user segmentation model, developed and applied by all shared service organizations that contribute to the employee experience. This will avoid redundant employee surveys and focus groups whose data and learnings are collected and applied independently.

IT possesses a treasure trove of “digital bread crumbs,” such as usage of mobility and conferencing services as well as device assignment, to help inform user segmentation modeling. Vendors are emerging to operationalize these approaches (see end-user analytics in  “IT Market Clock for Client Computing, 2015”). A simple model that quantifies this information is a good first step, but using techniques such as journey mapping and persona development will start to answer who is using which spaces and for what activities. Work done on the move requires IT to support a work context that follows the worker to any space. Understanding the activities being performed helps inform the space designer of the type of physical space needed to support.

Developing these competencies needs to be a shared activity of IT and HR with RE/FM. The employee experience is the cumulative effect of interactions with services provided by all the shared service organizations.

Recommendations

  • Evaluate technologies that support the mobile workforce with a smaller footprint and no loss of productivity.
  • Ensure that you provide a technology infrastructure and workplace practices that enable remote work.
  • Use the changes to accounting rules for lease transactions as an opportunity to better understand and manage your portfolio of real estate leases. IT and RE/FM must work together to ensure proper categorization of and accounting for these important assets.
  • Exploit insights from space utilization data to gain efficiency, manage cost and plan for change.

Corporate Training: The Case for Modernizing Corporate Learning

Adapted from: Forbes.com

The best companies recognize that having opportunities for ongoing professional learning throughout an employee’s career enhances job satisfaction, performance, and retention.

The HR Council’s 2008 survey of employees from nonprofit organizations found that opportunities for career development and training were among the most significant contributing factors to employee’s job satisfaction. There is a link between job satisfaction and productivity. Economists at the University of Warwick found that happy workers experienced a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive.

In their attempt to help new and tenured employees develop the skills they need to be successful, many companies offer corporate learning opportunities. However, the tools that some companies currently use for this purpose are either “low tech” or “wrong tech.” By “low tech,” I am referring to materials such as printed articles and PowerPoint slide show presentations. By “wrong tech,” I am referring to technology that was designed for human resource applications rather than for innovative enterprise learning.

These approaches to traditional corporate learning are inadequate and difficult to use. According to a May 2016 report by McKinsey & Company, 40% of Chief Learning Officers believe that their corporate learning initiatives have been ineffective.

Technologies that are currently available on the market can address some of the deficiencies of the common “low tech” or “wrong tech” corporate learning systems and transform corporate learning. These corporate learning systems allow companies and corporate trainers to manage employee learning, create employee learning paths, and evaluate progress to learning goals.

The content of these learning technologies is increasingly based in the cloud, which makes it accessible across multiple devices and teaching environments and provides the opportunity for employers to make regular updates.

The need to modernize corporate learning is critical. The technological tools to do so are available and are more innovative than previous training tools. What are we waiting for?

Why Business Owners Should Start Conducting Training at a Training Venue

Every successful business has implemented conducting training within their organization (training venue) to ensure that everyone aligns with the business’s vision for increased success. In fact, companies in the US spent more than 70 billion in learning and development in 2016!

Training has become more and more versatile over the years, essentially yielding to the needs of every business. E-learning courses, mobile apps, and instructional videos are just some of the popular platforms used to train employees in 2017. However, in-person, instructor-led training held in a training venue is perhaps the most valuable and effective for businesses who seek solid results.

Benefits of Having a Training Venue for Your Business

Training at a Training Venue is More Hands-On:

While e-learning, mobile apps, and videos are all excellent ways to receive training, some information is just too dense and complex for individuals to retain. Conducting training at a training venue offers a hands-on experience that helps to develop your employees’ strengths. Additionally, if your business has a lot of employees, it is much easier to monitor their progress with live training.

Employees Can Ask Questions:

The whole purpose of providing training for your employees is so that they can develop in their role. Conducting training at a training venue gives employees the opportunity to get clarification on aspects of the training they may be confused about as well as get a better understanding of their role. Ultimately, this strengthens the line of communication and creates employees that are confident in the job they are assigned, which results in a business ready for success.

Trainers Have The Opportunity to Modify:

One of the greatest benefits of holding training at a venue is that it is easily adaptable based on the audience, unlike online training. Conducting training at a venue gives the trainer the opportunity to modify the teaching based on the learning style of the employees. Essentially, this adds real value to the training experience. Training costs money and time, and you certainly don’t want to spend money and waste time on training that leaves no effect on your employees. In-person training ensures that your employees can get a full training experience.

Improved Interaction: 

In order for material to be retained, employees must be fully engaged. With that said, holding training at a venue offers the best chance for engagement. This is because individuals can collaborate on ideas, perform group exercises, and learn from each other. Naturally, being in a classroom setting is going to be interactive because employees have to physically get involved.

Set The Tone for Your Business:

Ultimately, a training venue sets the tone for your business. It shows your commitment to your organization and your desire to have a business that is exceptional. Additionally, having a training venue shows your employees that you care and are committed to their growth by providing them with training that adds value. Moreover, a training venue creates a new atmosphere in contrast to the regular work environment that can inspire employees, which can lead to employees that are committed to the business long-term.

Training Venues Are Flexible to Your Needs:

Another excellent aspect of training venues is that they come in a variety of sizes to fit the needs of your business. Whether your employees need to brush-up on their current skills or your employees are learning something completely new, there is a training venue that can adhere to your spatial needs.

Essentially, training venues are the perfect way to provide your employees with valuable training that will help them continue to align with your business’s brand. Conducting training at a venue offers an array of benefits that makes it worth the investment. Employees can ask questions, training can be modified to meet the needs of your team, and training is interactive and engaging to help employees retain material.

At WorkSocial, we are a leader in the shared office space industry. If your business needs a training venue for your employees, contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find a venue that meets your needs.

The top 10 things to look for when choosing a venue for your next corporate event


 

Why Your Landlord Now Has a Finite Life: Creating an Infinite Business

It might not sound practical to apply game theory to the competitive business world. However, if you listen to renowned author and speaker Simon Sinek at a 2016 TED Talk, you might look at things differently.

When he spoke about how game theory applies to wars, he gave numerous analogies on how “win” and “lose” become more ambiguous. In his explanation, he also equates this to the business world on a large and small scale.

Let’s look a little closer at what Sinek spoke about and his exploration of a business’s typical finite life. You can apply this to your own business and the landlord that owns your building.

Understanding the Finite and Infinite Business

In Sinek’s compelling TED Talk, he correlates the business world to game theory by noting how many companies think on a finite level. In other words, many of them stay within definable limits, meaning they’re always out to win.

When they go up against a business that has a long-term vision, the finite businesses often end up losing in the end. They either go out of business or merge with another company to stay alive.

Using game theory to look at business as a competitive game tells you a lot about approaches to business and how many business owners often limit their thinking for growth.

Despite Sinek also equating this to war, you can certainly look at business competitiveness today like an ongoing battle.

How Businesses Sometimes Bring Infinite Thinking

Another interesting analogy between business and war comes from Sinek’s explanation of the old Soviet-Afghan War in the early 1970s. In this scenario, the Carter Administration defined America’s interests with a finite policy, though unwittingly creating an infinite strategy at the same time.

The latter occurred when the administration came up with an option to drain Russia of resources over time so the war would eventually stop.

Over a period of years, the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, ending a war that had lasting consequences.

These type of scenarios sometimes occur by happenstance in businesses. Perhaps your own business has had those moments where you created a marketing strategy that played out a competitor’s resources over time.

With a unique vision for your company, you can become the infinite player that frustrates the competitor staying within the finite box.

So how do you make this occur on a scientific level as well through the use of technology?

Identifying Your Values and Interests

To better understand Simek’s ideas as it applies to business, you can look at finite and infinite businesses as values vs. interests.

He notes that when a business identifies its values, they become an infinite business. If they pay too much attention to their interests, they stay finite.

A better way to put this is in businesses asking “what” questions, e.g. “What can we do to solve a particular problem?” When these questions become too restricting, it places a business back into a perpetual finite category.

Maintaining your values means keeping your massive transformative purpose you formed when starting your business.

Convincing Your Landlord to Create an Infinite Business

If you have to pay rent to a landlord in your office building, you’re perhaps stuck adhering to their own rules that stifle business innovation.

It may mean having to adhere to using outdated technologies or working in limited spaces. Obviously, none of these inspire your team to stay productive.

You might want to give the above TED Talk to your landlord to show them how much they’ve blocked your push to innovate.

Here at WorkSocial, we provide tools like virtual offices, co-working opportunities, conference rooms, and training venues. We encourage companies like yours to finally abandon the linear way of doing business and adopt an infinite mindset.

Contact us to learn more about how we eliminate work constraint and scarce thinking in your company.

6 Ways WorkSocial Coworking Spaces Will Transform Your Business in 2018

 

Defining Exponential Organizations: Is it the Future of Your Company?

Trying to keep up with the digital revolution is often an arduous process when you’re overly busy thinking keeping up with ordinary business tasks. No doubt you try to prepare for paradigm shifts and technological change but perpetually find yourself falling behind.

An interesting book written in 2014 by Salim Ismail helps put this in better context so you can understand what the future holds. Titled “Exponential Organizations“, the book became a major hit in the business community and brought forth an abbreviated use of the term: ExO.

You frequently see exponential organizations simply described as companies revolutionizing themselves through the use of technology.

Take a look at what this means and how you’ll know if your company can become an ExO.

What Distinguishes an ExO From a Typical Organization?

We highly recommend reading Salim’s book cover to cover, but completely understanding an exponential organization requires a comparison to what’s occurring today. A typical organization of the last 100 years is one that’s built with hierarchies and focused mostly on ownership. It’s also designed to operate on stability and predictability.

Living in the world today collides with the above organizational structure. Salim notes that today’s business world is full of abundance and exponential technologies.

It’s going to require more adapting and bravely diving into a new organizational structure to keep up with technologies on the horizon.

So how do you go about this using a slightly psychological process? In Salim’s book, he uses a left and right brain analogy to help you get there.

Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)

No doubt you’ve heard about Massive Transformative Purpose before from associates and competitors. Often abbreviated MTP, it’s the foundation behind exponential organizations.

In the above book, you’ll see MTP reinvented through the prism of a left and right brain construct. The left brain side has the acronym “IDEAS”, and the right brain has the acronym “SCALE.”:

  • IDEAS stands for “Interfaces, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy, and Social.”
  • SCALE stands for “Staff On Demand, Community & Crowd, Algorithms, Leveraged Assets, and Engagements.”

To simplify this further, the left brain deals with order, control, and stability. The right brain deals with creativity, growth, and uncertainty.

Both of these work in concert to create your MTP, or your higher aspirational purpose. What kind of technologies should you start focusing on, though, to make your higher purpose easier to reach?

Technologies and Methodologies Leading Companies Use

Take it from Salim Ismail himself with a quote from his book:

“Exponential organizations are the future of commerce, non-profits, and even government. It is the only model that can keep up — and take advantage of — the ever-accelerating pace of technology-driven change that defines our time.”

With this truly definitive way to describe an ExO, the type of technologies you use determines how you prepare for the future.

You’ll find many industry experts mentioning big data as a big part of exponential organizations. No doubt you already know this based on how big data brings more efficient business responses.

The same goes with technologies and methodologies that help eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks. This means using lean approaches where you rid yourself of all wasteful resources to bring more innovation.

It pays to read up on the lean method and why it’s become a big component to making exponential organizations move forward.

Giving Autonomy to Employees

You can also look at exponential organizations as allowing employees to work on their own time. The way to accomplish this is to provide virtual offices, including co-working opportunities. Adding conference rooms and training venues also adds more to improving employee performance and making them feel valued.


Using these tools puts you on the path toward the future, even if you need to find reliable technology providers to make it work. Those of you wanting to become an ExO with these tools can do so by contacting us here at WorkSocial.

We work closely with Salim Ismail’s teams, and we’ll help you to finally achieve your massive transformative purpose. Our own MTP is to always bring happiness and wellness into work spaces like yours!

Tim Ferriss on Turning Knowledge Into Action

 

Five Questions Every Company Team Should Be Clear On

Discovering the realities of the health of your company can often be eye-opening if you haven’t asked any questions in a while. This is why it’s essential to meet with your employees and ask some key questions about what’s really going on in every department.

Whittling your questions down to the most essential that answer your mission statement is critical. What should those questions address, though?

You should cover everything from understanding your customers to how you’ll market and sell your products. Much of this wraps around what kind of business technologies you and your employees use to find solutions to your questions.

Question 1: Who is Your Customer?

Do you really understand who your customers are? It’s easy to take them for granted if you’ve had some loyal buyers for a long time. Your newer customers might find your products attractive, but how should you market to keep them from switching to your competitors?

As Kissmetrics points out, creating digital engagement with your customers is a good start. Gathering as much data as you can on new prospects is the only way you’re going to get into the head of your customers.

This should expand to creating customer personas and placing yourself in their shoes.

Question 2: How Can You Solve Customer Problems?

Knowing the pain points of your customers tells you a lot about how you’re going to solve the customer’s problem.

You should look at your products and correlate them to these pains. Can your marketing convey how you’ll solve these problems in a way a competitor can’t?

Don’t forget to answer to how your solution should improve the status quo by at least 10 times.

Question 3: What Business Technologies Will You Use to Market and Sell Your Products or Services?

Once you start asking questions requiring creative answers, you’re going to need to utilize business technologies to find successful answers.

At this point, you’ll want to know how your team prefers working when brainstorming ideas. Do they find your on-site work environment suitable for coming up with ideas? Or do they need to work at home with their own privacy?

Maybe they need to work in a co-working environment where they can learn new ideas from outsiders with fresh expertise.

The more marketing content they can create to bring personal engagement with customers, the more customer loyalty you’ll nurture.

Question 4: How Do You Turn Customers Into Advocates?

When your team can make customers completely believe in your products and services, you’ll be able to create advocates on both sides. Allowing your team to easily communicate with customers remotely can bring a more personalized approach to make this happen.

To do so, you’re going to need to invest in certain types of digital equipment that makes communication easy. It may come from a remote office where your employees contact customers easily from home or on a mobile device.

Question 5: How Will You Scale Your Customer Segment?

Segmentation is another critical aspect to reaching customers in the most effective way. Forbes gives a reminder about segmenting and how analyzing different customer segments lets you focus on the most valuable prospects.

Being able to scale each customer segment should also become a top priority. The way to do that is to stay communicated with customers in ways that prove you understand them.

Sometimes this means answering prospect questions immediately when they ask them. Allowing your employees to work at home and in co-working spaces allows them to approach customers in the right way.

Providing good training venues for your workers also gives you an opportunity to train your team with the right marketing techniques.

Contact us at WorkSocial so we can provide these business technologies for you to help your most pressing company questions receive successful answers!

Empowering Your Employees to Empower Themselves

 

What is a Massively Transformative Purpose | And why every company needs one

If you think your personal life has purpose and meaning, do you feel like the business you own has the same golden path? Running a company requires this same philosophy if you’re going to make it successful. Most importantly, providing purpose in your company has to occur with every single one of your employees to create goal unity.

This process is called “Massively Transformative Purpose.” If you think this sounds overly scientific or complex, it’s really not!

Paul Keijzer defines “MTP” as an outrageously and highly aspirational motto for your company. Thinking in grander terms like this inspires you and your employees toward a higher purpose in what you want to achieve.

An essential part of MTP involves using superior office technology to get there.

Eliminating Motivation By Profit

What’s most important in properly approaching Massively Transformative Purpose is to not feel motivated by narrow-minded goals. This means not focusing merely on technology or ways you can make a quick profit.

These type of goals are short-sighted and typically lead to burnout in many ways. They can also lead to a lack of fulfillment if you end up achieving a narrow profit goal too fast.

You want a long-term mission that can keep your employees inspired for the rest of their careers. Think about the great companies that continue to work on this level.

Corporate behemoths like Apple set this type of philosophy in place through Steve Jobs. Even Tesla has their own MTP with their “accelerate transition to sustainable transport” motto.

How do you go about this, though, when you focus on acquiring technology for success?

Igniting Passion With the Right Work Tools

Have you thought about what your company can do to help shape the future? This is the true soul of how you create your own MTP. It’s the key to creating true passion in your employees.

Still, they need proper work tools to help shape these ideas to increase productivity! What kind of digital technologies have you invested in to make this happen so your employees feel like they can properly realize their ideas?

You should start with the processes in how employees work. Maybe they prefer working away from the office to help them brainstorm ideas you couldn’t achieve working together in the office.

Using Co-Working Technology to Maintain Work Passion

NPR recently reported on the rise of co-working spaces, a concept that brings more collaboration with those outside your office walls.

Shared office environments allow your employees to collaborate with others to find new ideas for a major business project. Almost like outsourcing, it can help your workers stay passionate about their roles while finding answers to challenging problems.

Then again, some of your employees may find their MTP epiphanies by working alone at home.

Remote Offices to Avoid Distractions

Some employees prefer working by themselves. Your office perhaps isn’t conducive to reaching lofty goals due to constant distractions. Whether it’s employees lacking privacy or having to endure constant interruptions from co-workers, a remote office may help them live up to your MTP.

When you set a major company mission, always expect at least a few employees to need solace to get work done at a top-tier level.

However, you might find times when they have one of those eureka moments and need to share ideas with the entire company at a moment’s notice. This is where you must utilize digital conferencing.

Digital Conferencing From Home

Doing video or audio conferencing is so much easier now with better camera technology and faster internet speeds. During those times when an employee needs to share a big idea, they can without video freezes or sound dropouts.

Or, when you find the right company providing remote conference rooms, an employee can use these if traveling in other locations. Either way, you don’t want delays in your employees sharing their major synapses.

Training Your Employees to Stay Inspired

Don’t forget about how important training is to maintain your company’s purpose. As Forbes reminds, all employees want ample opportunities for growth to stay motivated.

Give this to them with proper training venues. Some of these venues may need as much solace as remote offices. No matter how you use them, allowing your employees to advance themselves does as much as anything to live up to your massively transformative purpose without it being hyperbole.

Contact us at WorkSocial where we can provide these tools to help your MTP stay top of mind.


5 Ways WorkSocial’s Collaborative Workspace Helps People Uncover Their Greatness

Why It’s Crucial to Send Frontline Employees to an External Training Venue

Why should companies like yours choose an external training venue nearby to train their frontline employees and give them new skills?

Did you know that frontline employees are the ones who could benefit the most from training opportunities? A recent article in HR Today quoted Gas South’s HR director Secret Holland:

“I think many people overlook the importance of that hourly frontline employee. We’ll spend $25,000 to pay a headhunter fee to hire a top-level executive, but how much do we spend on customer care employees? They’re the ones who interact with our customers every day, all day.”

From the Front Line to the Bottom Line

When you think about it, the workers on your front line need training to keep up with consumer demands, and it wouldn’t be expensive to give them a day away from the office at a nearby venue. This would be a good time for other employees to give them a break. Or, you could pay them to attend training on a Saturday!

Employers of all sizes should provide professional learning and development opportunities for frontline employees so they can continuously improve. If employees stay in their cubicles or offices or at the reception desk throughout the year and perform tasks alone, they don’t get to interact with others. They don’t get exposed to new ideas unless they read current trends and network outside of their workplace. They only get ideas from their immediate co-workers, and it’s always on the fly.

We believe that employers can go one step further and provide an outside training venue for teams and individuals. A venue where regular training programs will be offered can be within driving distance, which means there is only the potential cost of gas and meals. Employees who like the training venue that you choose will enjoy going there again for future programs.

Consider an External Training Venue

According to WorkSocial’s marketing director,

“We’ve had so many clients come to our venue for the first time whereupon their employees felt so comfortable and begged to come back. Their training director booked us again a few months later just to keep their people happy.”

We like the energy that choosing WorkSocial’s environment creates for our client organizations. We want employers to think about why a local training doesn’t need to be inside the current office setting. Employees need time away from their daily tasks, so get them out of the office and networking in a neutral environment. It’s essential that your employees are happy!

For example, if your budget doesn’t allow for taking the whole team to a convention, create your own program in our local venue. Use your budget for renting the space and hiring trainers and speakers. It’s easy to photocopy all materials your employees will need at the office and all you need to do is bring pencils, sticky notes, and highlighters on training day! Use the digital equipment in our building to display all training content. Plan fun activities for teambuilding and supply food for breaks and lunches. Employees can escape to a local training venue while your business saves the travel costs associated with regional or national conferences!

Encourage Frontline Employees to Exchange New Ideas

External training venues provide the perfect space for workers to interact in new ways. They don’t have customers calling them and they are encouraged not to check their work queues or email inboxes. If you bring in outside people, for example, employees may begin to share problems, issues, and ideas that they might have held back at the office. What’s crucial is that employees don’t need their devices to feel engaged. Give them incentives to truly interact with trainers and training content. They love to get candy and promotional items and to participate in prize giveaways throughout training events.

At WorkSocial, we have tremendous ideas for making your team comfortable in an external training venue without having to sacrifice any conveniences you provide in the workplace. With some planning and a limited budget, your organization can plan a great training event, especially when you want to focus on front-line employees. Because they are the first to handle angry customers, they deserve a quality program in a different space.

Please contact our booking expert today, and we’ll see if we can host the event that you have in mind!

Jersey City Training Room Rental | WorkSocial

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