Using a Dynamic Working Environment to great effect

Using a Dynamic Working Environment to great effect
By John Hooker, events by tlc in Spain Managing Diretor.

We often use “buzz words” simply for effect but recognising that the work environment of today, is more important than ever, can take your business to the next level.
In the past the focus was on uniformity – with or without hierarchy – and no better example was IBM.  It was often said that if you cut an IBM “lifer” in half you would find the corporate blue running through the veins. Those were the days when your title depicted your rank – trainee – junior – senior and maybe along the way you got your own office and if you were senior enough a corner location with two aspects.  It also created the potential for boredom, low productivity and entrenched attitudes resistant to change.

Technology did much to change this not because it created efficiencies, which it did and does, but because it created a generation that can remember very little but in contrast knows where to find the answer extremely quickly using a different logic to achieve the results. Welcome to Millenniums and the events industry has more than its fair share or both event organisers and clients and to embrace them can produce positive, surprising results.  A Plethora of recent surveys shows talent and talent development is the single biggest challenge for our industry today. The skill set requirements have broadened and the expectation from an event organiser has widened too.

Events by tlc has always recognised talent as a core value for the business but having the opportunity to create the right environment in which to harness, inspire and mentor was seen a crucial next step.  It also has 2 distinctive different operations – one based in Sao Paulo (where we were awarded Best Place to Work for SMEs) and Lisbon – the head office of the group. Space was the driver and when the need to physically relocate offices became an absolute priority the decision was made to move to a dynamic environment – but what does this mean?

It is not just space design but incorporates a different approach to working, structures, technology, communication and processes and procedures.  To do one without the others does not work – it has to be wholesale and committed to realise the full potential of people and the business.

Our Lisbon office moved to a new environment, which incorporates outside and inside space, late last year and we learned from that exercise.  When we rolled out Madrid we also introduced an internal communications tool, Facebook Workplace in order to have a single platform as we have teams in 7 offices, in 4 countries on 2 continents and time differences that range from 5 to 2 hours depending on the time of the year.   The biggest benefit is a single source of audit as all the communications are stored whether written, audio or video which brings efficiencies.

It also meant a rationalisation of our IT infrastructure to support new applications and working processes and procedures. Physical files – except those required for legal reasons – normally financial – have gone and so has the defined desk for an individual.  Now the focus is on the person and not the desk.  Depending on the day to day requirements, teams now work together virtually or physically as a team.  This environment allows us to create “skill cells” where the teams are focussed – just like a molecule to support each other and bringing relevance to the client and their projects.

Now the focus is on creating the “Case Labs” within the dynamic environments which harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit that resides in many of our people.  This is part of the Millennium mentality to be inquisitive and have ideas that are relevant to their world but to the world at large. The dynamic environments are also the best place to create a constant idea of movement as this generation does not like static and many offices are simply that.

Creating environments which inspire, engage and motivate are only part of the picture. Good leadership and mentoring are equally important which sometimes includes taking a risk on people as they develop. We believe the benefits of investing in people and locations far outweighs the risks.

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