Posted by: prataap | June 30, 2008






Emerging Trends:

When 20 somethings set the norm, even Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sacks take notice. Morgan Stanley went “business casual” not just Fridays but five days a week in 2000. And there is even the  book; “Beyond Business Casual”. What’s next?  Dressing down for success?

Along with the illusive flexible hours that translate into 24 hours a day and 7 days a week; at home, on the road, and at the “office”,  as opposed to conference rooms and three piece suits, “idea sharing spaces”, jeans and chinos, and the ubiquitous basketball hoop seem to rule in more and more companies.

New norms for this creative culture, essential for keeping the brightest minds engaged, has resulted in some funky office environments that are part entertainment complexes, work areas that merge with “play areas”, even in-­house concierge and day care. That’s just  for starters. The next generation of workplaces for the new economy (offices)will depart from the Yahoo and Microsoft format campuses and move into the big city. On the inside they will be comfy environments for creative chaos and interaction, with non-assigned work stations along with a few enclosed spaces for concentrated work, play, or virtual simulation of products and presentations. A mostly open environment with lots of light and ability to interact non-hierarchically, but close to bars, restaurants, and cool places to hang out to take a break from work. Cities that are considered cool and hip, think Seattle, Boston, SF, already are and  will continue to be the hot centers of this economy , as companies migrate to where their employees want to be.

Next Opportunities:

In this new free form work environment, architects and interior designers will have a field day collaborating with entertainment and industrial designers to create the work space for the New Economy. The merging of work and play being the defining concept. Experimentation with new materials, and combining media-­technology with interior design will flourish. Las Vegas meets Pixar meets Urban Outfitters. To keep the 20-30 something parents from leaving, bringing infants to work will become much more common and normal and therefore work environments will change radically to accommodate this truly multi-generational shift in the nature of the workplace. Star, “must keep”, talents will get a lot more latitude than others in how they define their hours, place of work and environment.

Corporate coaches for the old economy, and “Brand You 50” and Tom Peters for the New Economy. Within 10 years, mentors and personal coaches will be ubiquitous. Anyone over 40 with any real experience and expertise running a company will be highly sought after, like Randy Komisar, author of “Monk and the Riddle”, who at 45 is the CEO of anywhere from 4 or more start-up companies at any given time and goes by the title of “Virtual CEO” because he does not operate out of any one office. Most start ups have passion, a niche, a technical specialty that they believe the market needs, and many have money; what most do not have is the wherewithal to manage the company at the breakneck speed required to grow in order to produce the product and bring it to the market before the competition. Which is why people like Randy Komisar are so much in demand. And like Randy, most of them got paid last year in significant stock options on top of a very high base salary.

Human Resources will need to change its name and nature once again. It will get more personally involved in managing the lives of the people willing to give 24/7 to the company’s vision. Making sure that affirmative action is pursued, sexual harassment is dealt with and that cultural/racial integration is happening will be the bare minimum of their mandate. They will soon function more like a Human Concierge Department. They will be charged with meeting all the human growth needs (as opposed to just career development) and day to day needs of the 24/7 staff, and special personalized needs of the star talent. And among Smart Companies HCD (Human Concierge Departments) will vie with each other to one up the other in how well they cater to the specific needs of their staff, keep them loyal and focused, look for innovative services, offerings and games to be played out in coming years. For sheer ingenuity, the services they will come up with will make the airlines creation of $30 window seats and pricey leg room pale in comparison.

Let your imagination run wild.

Create the future and smell the roses, it’s your move!

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