The Role of the Public Intellectual by Alan Lightman
Featuring Guest: Richard A. Posner The Decline of the Public Intellectual
They are some of the worlds most introspective philosophers and rabble-rousing clerics. A few write searing works of fiction and uncover the mysteries of the human mind. Others are at the forefront of modern finance, politics, and human rights. In the second Foreign Policy/Prospect list of top public intellectuals, we reveal the thinkers who are shaping the tenor of our time.
The open-plan office layout was once touted as, amongst many other things, the office of the future, the answer to collaborative working and the most effective factor in workplace creativity – but is it really?
That doesn’t seem to be the case at all, though it has taken decades for business professionals to really cotton on to this realisation, one that’s shaking up offices the world over.
According to Julian Treasure of the Sound Agency, “Nobody can understand two people talking at the same time,” which is something that every business manager should have cottoned on to a long time ago, though as that’s in the past, what can or should be done about excessive noise in the office due to far too many employees sharing the same ‘auditory bandwidth’?
Whilst the Sound Agency would be more than happy to help, at a price naturally, there are alternatives to noisy open-plan offices and that’s something that you, as a business manager or owner, should be looking at.
Software – the flexible alternative to the open-plan office?
Yes, you read correctly, some business managers have successfully used office layout software to help them design their own office layouts and these programs can actually be downloaded for free.
These templates enable business managers to design every aspect of the office layout right down to electrical sockets and wastepaper baskets, so it’s actually possible to design the perfect office – provided of course that you understand what the perfect office entails – on your computer.
With one of these office template programs and the necessary materials and supplies – these include room partitions and sliding doors – it would prove remarkably straightforward to design and outfit an office that’s exactly what your business organisation needs.
Moreover, as there are a number of these office template programs available, if you’re not the computer whiz you’ve made yourself out to be in front of your employees, avoid the CAD heavy software in favour of something simpler and easier to use.
Alternative office layouts to consider
If you’re not up for using office layout software to assist you in designing the ultimate office layout for your business organisation, you might find the following alternative office layouts to be exactly what you’re looking for.
The landscape office layout – This office layout combines both the cluster and the modular layouts with plenty of green, a mix of ambient and natural lighting with work areas and stations set at different angles. Plants and natural lighting have many benefits, most notably benefits for employee creativity, health and productivity.
The cluster workstation layout – This type of office layout has proven extremely popular in the offices of telecommunication companies, though whether it will prove advantageous to apply to your business’s workspace is another story altogether.
The modular workstation layout – This office layout is best suited to businesses that require their employees to have access to their own equipment, often a lot of equipment, so as to provide each employee with their own fully functioning workspace.
The traditional office layout – This layout was shunned for many years by business organisations looking to depart from the traditional office hierarchy with private offices reserved for management. However, many have since reverted back to the traditional office layout for one of many reasons – because it works well perhaps?
In addition to what has been discussed regarding office layouts, when altering your office layout consider the benefits of branding your office so as to reinforce brand awareness amongst visitors to your office and pay particular attention to your employees’ comfort; after all, they are your organisation’s greatest asset.
Zoe George is a freelance writer for Spaceslide , company specialising in the supply of a range of quality sliding doors. They also have a large selection of wardrobe systems and room dividers on their website.
Curation is a popular topic for digital marketers. What does it mean to marketers? Why does it matter? Is it new? How should marketers think about curation?
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Being a leader comes naturally to some people and others have to work harder at it. These are 5 leadership skills you’ll need to succeed as a leader.
The best communicators are great listeners and astute in their observations. Great communicators are skilled at reading a person/group by sensing the moods, dynamics, attitudes, values and concerns of those being communicated with. Not only do they read their environment well, but they possess the uncanny ability to adapt their messaging to said environment without missing a beat.
Collaborative leadership is really defined by a process, rather than by what leaders do. It has much in common with both servant leadership and transformational leadership. It starts, according to David Chrislip and Carl Larson, in Collaborative Leadership, from the premise that “…if you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization or community.”
Without a foundation of trust, people in the organization may comply outwardly with a leader’s wishes, but they’re much less likely to conform privately—to adopt the values, culture, and mission of the organization in a sincere, lasting way. Workplaces lacking in trust often have a culture of “every employee for himself,” in which people feel that they must be vigilant about protecting their interests. Employees can become reluctant to help others because they’re unsure of whether their efforts will be reciprocated or recognized. The result: Shared organizational resources fall victim to the tragedy of the commons.
Your goal is to create a work environment in which people are empowered, productive, contributing, and happy. Don’t hobble them by limiting their tools or information. Trust them to do the right thing. Get out of their way and watch them catch fire.
The role of great leaders, he stresses, is to get people excited about and committed to their organization’s vision. He explains: “We need to understand about the role of the leader in employee engagement. Your leaders are either increasing engagement, or they are decreasing it. There is no middle ground. Everything a leader does that impacts on employees either increases or diminishes engagement.”
Can you tell from a resume if an applicant has the skills needed to succeed in a job? How do you know if someone is really the right fit for your company?
If you’re unsure, perhaps pre-employment tests should be part of your evaluation process. Knowledge is power — and assessments can be a powerful addition to any hiring toolkit.
What do we mean by employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals. When employees care—when they are engaged—they use discretionary effort.
Engaged Employees lead to…
- higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…
- higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…
- increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
- higher levels of profit, which leads to…
- higher shareholder returns (i.e., stock price)
Many organizations have created employee engagement strategies that include gamification. Why Gamification? When done correctly, gamification can inspire, motivate and help team members collaborate more effectively and more organically overtime.
Salesforce’s JP Rangaswami – Engage Employees and Drive Innovation with Gamification
Loyalty 3.0: Big Data and Gamification (GSummit SF 2013)
In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.”