Gilbane Conference – Opening Keynote by Daniel Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus – The Future of Collaboration

  • Visionaries believe that their version of the future is shared by everyone else
  • Books: Management by Design and Listening to the Future
  • Employee experience vs. customer experience – How many companies are spending time thinking about employee experience?
  • One of the reason that Millenials are not loyal to companies is because companies are not loyal to their employees – Companies reinforced this thought during the recession
  • “Spending all day innovating around the candle does not get us to the light bulb.”
  • How do we create an environment where we bring the trust back?
  • Think about the delicate balance – social media, meetings. What are we balancing for – giving out information, trying to get something done? How many people are asked what you would like to get out of a meeting?
  • It’s about building a relationship (social media, email) – Equitability, Flexibility, Forgivability, Simplicity
  • Think about your policies and how they affect your relationship with your employees (workers – lots of contingent staff with contractors, etc.)
  • How do we effectively bring in technology so that workers are following through on other principles (balance, equitability, physical challenges being accommodated)
  • The workplace has changed – it’s not about going to work anymore. Microsoft Netherlands Office is now called the Microsoft Meeting Place because people get to choose where they work.
  • The Punctuated workday – Meetings in the morning, meetings in the late day but open space mid-day.
  • The Sandwich generation – Those that have elderly parents that they are caring for and also young children. “I have to get work done in between my family life.”
  • Need to get more transparent within the organization. Let other people know what you’re doing.
  • Perceptibility
  • Microsoft Netherlands – No cubicle farm; even the President has given up his office; started doing virtual meetings (actually approved meeting efficiency because they were designing the meeting experience)
  • We work with people no matter what we do – even if you’re on a production line, it’s not isolated work.
  • The universe has no center – we work people all over the world. Very first outsourcing was janitorial services. Companies have divested almost everything. We’ve made everything collaborative.
  • A blending of languages and culture; whole industry that has developed to teach teach engineers in India how to work with people on Wall Street and give them what they want.
  • Knowing English is not enough – different perceptions of even what certain words like “collaboration” mean.
  • If you’re not engaged in social media – your customers are.
  • Many organizations are creating social media strategies not relationship strategies – that’s a problem. Go where the customers are and engage in the conversation.
  • Movement away from Output to Outcomes – Engaging in your workplace experience becomes a workplace continuity issue.
  • Partnering young people with older people in your organization and improve collaboration. (Reciprocal Mentoring)

Question about Reciprocal Mentoring
Answer: It’s about policy and practice. Make sure that the information sharing goes both ways. Put policies and guarantees in place so that neither person’s job feels threatened.