The Junto hosted this Thursday passed had a prerequisite reading assignment of the aforementioned article. After a brief overview of Gladwell's tenets the group split in two— one championing the open workplace and one flouting it. After deliberating each chose a speaker and delivered a five minute argument then a three minute rebuttal.
Team Open Plan sang the praises of freedom and congregation for workers, that tearing down the cube liberates and energizes people, allowing for open collaboration, cutting hierarchical red tape, so on and so forth. Team Corner Office maintained the strength of structure, the scalability of a hierarchical pyramid. As a business grows the open plan becomes more chaotic and the larger-picture structure again becomes more traditional.
In synthesis these diametrics fall happily in love. As Gladwell Illustrates, ad giant TBWAChiatDay recently moved into a staggering office compound near LAX basing its layout roughly on New York City. There is a main street, a central park, valuable employees and creative directors sit in hubs with their support staff radiating around them. This system solves issues of scale. As both Alex's admitted, they sacrifice some of the productivity of seclusion for the warmth of socializing each and every day.
This discussion remains open, we encourage your perspectives and experiences in various workplace manifestations.
Business Week: Enabling Innovation Through Office Design
Also, member Vanja Buvac asked us to pass along the following:
- Here is some background information about the Patent Reform Act of 2007 for the Junto list. Here are the links to contact forms to our senators. I would encourage Junto members to write to our senators asking for their position on the Patent Reform Act of 2007. This is an important bill that could change the innovation landscape significantly.
Arlen Specter, Bob Casey