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Leadership and Design - Are we ready for a new relationship?

When designing new workplaces, how much is to the style of leadership of the organisation taken into account? In the constant effort to maximise workplace productivity, how much focus do we give to what company leaders are trying to achieve?

We are asking these questions for two reasons. Firstly, there is now an understanding of what can be described as ‘new-generation leadership’ emerging in the corporate workplace, with new strategies associated with managing and motivating people. You could argue that these leadership approaches should be more clearly foregrounded by workplace designers but I would say that is not necessarily the case currently. Secondly, there is increasing evidence that leaders are instrumental in raising organisational productivity therefore workplace design needs to step up in support of the facts on the ground.    

Following last year’s Puzzle of Productivity – What Enhances Workplace Performance report which was developed in partnership with The United Workplace and WORKTECH Academy, I wanted to share my opinion on the subject of Design and Leadership.

This year’s study had three facets: firstly, a creative workshop for our own teams where we created workplace concepts based on a range of leadership styles; secondly, an international survey of 70 clients, investigating their opinion and behaviours; and finally, a roundtable of fifteen workplace professionals to debate on the topic and reflect on the results.

The findings of the study are presented in our opinion piece, which is available to download now.

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