Contract - July 2009 - (Page 28)

trends the collaborative workplace Respected executives share ideas that work By Leigh Stringer and Claire Whitehill Robyn Kaiser, Director of Global Business Strategy, Global Real Estate and Procurement Services, American Express; Jim Rottman, Vice President Human Resources, American Express; Peggy Stritch, Manager, Workplace Research & Design, Cisco; Martha Hirst, Commissioner of the City of New York Department of Citywide Administrative Services laboration in city government. Increasingly, the city of New York is reaching across bureaucratic boundaries and seeking private-sector partners to coordinate the delivery of government services. This collaborative spirit was exemplified in the development of PlaNYC, a city-wide sustainability initiative involving almost every city agency as well as a number of private parties aiming to green New York City’s infrastructure over the next 21 years. Globalization. Globalization has not only increased the amount of time dedicated to collaboration during a typical eight-hour day, but it also has stretched out the day altogether. Employees at Cisco report that they spend an average of 63 percent of their time collaborating in a variety of ways, and they are doing it both at the office and virtually from other locations, meeting with colleagues and clients across the globe. Roughly 38 percent of Cisco’s population is outside of the United States, and this percentage is expected to increase, meaning the trend of collaborating during off-hours and meeting virtually is only expected to continue. Technology. In 2008, Cisco’s use of Telepresence (its own video conferencing tool) increased threefold, use of WebEx for meetings increased 15-fold between January and August, and use of “YouTube” as a knowledge management and training tool increased more than tenfold. Stritch credits this to global expansion, the need for speed, and travel restrictions. There have been dramatic economic shifts over the last several decades that have profoundly changed the way we work. We have moved from an economy that was centered on factory production to one based on information and knowledge work. Many believe the next shift, post-knowledge work, will be built around an economy of creativity and new ideas. Driven by transformative technology, global access, and the need to survive the current economic situation as well as to maximize transparency, those with creative minds and the ability to synthesize and collaborate with others effectively will be the ones who succeed. To showcase the best thinking around collaboration, HOK interviewed four experts on the topic: Robyn Kaiser and Jim Rottman from American Express, Peggy Stritch from Cisco, and Martha Hirst from the city of New York. Each works for complex organizations of 50,000 to 300,000 employees and are responsible for providing real estate, technology, and workplace policies for their organizations. Drivers for Increased Collaboration Three of the major drivers for increased collaboration, according to our experts, are transparency, globalization, and technology. Transparency. Hirst noted that with the ever-present scrutiny on government, collaboration is critical to promoting and ensuring transparency across city agencies and the public. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, known for cutting through bureaucracy and reaching across lines to make things happen, has had a measurable impact on increasing col- American Express is using many of these same technologies both internally and with customers. The company developed Web sites dedicated to community building, creating open forums for learning about products and business travel ideas. Cisco and American Express executives use blogs to share informal thoughts and start conversations about topics at a global level. Cisco has even created an internal online network, similar to Facebook. New York City has taken advantage of technology, data collection, and knowledge management to strengthen connections between citizens and government. Mayor Bloomberg launched the City’s 311 Citizen Service Center, the largest in the nation, to encourage residents to call in with problems or request services. The requests—more than 15 million a year—are then tracked through the government to ensure services are delivered. In 2008, 311 began handling service referrals for public assistance or other government benefits, making the process more convenient for those in need. The city’s Web site ( displays “dashboards” of statistics to disclose the government’s performance on key service indicators, ranging from potholes filled to foster care placements. New York also has launched outreach Game Theory: the mathematical theory of games that studies the ways in which strategic interactions among rational players produce outcomes with respect to the preferences of those players. 28 contract july 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July 2009

Contract - July 2009
Guest Editorial
Resources: Alpha Workshops
Green Building Goes Global
The Collaborative Workplace
All For Fun
Group Practice
Caring Collaborator
Life is a Circus
Cohesive Spaces in Public Places
On the Landscape
Castles in the Sand
Face to Face
Heart and Soul
Project Management
Dream Team
Ad Index

Contract - July 2009