High-level view: Path to creating the office of the connected intellect
High-level view: Path to creating the office of the connected intellect

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Here are the two key steps for making sense of your organisation’s connected intellect that come together to transform the configuration and design of its workplace, to deliver elevated creativity, productivity and new ROI

Every business’s modern challenge

Although we may still be in the earliest years of the internet, every mind at every desktop in every business is now better connected than ever before.

Once recognised, the degree of precision with which those individual minds can be steered in unison to drill down into, pick apart and articulate any workplace’s problems and challenges is unprecedented.

This heralds offices designed around the collective intelligence they must attract, retain and grow, in which each is an endless opportunity to learn. 

And now, by using workplace social technologies commonly available to all, every business can plan and design its future connected intellect around it.

Moreover, because this realisation allows them to reframe, communicate and set entirely new and greater goals, this makes it only a matter of time before someone sets a new standard for the ways in which they learn to organise the intelligence, tools and knowledge currently hidden within their own organisation.

And, because post-pandemic, when organisational form is shifting irrevocably, with more people working more often from home, across the network, we have hit a tipping point at which that connected intellect of minds across a workplace can, and needs to be, more effectively organised to deliver a better return for business owners and investors.

The connected intellect is our path to our collective imagination, and our collective imagination is our path to our future. Put simply, there is now urgency attached. 

Indeed, when connected with purpose, its power is likely to transform what is coming with ever greater clarity, force and relentless surprise. Therefore, we must prepare for a future shaped by a focused collective creativity no one can yet see or imagine.

The two steps articulated beneath describe a reliable pattern to steer and understand what you can do with it in your own workplace.

New workplace productivity can be learned in two simple loops

Until it is harnessed, the idea of capturing a workplace’s untamed knowledge sounds potentially chaotic and messy, which it is. 

However, the task of making sense from a cacophony of competing voices and opinions is no different to the challenge faced by news organisations reporting around the world every day.

And, until it is investigated and reported back to them, most management teams have no idea of the knowledge available to them.

Yet, with this dependable, double-loop, internal system, you can repeatedly build new value from what your people know, by learning how to interrogate their knowledge intelligently and thoughtfully.

As such, our solution isn’t rocket science, but a known communication process proven both by our own repeated personal experience of written reporting and clarification over many years, and by centuries of practice by others.

Its goal is to document for those involved the information they require in a consistent, reliable fashion, such that they can drill down into this resource to keep on refining their approach to getting from it what they need when they need it.

Applied to workplace briefing, it follows a process using sense-making rules that apply to all publishing of professional quality.

Loop one

Depending on the question put to it, the first loop’s aim is to fish for possibilities, ideas and insights, based on what is believed, known and experienced by the exercise’s target group.

From what its members submit, at the end of this loop, a broad, outline report is generated.

Loop two

In the second loop, this report is held up for scrutiny and questions are asked to verify meaning and intention, in order to guide the development of the interrogation.

This is the critical stage in which new thinking occurs.

Once revealed to a group whose prior perspectives – and possibly, even its members – were previously unknown to each other, it is to elicit comment by sparking new and unexpected insights to build upon what is known collectively by its participants.

It is to summarise, and, through reiteration and clarification, create a platform for subsequent interrogation, in plain English.

In professional media production, rule number one is that every writer needs a second reader to check facts and to ensure what is written can be understood.

Unchecked, imprecisely written material, possibly in great volume, is of no help to anyone. Making complete, concise sense is critical if decisions are to be made.

This process will reveal the knowledge hidden within your organisation – and who has it, and which groups working together can conjure it – to give leaders a new tool to work with.

Decision makers can then learn how regularly to dive into and report on what is known in a business, such that by exposing and discussing it, they can learn much faster how to turn this knowledge to greater advantage.

Acquiring better data describes and drives productivity to grow ROI

Bringing double-loop learning together in a connected workplace delivers tools for continuous business improvement.

In this, feedback on the employee experience (EX) is a critical ingredient.

Now, like all other active components in a connected, networked world, the workplace is no longer a passive ingredient, but a measurable entity.

As a knowledge-generating product that can either accelerate growth or hamper progress, it is a dynamic, business-model-level agent informing the shape, behaviour, performance and potential of the organisation occupying it.

And, because it too generates data that can be read – which may or may not be shared with, or used as a bargaining lever in the relationship with a landlord – we can build a far superior understanding through which to manage, investigate and experiment with the relationships of the spaces they occupy to the creativity and wealth-generating productivity of the individuals who work in them.

Detail view of path to creating the office of the connected intellect
Detail view of path to creating the office of the connected intellect


What is the post-Facebook connected intellect that makes briefing via a range of key diverse inputs possible?

Previously, it used to be hard, if not impossible, to capture and transform into usable information the knowledge and insights of those across any organisation.

Yet, as our familiarity with using the social internet grows, we have reached an age of unprecedented opportunity in making the best use of intelligence across web-connected communities and businesses.

Although it is still a force unrecognised, unexamined and therefore unorganised in most organisations, through near-ubiquitous familiarity with Facebook and others, we’ve now arrived at “peak social internet literacy.”

This entirely naturally occurring capacity’s practical applications are also easily demonstrated, as we have reached the point at which every employee in every business knows how to use social media to write online, upload and share material and to make comments about those items uploaded by others.

And when such communications are in writing and captured by the mirroring, private, internal Facebook-like or networked, document-sharing technologies now available within every business, workplace knowledge, insight and learning that was once out of reach is no longer beyond management’s grasp.

It also has access to a bottomless, renewable resource – an inexhaustible source for possible business and customer experience-improving investigation – whose creativity may be limited only by its imagination.

And, through it, we can build a far superior understanding with which to manage, investigate and experiment.

The professional challenge now lies in inquiring, making sense of and feeding back to this group with diverse opinions what its members know and can contribute to understanding how to create superior working environments and wealth-creating workplace processes.

Call us to transform your office of the connected intellect

When everyone’s future competition is so clearly carved out by rivals with superior management innovation, why would anyone bet against the power of the connected intellect?

As architects with a distinctive and unique skill set, study in organisational learning and first-hand experience in managing social workplace content, we build from the intellect up, working with dimensions other architects cannot see.

Our goal, through enhancing our own powers of digital observation, is to create and configure built environments that perform better in every dimension that matters most to those who will pay for, invest in and live, use and work in them.

For more, contact Graham Lauren: 0416 171724 or via graham@shiroarchitects.com. #connectedintellect