Dr Nicola Millard - BT Global Services
Dr Nicola Millard, head of Customer Insight & Futures at BT Global Services - and crystal-ball enthusiast - kicked off proceedings. Nicola’s talk centred around the ‘collaboration conundrum’. Collaboration is a key ingredient at most design agencies. But, she asks, is it actually important? Here are some things to consider. There will be 5 generations at work by 2020. How do we take these different personality types into account? While many collaborate with the wider team in mind, others will crave individual recognition. This will raise the issue of collaboration vs competition.
There isn't a 1-size-fits-all office. We need to embrace diversity to create a collaborative culture. So, BT classifies people based on their working style. Allowing them the freedom to work in a way that suits them. Yet, while choice increases wellbeing, distance can decrease trust and cohesion. Further, at what point are we allowed to switch off? In the words of Kevin Kelly (Wired Exec Editor): "The problem of the future will not be that we cannot connect - it will be that we cannot disconnect." So, with all these questions in mind, Nicola asks: If collaboration is so important, who owns it? Would your company benefit from a Chief Collaboration Officer?