"You act like it’s you against the world, but it’s really just you against yourself." — Unknown
Are you and your workplace ready for the future of work, and the new ways of working?
Businesses and industries continue to reconfigure their workplaces to try and exploit the collaborative, value creating networks that emerge, while keeping a focus on customers and employees.
It’s a game of follow the leader. And it’s fast paced.
If you know the 4 workplace archetypes, then you can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your workplace environment based on the market you’re in. You can also better understand which types of workplace environments you survive in, and which ones you thrive in, and which ones you are better off avoiding altogether.
The 4 Workplace Archetypes
According to ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working: The Workplace of the Future, there are 4 emerging workplace archetypes: Hierarchy’s “Ability to Solve in-house”, Market Place’s “Cluster Node”, Adhocracy’s Distributed Office, and Clan “Village” Rule.
Here’s a look at each of the 4 workplace archetypes:
1. Hierarchy’s “Ability to Solve in-house”
“The Hierarchy’s "ability to solve in-house" is a very formalized and structured workplace. The workplace leader is a manager who focuses on how efficiently their unit runs. Risk willingness is relatively low, and there must be a well-defined business case prior to taking major initiatives. Success is measured in terms of dependable delivery, smooth structured scheduling, and low cost. “
2. Market Place’s “Cluster Node”
“The workplace in the "cluster node" is highly competitive, led by a leader who is result-oriented. The leader is a person willing to take risks, establish goals and measures, and who is willing to take decisive action if the organization is falling short.“
3. Adhocracy’s Distributed Office
“Adhocracy’s distributed office is dynamic, entrepreneurial, and creative. It operates in a very unpredictable strategic environment that values flexibility, adaptability, and thrives in chaos. The organization makes trade-offs between operational efficiency in favor of maximum strategic flexibility. “
4. Clan “Village” Rule
“Clan ‘village’ rule is highly adaptive, and the office environment is friendly and family-like. The organization strives to build strong relationships based on trust with suppliers, customers, and the local community.”
Forces Shaping the Workplace Archetypes
According to ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working: The Workplace of the Future, the following forces are shaping these different workplace environments:
- Need for strategic agility
- Organizational culture
- Approach to competition
- Inwards, or outwards orientation (i.e. willingness to partner)
- Risk willingness
Control vs. Flexibility and Internal vs. External Orientation
According to ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working: The Workplace of the Future, the four different archetypes are based on two spectrums:
- Control vs. Flexibility: Centralized Stability, Order, Control vs. Flexibility, Decentralized, Dynamic
- Internal vs. External: Internally Oriented (low willingness to partner) vs. Externally Oriented (high willingness to partner)
Here’s an example of how these dimensions help characterize the 4 workplace archetypes:
- Hierarchy’s "ability to solve in-house": control + internal orientation
- Market place’s "cluster node": control + external orientation
- Clan "village" rule: flexibility + internal orientation
- Adhocracy’s distributed office: flexibility + external orientation
What kind of a workplace environment are you in? Is it a very formal, structured, and procedural? Or, is it more dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative?
Is your office environment more like a friendly and family-like setting? Or, is your workplace environment highly competitive, results-oriented, and focused on making things happen?
How to stay true to you?
Balance what your customers demand with your personal workplace preferences. Remember that while nature favors the flexible, and agility is key, there is also something to be said for finding ways to be in your element.
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Image by rajkumar1220.