Thomas Hallstrom explains the modern workplace: Part 2

By the Blueprint Team

What are some of the common steps for establishing a modern workplace?

Just like a modern workplace is going to differ based on your people, org, and mission, the journey is going to vary in the same way. Blueprint has frameworks for approaching projects like this, but they’re not cookie cutter solutions.

When Blueprint helps clients with their modern workplace initiative, we generally work backwards from the goals or overall strategy of the client. Once the team understands the desired endpoint, we move on to the discovery and envisioning phase, which consists of gaining the contextual awareness of how this effort fits together holistically with other priorities and initiatives, and then making sure that everybody involved is aiming for the correct outcomes.

We then move into a process when we tightly collaborate with the client. Sometimes that involves collaborating with data scientists and engineers, other times it’s more focused on the business stakeholders. Once again, moving to a new platform or implementing a new solution isn’t the right answer if it doesn’t metrics, customer sentiments, or the outcomes that employees are evaluated on.

Once the solution is in place, our motto is “Let’s teach you how to fish.” So, we like to tightly collaborate so that we are teaching your team not just how to manage this new tool or resource, but also how to modify, enhance, and maintain it. For groups that don’t have the team or the resources available to do that we also offer managed services for the client. Again, we have a myriad of frameworks and options to choose from, depending on your culture, mission, and constraints.

How do I know it’s time to move my organization to a more modern workplace?

A good litmus test is the “Sunday Night Scaries.” Weekends and weekdays are a lot blurrier these days but if Sunday night rolls around and you’re dreading Monday morning, you should think about why that’s the case. If you believe in your organization and the products or services it provides, it could be that the environment in which work is being done is so inefficient and unproductive that you want to avoid it altogether.

What the world is going through with Covid-19 right now has also been a strong indicator of the need for more modern workplaces. If this massive shift to remote work was really disruptive and problematic for your organization, now is a perfect time to consider making those big changes that can relieve that pressure. If you’re an individual contributor you’ve got an opportunity to raise your hand and say “I think there’s a better way of doing this. I want to stay here but the tech is getting in the way”. If you’re leading a team or division, the onus is on you to constantly be looking ahead and anticipating beyond what your customers or your clients are going to want in the future. You must also meet your employees where they’re at and meet their needs for the future.

What industries do you see that would benefit the most from heavy modern workplace adoption right now?

One thing that has kept me at Blueprint for so long is that we’re industry agnostic. Many of the principles that govern digital and business transformation existed before the internet and still apply today, regardless of the specific industry you are in.

I am personally passionate about healthcare and leveraging technology to improve the patient experience. There is so much patient data being generated that’s being collected but it’s often not used to inform decision making around appointment scheduling and no-shows. We have also seen it in travel, retail, where clients develop blind spots as to why your customers behaving a certain way, and a more modern workplace is highly valuable there. In manufacturing and retail supply chain management there’s usually a bit of “guesstimating” going on, and if you can free up some of your data and use it to make insightful decisions your team members will feel more valued, and they’ll be able to spend more time being empathetic, creative, and judicious and you’ll have a closer relationship between insufficiencies, their corrections, and improvements to your revenue stream.

What are some of the most impactful or coolest things you have seen companies accomplish with their modern workplace?

I’d like to circle back to my earlier point about modern workplace teams having contextual awareness. Some of the coolest solutions have followed this pattern: A client has a team at a distribution center that ships things out and accepts returns. They also have an R&D team trying to figure out what customers want and how to modify their products to fit those desires. And they have an online customer support team that speaks directly with customers having issues.

For many companies these are separate teams that don’t often speak with each other. We are experts at breaking that age-old pattern, and we’ve created some solutions around that idea. If a client has a customer who complains about a defective product, to be able to trace the batch of that thing all the way back to its source and say, “If 30% of batch XYZ is defective and we realize that something faulty happened with it in manufacturing, let’s go back and figure out how many other palettes of XYZ are about to be shipped out and pull them out distribution.” Implementing processes that allow for that type of information sharing means our clients are better able to anticipate customer issues and neutralize problems rather than always reacting to a frustrated customer base.

In another case, we have partnered with healthcare organization to for experimentation designed to reduce patient no shows. It’s easy to say, “13% of our patients didn’t show up for their appointments last month, we don’t know why, we just know we had providers standing around, hope that doesn’t happen next week.” But Blueprint has correlated multiple streams of data so we can start looking at of the patterns around those no shows. In some cases, recognizing that if an entire family is a patient, scheduling appointments during school pickups and drop-offs is going to result in increased cancellations and no shows. In other cases, knowing whether or not a patient is a smoker can be indicative or not as to whether they are used to prolonging certain health decisions. Now rather than just predicting who will or won’t make their scheduled appointment, we can get prescriptive. What scheduling practices can we change to decrease that no show rate? What type of communication will best work for each patient to ensure their experience is helpful and stress-free?

Why is Blueprint such a great partner for organizations looking to move toward a more modern workplace?

What distinguishes Blueprint from the rest of the companies that I’ve worked with is twofold. One, Blueprint exists to bridge the gap between strategy and delivery. We excel at delivering the right solution to the right problem and that’s a crucial difference. The second thing is that it’s in our DNA to adapt and respond and grow. We re-org every six months because the world is constantly changing, and we need to do the same. What I like about that is that we always adapting to an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation and finding a way to thrive during it. Creativity loves constraint. I like that Blueprint, rather than saying, “We’re going to introduce you into this structure and you’re going to abide by the structure if you’re going to be our partner,” we view the tech as a means to an end, the end being your mission or the outcomes that you are trying to accomplish.

Blueprint Technologies is here to help you establish your modern workplace and unlock the power and value of people. Connect with us now to schedule a time to chat!

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