Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is CEO of the boutique future-proofing consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts, which helps forward-looking leaders avoid dangerous threats and missed opportunities. A best-selling author, his newest book is Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage. We asked Dr. Tsipursky how leaders can emulate the spontaneity of in-person employee idea generation for hybrid and remote teams. Here’s what he shared:
When leaders weigh the pros and cons of remote teams versus in-person work, one topic of concern is the water cooler effect.
In office environments, employees from different departments often run into each other, spark conversations about their individual projects, and spontaneously generate what could be game-changing ideas for the company.
“I don’t see how we can replace the serendipitous idea generation of hallway conversations. If we don’t return to the office full-time, we’re going to lose out to rivals who do so and gain the benefits of serendipity.” That’s what “Saul,” chief product officer of a 1,500-employee enterprise software company, told me at his company’s planning meeting on the post-vaccine return to office.
I told Saul that this is a common issue among organizations, and one that can only be addressed by adopting best practices for innovation in the return to the office and the future of work.