Digital FastForward, a leader in unlocking innovation through the application of design thinking, has released a new study, “Designing the Future of Work.” The study focuses on 5 C’s — Communication, Collaboration, Context, Culture, and Change — and recommends that companies pursue “innovation sprints” to remain competitive in this rapidly shifting environment

“COVID-19 has completely reshaped the landscape for knowledge work,” said Clay Richardson, Co-Founder and Chief Excelerator at Digital FastForward, an innovation and technology consultancy firm focused on design thinking. “Customers and employees now demand that companies operate with social distancing and remote work at the center of their business models.  This new reality is forcing leaders to reimagine mission-critical processes across their entire business.”

The report reflects a series of research interviews with executives about their approach to reimagining the future of work. The report analyzes the impact COVID-19 had on customer and employee processes, often demanding a complete redesign of work processes and work environments. Among business leaders, 78% expect technology to change the way they work in their organization in the next two years. Digital FastForward calls these changes to customer and employee practices ‘work redesign,’ defined as “The application of design thinking and innovation practices that help teams reimagine customer and employee processes for remote and socially-distanced work environments.” Digital FastForward uncovered five principles leaders should assess when planning work redesign efforts. The framework, the Five C’s of Work Redesign, helps innovation leaders evaluate the changes they will need to make across five dimensions to extend systematic innovation.

The Five C’s of Work Redesign

1. Communications: Frequent, empathetic communication is the lubricant that keeps the engine humming along. Focus on communication changes that:

  • Deepen inclusivity and empathy.
  • Eliminate silos of customer and employee communication.

2. Collaboration: Hire/train team members who can facilitate engaging and dynamic remote ideation, brainstorming, and design thinking sessions.

  • Invest in remote facilitation skills to boost virtual collaboration.
  • Simplify digital collaboration with low-effort tools.

3. Context: Equip employees with a layer of context that helps them quickly assess a client’s situation and provide answers in real time.

  • Deepen context to speed time to resolution for customers.
  • Guide conversations with “just-in-time” context.

4. Culture: Address concerns about how remote work and social distancing are reshaping the culture of organizations.

  • Frame challenges in a way that sparks curiosity and creativity.
  • Build new team processes and practices that support deep work.

5. Change: Smart leaders must embrace uncertainty and move quickly to gain a competitive advantage by building organizational competency in continuous innovation.

  • Build a responsive workforce that continuously adapts.
  • Design customer and employee processes for quick adoption.

Digital FastForward recommends assessing large customer and employee processes against the five C’s, each time investing in both human and digital dimensions to ensure the change is effective.

As you continue to invest in resources to make effective change within your organization, Digital FastForward invites you to join our Founder & Chief Excelerator, Clay Richardson, in conversation with Pega CTO and VP of Product Strategy Don Schuerman about the report, as well as findings from Pega’s 2020 Future of Work research study. Register here for this timely webinar on Tuesday, December 15, and download our full report, ‘Designing the Future of Work,’ in advance to learn how design thinking and innovation are the tools you need to develop a responsive workforce.