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4 steps for a more dynamic workplace

Futurist Mike Walsh forecasts changes to the way people work.

Work will look much different in the future than it does now, according to Mike Walsh, the principal of Tomorrow, an innovation and research lab.

At CUNA Technology Council Conference and CUNA Operations, Sales & Services Council Conference, he offered four steps for credit unions to ready their workplace for change:

1. Maintain an agile mindset. "Focus on people energized by unknowns," Walsh says.

2. Stay small to scale up. Walsh references Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's theory to not create a project team any larger than can be fed by two pizzas. "Bigger teams can fall into the trap of group-think," Walsh said. "People just start agreeing with each other. Keep the team small enough so they are agile, adaptive, and come up with genuinely new ideas."

3. Design a comfortable workplace. The nature of work is trending toward part-time, contingent labor, Walsh says. "In a way you're competing, not with other companies, but for people's mental attention," he explained. "Companies are challenged to create an environment where people enjoy spending their time."

4. Use data to hack your culture. Walsh cited a company that uses digital lanyards to track employees' social interactions. The company learned that the software programmers who gathered in larger groups for lunch were more productive. As a result, the company installed larger tables in its lunchroom.