Executive Summary: A Forward Thinking Workplace

Executive Summary: A Forward Thinking Workplace

Executive Summary

This executive summary highlights the key points in our article published by Cutter in 2018. If you would like a PDF copy of the full article, please request a copy from me. My agreement with Cutter prevents me from offering it as a download. For an update on what's changed in the past six years, go to The Alchemy of Innovation: Crafting Tomorrow's Workplaces Today.


In a world marked by relentless, rapid change, organizations clinging to outdated change management strategies often struggle to keep up.

This article argues that real, lasting change necessitates the adoption of a forward-thinking mindset. True transformation begins at the individual level and gradually permeates our workplaces, transforming them into hubs of innovation, collaboration, and heightened connectivity.

The Inadequacy of Traditional Change Management

Current change management methods have proved antiquated, chaining organizations to outdated paradigms. We must relinquish old ways of thinking and operating to propel our workplaces into a future marked by uncertainty and continual evolution.

A forward-thinking mindset demands more than just managing change; it requires living and working innovatively, sensing changes early on, and leveraging digital technologies to enhance our connections and conversations.

Barriers to Change

Notably, discussions about change seldom address critical barriers such as fear, status, power, and competition, even as they emphasize alignment and purpose. These unspoken impediments are significant obstacles to transformation, stifling open dialogue and diverse expressions of thought and ideas. Addressing and overcoming these barriers is crucial for implementing meaningful change.

The Necessity of Individual Transformation

We can only inspire more extensive and enduring change within our workplaces through personal change. Helping people become more conscious by strengthening their inner awareness enables innovation to occur more organically, fostering environments where every voice matters and contributes to collective wisdom.

The Principles of a Forward-Thinking Workplace

At Forward-Thinking Workplaces, we've identified 13 essential abilities that foster authenticity, awareness, collaboration, and co-creativity. (Further details are included in the accompanying article.)

These components, derived from 17 years of dedicated exploration and dialogue with over 55 leaders and executives, act as catalysts for evolutionary growth and transformative change in workplace dynamics.

The Power of Connected Conversations

In the digital age, where enhanced connectivity should ideally lead to richer conversations, we have paradoxically witnessed a decline in conversation quality.

Cultivating ‘connected conversations,’ inspired by Judith Glaser’s work, is crucial where mutual listening and learning are imperative. This approach is key to unlocking innovative solutions and collective wisdom, fundamentally transforming our interactions and workspaces.


Organizations must shift towards a forward-thinking mindset to successfully navigate the unrelenting waves of change. It’s not about exerting more effort or optimizing productivity but about venturing into uncharted territories with an open mind and a willingness to rediscover the essence of meaningful work and innovation.

Embracing a culture that encourages insightful conversations and individual transformation can unlock unprecedented potential for organizational success.

The true power of transformation lies in not just observing our world but actively participating in its creation, recognizing that our words and perceptions are the architects of our realities.

Do you agree?

I'd like to hear from you and get your point of view.

To your forward thinking life & great success!

— Bill

Bill Fox, Founder @ LeaderONE, SpaceB, and Forward Thinking Workplaces