Imagine an office fully equipped for the digital age, optimised for individual needs and agile enough to adapt to changing requirements over the next 10 years.
Rick Hewitt, Finance Director, introduced the New Way of Working concept and described how this radical change journey began two years ago, fuelled by benchmarking visits and a realisation that profitability relied on agility. It was a bold move to overhaul the HQ, but with the full support of the board this vision of a flagship office is a now a real-life demonstration of Ricoh’s capability and credibility in streamlining and enabling processes.
Global technology provider Ricoh is trailblazing this path to the future. Its newly transformed UK headquarters provided a superb context for discussing improvement and innovation at Catalyst’s Deployment day.
With thanks to the Ricoh team, Catalyst’s cross-industry client group toured the showcase site which had opened that very morning. The physical space has been specifically designed for activity based working: in it are designated areas for contemplation, communication, concentration and collaboration and digital signage supports a totally flexible and virtual workplace.
A New Way of Working
The digital age is already upon us and many businesses testify that processes and environments are being put under increasing strain to adapt quickly to new client and market demands. Mike Baddeley, Head of Business Excellence, clearly outlined the changes in the nature of work since the industrial revolution and the introduction of the knowledge worker, which is now vital to competitiveness. The key is to create an environment that supports and enables their ability to problem solve and innovate.
Mike explained how the business had set about transforming the space, emphasising the importance of a change management approach from start to finish. The business now operates with a flatter structure, more flexibility and shared information across silos. Governance, accountability and discipline have been maintained partly because people are trusted, respected, rewarded and empowered. The initiative has contributed to a cultural integration incorporating people from previously separate organisations.
What Ricoh has done – through a series of benchmarking, Lean Six Sigma projects and a rigorous change management programme – is enable critical business processes impacting its growth and transform the organisation’s traditional ways of working. In turn they will gain much more than cost savings.
We were delighted to hear as well from Neil Watson, Head of Business Capability Excellence at Xyratex, another technology leader recognising the need for developing future capability in Continuous Improvement and Innovation. Neil explained how the business is benefitting from using Lean Six Sigma techniques throughout the organisation, driving improvements in process predictability and consistency. The programme is also encouraging collaboration across the organisation, generating healthy interaction throughout.
As always, the group discussions enabled all attendees to learn from each other and discuss the issues in their programmes together. We would like to extend a special thank you to Ricoh for hosting the event and sharing experience with the group and to Neil Watson for his valuable contribution to the agenda.
Catalyst networking days are exclusive events organised for our clients to share best practice and discuss real challenges and celebrate progress.
Take a look here at the New Way of Working: