The recent months have been challenging for strategic design. Workplace strategy has experienced that same cascade of disruption that all work, learning, and living is experiencing. Every day our social media feeds are full of recommendations and directions on how to react. I am finding many of these to range from strategically incomplete to potentially damaging to the nature of work, learning, and living.


What’s After Next?

The data we gathered in the very recent past is not likely to provide a great deal of insight into what is next. Without past data to make sense of the present shifts caused by COVID-19, we must collect and collate new data.

What follows is intended to help light our way.

We invite you to take six minutes to respond to this SHP survey regarding your journey toward a future workplace. We want our 12 strategic drivers to help us strategically connect your present with your future. There is additional detail that follows the link if you would like more of the basics; you will also be invited to share your contact information if you would like to learn more about the overall results.

SHP Workplace Readiness Restart Survey


Why is Our Recent Past Data No Good?

Many companies appear to be using six-foot seat distancing to prepare for a workplace return. Space utilization data from February does not make sense when considering the six-foot social distancing planning logic. When teams work in shifts, and when conference rooms are purposefully half utilized, past utilization goals must reset to new goals.

Collecting new data beyond utilization can light our way. While we must think in the short-term toward reactivating the value of empty workplaces, we must also keep our eye firmly focused on the mid-term and long-term value of the places for people at work. Wisdom demands that we balance the patterns and systems of safety now, with the impact on people’s core need to work successfully inside the workplace.


Why Is the SHP Survey Different?

The SHP Workplace Readiness Restart survey is designed to provide two results from an intelligent data set. First, the survey results will illustrate gaps developing between the immediate steps in planning the workplace reactivation, with the actual needs of your people now and soon. The second is to entice creative inquiry to define what will be vital in preparing for your future workplace planning principles.


Data Is Only as Good as What It Means

Psychometric data is best utilized when the people who provided it creatively interpret it. Once any data is collected and collated, the second step is to have focus group discussions with the people who responded to reveal what the results “mean” and “do not mean.” The third step is to create action-oriented design drivers that align the leadership vision with the value of the workplace generated by the data. With design drivers defined, planning exercises then have full meaning, specific direction, and future value.


Our Commitment to Our Industry

Like you, SHP is thinking hard about the responsibility of design to “bend the curve” of change to a level that both makes sense today and accelerates success tomorrow. With so many variables in play, we are best when we come together to share our insights, concerns, and possibilities. I would like to have this conversation with you; please contact me if you would like to talk more about your strategic, tactical and/or creative planning. You can email me at