"Why work isn't working and what you can do about it" is the clever subtitle of this concise book by Microsoft UK's chief envisioning officer, Dave Coplin. His proposition is that the workplace is no longer fit for purpose. He writes: "Successful businesses will be those that can provide the physical and cognitive space needed for their employees to flourish, with employees becoming creative individuals committed not to aimless productivity or repetitive processes but to helping their organisations achieve their aims."
How will we get there? He talks about giving employees truly flexible working, using the social web to connect people and making sure everyone understands their organisation's goals. But it's also about giving team members freedom by knocking down organisational hierarchies. He cites the example of the media company Netflix, where employees decide how much holiday they should be entitled to. This should make for a creative management culture in which workplaces are democratised and personal responsibility is the order of the day. In reality, employees can be cut adrift without adequate support from their managers. Don't be the one to untie their ropes.
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today