By Kitt Doucette, Contributing Editor at Men’s Journal Magazine
Soon to be voice-enabled, with Bluescape, anyone from any department will be able to log in, say the project’s name, and zap! There they are. Now go to that cool beam of light in the transporter room, or don’t, it doesn’t matter. State the name of the document they want to view, edit, work on, share, critique, and so many other etcetera’s. Zing! Thar she blows! They didn’t even have to say energize (but that doesn’t meant that they shouldn’t). Oh, and if whoever from whatever department needs to work on the same project at the same time, all the changes, notes, edits, adjustments, etc., they make will appear on every user’s screen engaged in that particular project in real time, or whenever they beam themselves down to view the project.
At first, working outside of the established file cabinet system can be awkward, it’s been around a long time and in many ways we’re accustomed to the inherent inefficiency. Bluescape is radically different and that takes some getting used to. Unlearning how we’ve done it for all these years in order to appreciate the potential of the new technology. The sheer size of Bluescape can also be daunting, such a limitless expanse of blank space where entire animated films can exist next to hand-drawn Venn Diagrams, budget spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations, is definitely overwhelming at first. Zoom far enough out and all that work looks like tiny specs on a giant blue ocean. The benefits, however, are astronomical. “Once I got all my different teams spread around the world on board with Bluescape,” says Scott McPhail, the Executive Director for International Creative Services at Paramount Pictures, “and they became familiar with how it works and realized its potential, our collaborative review process and creative capacity increased dramatically.”
Anyone who’s felt the collaborative and innovative magic of a successful whiteboard session can identify with Scott’s excitement. While Bluescape will never replace the value of in-person meetings, it does a far better job of replicating that experience and capturing its potency than any other digital workspace technology currently available.
Following the presentations, there’s an incredible hike into a sacred valley led by a local Hawaiian guide, then a sunset sail aboard a beautiful catamaran. Aloha is everywhere. Engaged. Excited. Respectful. Honest. Hawaii’s unique brand of cosmic energy, called mana, has taken hold of the group. Conversations are jovial as friendships form and everyone imagines how they, their teams and organizations, can use Bluescape’s technology to help find that holy grail of creativity and collaboration; shared understanding. Which ultimately brings us back to the idea and spirit of Aloha.
At dinner that evening I find myself sitting next to Dan, discussing another Hawaiian word, Laulima. “It means working together and teamwork,” Dan explains, “Laulima is based on giving without expectation, along with thoughtful guidance, inclusion of the entire group and empowering the next generation.”
“That’s it!” I shout. “That’s the future of the workplace captured in a single, two-syllable Hawaiian word.” “I certainly think so,” Dan says with a look that conveys he’s known this for quite some time. “The challenge is getting corporations to act responsibly and getting them to see that the future has to be about more than just profit. We need to establish and create purpose, community, and respect as well.”
I agree with Dan. While the future of the workplace will be a vastly digital one, we must not forget about the human element and strive to create that purpose, community and respect on every level of the organization. When human creativity and collaboration are encouraged and activated upon, there’s no stopping them.
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