If you haven’t already checked it out, The Setup is a great little site, answering the question of what people use to get things done.
Although a bit on the geeky side, I always find its entries to be an excellent reflection on the workspace. Each of its posts is a single person answering a stock set of questions about who the person is and what they do, what hardware and software they use to do their work, and what their dream setup would be.
In a bit of a delightful mashup today, I found this description of a dream setup below and the [unconnected] photo above.
Someday perhaps I will go around carrying only a book, a change of clothes, a pen, a water bottle, a folding umbrella, and a little capsule that turns into my livelihood when opened. Rollable hi-res screen and keyboard, tiny computer the size of a cell phone or smaller but as light as a pen, with high-speed satellite connectivity anywhere on the globe. In this world, my sleeping bag, pad and windproof hammock weigh only a pound put together. For half of the year I travel the world, alone and with companions, with a small bag slung over my shoulder like Kwai Chang Caine. We sleep outdoors, travel on trains, and a few days of the week sit some place cozy and create beautiful software or solve interesting problems that improve the world.
I had just finished a programming and design workshop today with a client concerned about “going too far” in providing a significantly lighter and more agile environment for its staff, despite a strategic imperative to change its culture, its organizational design, and its operating processes, and to leverage that change to recruit top global talent in service to a mission to improve the world.
Some of what I believe to be the biggest barriers to change in organizations are the organizations that provide the places where the enterprise does its work. The reflective model of The Setup might be a good tool to use to understand the defining workspace interests of the emerging generation of creative and innovative people.