The knowledge economy produces wealth through "conversations." Accordingly, workplaces that encourage and facilitate a variety of conversations represent an important dimension of corporate strategy. While there is considerable evidence of enhanced productivity in adaptive workplaces, too many discussions about workplaces remain bound up in patterns of meaning inherited from a manufacturing era. The dominant discourse of Facility Management remains focused on cost per unit area, an approach to performance management that lean manufacturing has outgrown. Moreover, users of offices and managers still tend to take the workplace for granted or leave it to Facility Management to sort out. Instead, the geography of the organization should come to be seen as a facet of general management and leadership. To fully engage users, especially where workplace changes are planned, new offices must transcend the standard—and sterile—debate about "open plans" versus private cellular offices.
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