How Makers Are Disrupting Workplace Culture

New ideas are constantly being transformed into new products, new services, new business models, and processes. The parallel ascendance of “maker culture” is no accident: the building blocks of the Internet of Things and 3D printing are familiar terrain for the hands-on hobbyist, tinkerer, and inventor.

These makers innovate, build, and experiment to explore their passions. The maker’s spirit is not new, but newly empowered people are finding theirs and expressing it, at a pace that will change the workplace culture profoundly in the future.

Here’s how Makers are disrupting the workplace as we know it today:

Makers will create a workplace culture that cultivates innovation.

In a workplace with open-minded and innovative people, everyone feels empowered to share their ideas and feedback. An open flow of ideas allows makers to step out of their comfort zones and reach their full potential as innovators, leading to improved business procedures, ideas, and products.

Makers also have common personality traits that inspires innovation–curious, self-confident, creative, unafraid of failure, and most importantly, passionate. They genuinely enjoy sharing their passions and mentoring others. This makes them ideal to champion innovation in the workplace.

The technically-advanced “maker class” is becoming democratized: everyone’s a maker.

Makers will push collaboration to the forefront.

Makers support one another’s developments and build affinity groups and structures to guarantee that innovation and the maker spirit thrive. For example, at HP we have affinity groups that bring together employees with common interests to further the makers’ spirit. Anyone can be a member of any affinity group they are interested in –everything from AI and Machine Learning to Thermal Management, Materials and Security.

Makers will allow businesses to enter new markets faster.

Innovation and the maker spirit that drives it are shaping corporate life, enabling everyone to see opportunities to enter new markets. Makers unravel the status quo and create a new one.

HP Tech Ventures is a great example of how HP enters and deep dives into additional markets. We made our first move into VR investments via a partnership with the VR fund, which allows us to deliver leading Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality solutions and technologies to our customers.

Makers unravel the status quo and create a new one.

Makers will allow companies to do more with less.

Thinking outside of the box and relying on their passion for innovation, Makers focus on opportunities and activities that require a small amount of resources, but result in an impactful change. This accelerates ideas to results, speeds up iterations, and leads to powerful connections. They do small things–encourage experimentation and celebrate mistakes–that make a big difference.

Makers are true disrupters because they’re not afraid to fail. Their innovation requires testing, failure, more testing. They aren’t fearful of trying an idea or creating a new product, and if they fail will dust themselves off to get up and try again. Innovators work efficiently, going where their passion takes them, and that’s where disruption occurs.

Makers will predict the future.

They may not have a crystal ball, but Makers do pay attention to emerging technology trends and can see the full potential of a half-baked idea or product. As Harvard Business School professor and disruption guru Clayton Christensen once said, “No idea for a new growth business ever comes fully shaped. When it emerges, it’s half-baked, and it then goes through a process of becoming fully shaped.”

Our future work economy will be transformed by Makers, who are strategic thinkers, quick to innovate, passionate and most importantly, collaborate with other visionaries.

HP CTO & Global Head HPLabs. Technology futurist, passionate leader focused on 3dprinting, cybersecurity, drones, travel, and FriendsNational.

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