The history of the first true workplace consultancy
Not many people know that Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) was the first true Workplace consultancy in the UK (and probably in the world) bringing together experts in the fields of technology, workplace design, facilities management, business strategy and behavioural change management. It’s mission… quite simply, to change the world (of work).
Formed in 1992 by Andrew Mawson, Wes McGregor and Graham Jervis, AWA set out to provide a new kind of workplace consultancy that put people and organisations first, using lateral thinking and insights into future technology as a baseline for workplace design, workplace management and workplace culture.
Much of our thinking then (which endures today) was based on a futuristic research programme undertaken by a powerful group of companies known as The Learning Building Group (LBG) involving ICL (now Fujitsu), BAe Systems, Thorn, Skanska, Amec and Ericsson. The programme, which was led by Andrew Mawson, built on ICL’s technology research and looked at the future of work, technology, workplace and property. It brought forward a new model for the design of buildings which would enable rapid change, support people in doing their best work, embrace the rapid evolution of technology and recognise the need to ‘design in’ changes in use in order to ensure economic viability.
Since then we’ve been true to our roots, working with some of the most respected organisations in the world to help use moments of workplace change to drive dramatic improvements in business performance. We’ve remained independent and continue to pioneer new thinking through research undertaken in our Workplace PIN Explorer Groups which uses academic research and live trials to answer unanswered workplace questions.
And we take our role in changing the world (of work) seriously and are proud to use our influence and relationships to further workplace thinking and excellence!
To this end in 2010 we launched Workplace Week a week long programme of events and visits designed to shine a light on workplace innovation and raise funds for the BBC’s Children in need charity. Workplace Week has been running annually for the past six years, raising millions for charity.
In 2014, AWA launched the Workplace Management Framework as an ‘open standard’ setting out capabilities and best practices for managing the modern workplace. This model has been used to create workplace strategy around the world.
In recent years AWA have undertaken heavy research into Knowledge Worker Productivity, Managing the Agile Workplace and Cognitive Performance, adding each as a valued service we provide to our much loved clients.
Expect us to continue challenging the status quo and using our energies to push the boundaries!