Project Management

We Have Always Been Hybrid

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at

A very big deal is being made about workplace models, and how we are all going to come back together—or not—as we shift into whatever our new normal looks like.

This has included lots of speculation about hybrid work approaches, changes to office environments and responding to differences in expectations. It also includes all manner of wants and demands from employees about where, when and how they work.

Having been a management consultant for (frighteningly) more than three decades, if I can offer one enduring perspective on this situation, it would be this: none of this is at all new.

What makes this new is that our conversations about work, workplaces and work arrangements have been thrust into the collective consciousness on a pretty universal basis. We were all forced into a different and often very remote working environment at the onset of the pandemic. We have been struggling to make the best of awkward situations ever since (often adjusting at very different paces).

What makes this conversation urgent is that we are variously on the verge of returning to working relationships that we aren’t all sure that we like the shape of. Realigning, reorienting and renegotiating has become the order of the day. Organizations, executives, middle managers and front-line resources are all engaged in a rabid game of musical chairs, hoping to find …

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"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish."

- Euripides