The Corporate Rebels Canvas: A Practical Tool To Build A Workplace People Love

Pim de Morree
Written by Pim de Morree April 27, 2017

In a previous post we showed that the command-and-control culture is killing companies. We made it clear that creating a culture of employee engagement and motivation can significantly boost a business' bottom line. But what does this look like and how do you do this effectively?

Globally, we visited over 50 of the most inspiring workplaces (see our 8 trends we derived from visiting pioneers that have cracked the code and created highly engaging workplaces.

Corporate Rebels Canvas

But before we deep dive into the 8 habits of these organizations, we first have to forget about our conventional way of (organizational) thinking. To better understand and fully embrace this alternative way of organizing we have to start with an open mind and an empty canvas. To do this, we start with a blank canvas which we gradually fill with content over the next few weeks. The canvas provides an overview of the most important trends of highly engaging workplaces (see our Huffington Post article for more information on the 8 trends).

While we fill the canvas over the next few weeks, we guide you through the most important findings of our research. Each blog post in the *Rebel Research* series dives into one particular trend and describes case studies, research data, and best practices for that specific topic. The goal of all of this is to provide our readers with a comprehensive overview of ways to create an engaging workplace. After that, we'll focus on designing practical experiments to help you improve on some of the trends.


This canvas should NOT be used as a checklist. The trends we describe are nothing more than that; trends. Of all the companies we've visited, none of them are *"heavy"* on all trends. So whatever you use it for, don't use it as a *ticking-the-box exercise* to create the perfect workplace. First of all because the perfect workplace doesn't exist, second of all because then you ignore the most important part of the process: asking employees what they want!

Instead, use it as a tool to fuel and guide discussions. A way to start the conversation on what can be improved and what could be removed to create a more inspiring work environment. To further stress the importance of this, check out the *how to use it *section below.

See below a short note on how to use the canvas. In a later blog post, we go into more detail on how to use the Rebel Canvas.

How to use the Corporate Rebels Canvas

Download the Corporate Rebels Canvas, print it and grab yourself some Post-its. Work in teams with a maximum of 15 people and get ready to start visualizing your ideal workplace!

Your ideal way of working (15min)

  • Brainstorm (silent and personal) to describe the aspects of your ideal way of working;
  • Ask yourself what to keep, what to get rid of and what to add;
  • Ask each person to write down multiple aspects (one per Post-it).
  • Explain and share the 8 trends of inspiring organizations
  • Use the Corporate Rebels Trends as a source of inspiration.

Fill the Canvas (15min)

  • Place your Post-its on the Canvas in the field that fits best;
  • Only ask explanatory questions, no discussion yet.

Describe the future state of your organization (30min)

  • Describe the future state of your organization, discussing the different trends and their cohesion;
  • Add Post-its per trend when needed for improved description.

Design an experiment (30min)

  • Choose a trend or subject to improve;
  • Design an experiment for the next month;

UseI believe that …’ ‘to verify that, we will …’ ‘and measure …’ ‘we are right when ...’.

Evaluate the experiment and process after 1 month

  • Did you make progress towards the future state of your organization;
  • What worked well, what can you improve in the way of working;
  • Start your next experiment!

What's next

This Sunday, we'll publish a blog post on the first trend on our canvas: Moving from a focus on pure profits to Purpose & Values. Over the next weeks we guide you through the canvas by publishing more blog posts about the trends and their practical applications.

Written by Pim de Morree
Pim de Morree
As co-founder of Corporate Rebels I focus on: researching, writing, speaking, and building our company.
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