Learning and economies

Here are some of the insights and observations that were shared via Twitter this past week.

@SteveDenning “If you’re not hearing laughter, it’s a sign you’re still in the land of traditional management.” via @JurgenAppelo

@HildyGottlieb ” When we plant seeds of moral outrage, we eliminate the possibility for action on what we have in common.”

Learning Organizations Then and Now – by @Driessen

The learning organization sees companies as communities (organisms). A very interesting statement is made towards the end of the book [The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook]:

The lifeblood of the organization as community is dialogue, not only within teams but in the whole organization. If intellectual capital is the most important production factor than the capacity to have deep discussions about important topics is essential for breakthrough thinking and innovation.

Has the recession created a freelance utopia or a freelance underclass? via @MsRasberryInc

The country’s freelance nation has always been a diverse lot, some of whom were pushed out of full-time jobs and others who actively pursued this pathway with entrepreneurial zeal. But the recession has forced a growing number of people to grudgingly pursue this path. Do some of them end up “loving it”? Of course. Will some devote their extra free time to creative pursuits, perhaps to become indie rock darlings? Sure. But those who want to pursue the freelance life to support themselves full time are having a far harder time doing so.

Douglas Rushkoff: What we lack is not employment, but a way of fairly distributing the bounty we have generated through our technologies

The question we have to begin to ask ourselves is not how do we employ all the people who are rendered obsolete by technology, but how can we organize a society around something other than employment? Might the spirit of enterprise we currently associate with “career” be shifted to something entirely more collaborative, purposeful, and even meaningful?

China adds $6.50 of value per iPhone. iPod supported 14000+ jobs in the US – by @TimHarford

A similar story seems to hold for jobs. Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick and Kenneth Kramer of the University of California, Irvine, look at the jobs created by the old faithful iPod. Their study reckons that the iPod accounted for almost 41,000 jobs worldwide in 2006, and only 30 of those were in manufacturing in the US. But the iPod supported more than 6,000 engineering or other professional jobs in the US – as well as almost 8,000 lower-paid jobs in the likes of retail and distribution. Linden and his colleagues reckon that US workers earned more than two-thirds of all the wages paid to workers in the iPod value chain.

Guardian: Ecology is the new economy. via @JenniferSertl

The basis for this thinking is that the linear way in which the world economy currently operates fuels a culture of consumption and creates more waste than is sustainable in the long term. In contrast, the living world operates in a circular cycle where the waste of one species provides the food for another and resources flow.

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