Shifting to Net Work

Our first Net Work Literacy session ends this week. There were several reasons why Jane Hart and I decided to offer this two-week online programe. The idea first came to me as I realized how many of my clients and colleagues were not as connected as they could be, too often wasting their time on routine things and not building networks that could help them get work done.

I’ve also noticed that people in their mid to late job careers are woefully unprepared to adapt to a post-job world, where work is simultaneously connected, contractual, part-time, global and local. Once the job is gone, many also lose their professional networks. The Net Work Literacy programme aims at getting people to think in terms of networks, with a focus on taking control of their professional development.

Our programme is global in scope, with participants from four continents so far. However, a key to long term success in learning and working in a post-industrial society is connecting these global learning networks with one’s local community. As energy costs increase, more of our resources will have to be local. Using network skills at the local level, connected to a global support network, is one way to develop a sustainable way of life.

As we continue with the Net Work Literacy programme, I intend on getting more stories about what is happening in various localities and learn how people are dealing with what my friend Bill Draves calls a Nine Shift.

There are 24 hours in a day. We have no real discretion with roughly 12 of those hours. We need to eat, sleep, and do a few other necessary chores in order to maintain our existence. That hasn’t changed much through the centuries, so far.

That leaves approximately 12 hours a day where we, as individuals, do have some discretion. That includes work time, play time, and family time.

Of those 12 hours, about 75%, or 9 hours, will be spent totally differently a few years from now than they were spent just a few years ago. Not everything will change, but 75% of life is in the process of changing right now.

3 Responses to “Shifting to Net Work”

  1. Liz Renshaw

    I am an educationalist who, having left the public sector after 30 years is now setting out on the journey of building my own business. Harolds comments about the importance of networks are occupying my mind at the moment. I had a very strong network within a specific organisation, some of the ties are strong and will remain, whilst others were weaker. In creating my own business, I am mindful of the importance of both global and local networks. Building a business requires a broader skill base than I have previously used in my teaching role so I am keen to network with a diverse range of people, with skills in different domains to me. Harold comments about the importance of melding both local and global communities has got me thinking again. Being as self directed learner, and keen to direct my own professional learning I have participated in a couple of online PD programs and they have been instrumental in me connecting globally. At the moment I’ve not turned my attention to connecting with local networks, from a business perspective. So it’s a very new world for me, taking up an encore career, Harolds wise words about building networks to ensure sustainability have provided much food for thought…..

  2. Mark

    This has been an interesting thread. I have always been more interested in doing my own business as a late-20’s individual however it feels like I keep hitting a ceiling and part of that is largely attributed to where the limit of my knowledge base exists.

    I’m pretty sure that networking with other individuals will significantly change this.

    So here goes and the Social Learning Centre is my first step in that direction.


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