Posts Categorized: Work

revisiting self-determination theory

Self-determination theory states that there are three universal human drivers — autonomy, competence, and relatedness. We need some control over our lives, we want to be good at something, and we want to feel that we can relate to other people. These three drivers are what make us do what we do. Skills are just… Read more »

the knowledge artisan era

An artisan (craftsperson) is a skilled manual worker in a particular craft, using specialized tools and machinery. Artisans were the dominant producers of goods before the Industrial Revolution. ABC Co. are the Artisans of the post-Industrial era, retrieving old world care and attention to detail, but using the latest tools and processes. To ensure that… Read more »

from platforms to covenants

I wrote in agile sensemaking (2018) that radical innovation only comes from networks with large structural holes which are more diverse. This is why social networks cannot also be work teams, or they become echo chambers. Work teams can focus intensely on incremental innovation, to get better at what they already do. Communities of practice,… Read more »

time for management to grow up

In 2008, while working with a team of 40 people spread across several times zones, I suggested that we need a distributed work manifesto. This would include the requirement for collaborative documents, a group text chat, a focus on delivering content and not formatting for style, and reserving email for decisions and contracts. We are… Read more »

normal is the bias

Almost a decade ago Harvard Business Review featured Scott Berkun’s article on how Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, was able to function as a 100% distributed company. “Culture is critical. Automattic has many policies designed to empower employees and remote work is just one of them. They believe individual workers know best how to… Read more »

stupidity — the new normal

Two years ago I wrote about the new normal of work, citing a Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions report that had just been published. The major trends identified in the report included observations such as evidence that in cities more likely to vote for Donald Trump, there were fewer jobs that can be done remotely…. Read more »

Dee Hock 1929-2022

Dee Hock, founder and CEO of VISA, died last week at the age of 93. VISA’s success was based on its chaordic structure. chaordic [kay-ordʹ-ic], adj., fr. E. chaos and order. 1. The behavior of any self-organizing, self-governing, organ, organization, or system that harmoniously exhibits characteristics of both order and chaos. 2. Patterned by chaos… Read more »

stupid management practices continue

Ten years ago, I wrote that the performance appraisal treadmill is keeping organizations from testing out and adopting better management models for the networked economy. Performance appraisals are like academic grades and keep the focus on the individual. In a collaborative, social enterprise this is counter-productive. In today’s enterprise, work is learning and learning is… Read more »

analyzing automation

Several years ago I recommended one small change that could have a major impact would be to look at everyone’s work from the perspective of standardized versus customized (non-standardized) work. Every person in the company, with the help of some data and peer feedback, should be able to determine what percentage of their time is… Read more »

learning is the work, redux

Ten years ago I wrote — work is learning, and learning is the work. I have been asked to speak about this topic at the LernOS Convention on 5 July, which I will present online. Let’s see what has transpired in a decade. The first paragraph is even more pertinent today, especially given the global experiences… Read more »