Posts Categorized: Work

solving problems together

Most situations at work can be considered from the perspective of — is this a known problem or not? If it’s known, then the answer can be looked up or the best person can be found to deal with it. The answer may even have been automated or outsourced. Known problems require access to the… Read more »

seeing the value of cooperation

Nancy Dixon tells a wonderful story about ‘Researcher’s Square’ and the hallway of learning. The whole story is well worth your time. It describes how a diverse group of mostly independent researchers who worked in their individual offices were able to cooperate and even collaborate due to a change in the built architecture. A central… Read more »

mapping healthcare

This past year my wife and I have spent a fair bit of time in hospitals and doctors’ offices, helping friends navigate the healthcare system. One thing we have noticed is the siloed nature of medicine here. When you get limited time with a healthcare professional and they have limited time to get up to… Read more »

more on meetings

I listened to a podcast recently where Steven Rogelberg was interviewed about his 2019 book — The Surprising Science of Meetings. I think that meetings are prime areas of opportunity for workplace performance improvement. For example, optimizing meetings can make time for learning. So I reviewed Rogelberg’s web page that provides links to podcasts, interviews,… Read more »

making time for learning

For over a decade I have promoted the idea that work is learning & learning is the work. It seems the idea has now gone mainstream, as it’s even noted in Forbes that, “Work and learning will become analogous”. It is much easier to just say that workflow learning is essential rather than putting in… Read more »

the knowledge artisan

An artisan is skilled in a craft and uses specialized tools or machinery. Artisans were the dominant producers of goods before the Industrial Revolution. Knowledge artisans are similar to their pre-industrial counterparts, especially when it comes to tools. Knowledge artisans not only design the work but they can do the work. It is not passed… Read more »

change takes time and effort

The idea that generalists and soft skills are needed in the modern workplace seems to be hitting the mainstream of HR, L&D, etc. I have written about these for the past decade or more, and I think it’s necessary to clarify some of the discussion. 1. Wicked problems need neo-generalists Neo-generalists defy common understanding. They… Read more »

citizen-learners

Crooked Broker Capitalists Dave Pollard (2007) showed that in a ‘crooked broker society’, an Exploiter oppresses a Desperate Supplier. This unbalanced relationship is reinforced by a Procurer who in turn gouges an Addicted Buyer. It’s the underlying nature of unregulated capitalism that drives us toward such a society. For example, Peter Thiel, a platform capitalist,… Read more »

adding value with teams

In working collaboratively & learning cooperatively I noted that team collaboration requires the transparent sharing of knowledge — using enterprise social networks and other technologies — so that everyone on a team knows what is going on and why. Decisions, and why they were made, are shared. New processes and methods are co-developed to create… Read more »

insights over processes

Process improvement, like Six Sigma, stifles innovation. Process improvement is a tool set, not an overarching or unifying concept for an organization. Process improvement is a means — for certain contexts like manufacturing — and not an end in itself. The fundamental problem with all process improvement methodologies is that you get myopic. The evidence… Read more »