We are the World

Our feature article in the April issue of Future of Work Agenda was all about communicating effectively, particularly with clients and customers, but generally with everyone.

As we said there:

Communication (one of the most basic of human activities) is the social glue that binds people together in groups, teams, and communities. And when effective, it is a two-way street. It is the process by which we build trust, understanding, respect, and empathy. It’s trite only because it’s true: business relationships don’t go anywhere or produce mutual benefit without effective communication.

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April Issue of Future of Work Agenda

A Free Monthly Newsletter

(this is a reposting of the April issue of our newsletter. It’ s also available online at our website, at this link)

This month we turn the spotlight on two seemingly very different topics: people and real estate. But it’s really all about management – managing relationships, managing your facilities portfolio, and managing yourself.

In our Feature Article we offer the third in our recent series aimed at enhancing organizational effectiveness in the face of a deep economic crisis. [continue reading...]

The April Issue of Future of Work Agenda is Now Available

We’ve just posted the online version of Future of Work Agenda for the month of April.

We will be emailing the newsletter to all subscribers later today (it’s free – you can register online here), and posting it here on the blog as well. [continue reading...]

Getting Things in Order

[This is the Feature article from the March issue of our Future of Work Agenda newsletter. You can also read it in the newsletter format at this link.]

By Charlie Grantham and Jim Ware

O-R-D-E-R up!

Last month we took a shot at helping people reduce the uncertainties in their lives. We called it “Concentrating on Concentration.” Well, in all humility, it was a minor hit. Consider that article to be the first in a three-part series. This month we will focus on “order,” while next month we’ll share some  thoughts on customer interaction.

These three topics are related to an important overall process of building potential – in yourself and your organization. Our perspective is that, like an athlete in training, you have to build up your potential (wind up the spring, as it were) before you go charging off into the wild blue yonder. “Concentrating on Concentration” was about getting the waste out of your business processes:  focus down on what’s really important from your customer’s point of view, and stop doing dumb stuff.

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There Are Only Two Kinds of Companies: The Quick and the Dead

[This is the “Compass” article from the March issue of our Future of Work Agenda newsletter. You can also read it in the newsletter format at this link.]

By Jim Ware and Charlie Grantham

It’s been 18 months since our book, Corporate Agility, was published. We’ve been pleased at how well it’s been received, but we’ve also been frustrated at how few organizations seem to “get” the message.

Now, six months into the current economic “crisis” it’s more apparent than ever that agility isn’t just a nice idea – it’s an absolute survival skill. Pardon us, but maybe if we shout it out one more time someone will hear us.

We opened the book with this observation:

Those that survive will be the fleet of foot and the nimble, or those organizations that create not only new products but also new markets, and do so faster than their competitors ever imagined possible. . .  In today’s business climate, only the agile survive.

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Finding Your Right Work: Notes from an Accidental Entrepreneur

[This is the “Notes from the Field” article from the March issue of our Future of Work Agenda newsletter. You can also read it in the newsletter format at this link.]

By Jim Horan

If you have not lost your job, it’s likely you are in fear that you will. If you have lost your job recently, I truly understand the pain you are feeling, I have been there.

April 1st nineteen years ago I was a CFO in a Fortune 500 company until 9:30am, when the phone rang and I was summoned to the executive suite to learn that my job had just been eliminated.

I was shocked and stunned; but it turned out to be the best possible thing that has happened to me in this life. It caused me, with a substantial amount of pain over several years, to discover who I really was, and then to go out  and find the right work for me.

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The March issue of Future of Work Agenda is Now Available Online

We’ve just posted the online version of Future of Work Agenda for the month of March.

We will be emailing the newsletter to all subscribers later today (it’s free – you can register online here), and posting it here on the blog as well. [continue reading...]

Telecommuting is the Newest Perk – and Cost-Reduction Strategy

There’s a great new story just published today in Business Week detailing how some organizations are turning to “telecommuting” and flexible work programs as a way to reduce costs and retain employees in these difficult times.

The article (“Telecommuting: Once a Perk, Now a Necessity“), by Michelle Conlin (editor of BW’s Working Life Department), highlights how SCAN Health Plan, BDO Seidman, and Capital One are using flexible work options to cut real estate costs significantly.

The really encouraging side of the story, though, is how many employees relish the reduction in commute times and the rebalancing of their lives (no surprise to us, but still a benefit that’s not widely enough recognized).

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Business Xpansion Journal Reprints our Article “Concentrating on Concentration”

We were very pleased to learn today that Rachel Duran at Business Xpansion Journal has just reprinted “Concentrating on Concentration,” from our February 2009 Future of Work Agenda newsletter.

You can see the reprint at this link to the Business Xpansion Journal website.

Or you can read the original here, on our site, and you can even download a pdf verision from here. [continue reading...]

Designing the Work Experience

All the world’s a stage. . .

Our most recent Future of Work Members Roundtable ended with a fascinating conversation about workplace design. No, we weren’t exploring cubicle sizes, layouts, or the color of carpeting.
Instead, our members’ comments were focused on what’s inadequate, and just plain wrong, about the way most organizations plan their facilities and workplaces. As one of our members put it:

We’re still using planning techniques we developed in the 1970’s, when the core assumption was that everyone needed a personal space of some kind, with a large work surface and plenty of filing cabinets. Now we’ve all got laptops, PDA’s, smart phones, and wireless access – and we’re moving around all the time, participating in global project teams and interacting with people on other continents at all times of the day and night. Isn’t it time to rethink the kind of workspaces we need and the way we plan those spaces?

After some extended discussion the group members concluded that they should embark on an exploration of how people in other industries and professions design both physical and social work environments.

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