Tag Archive for: agility

February 2012 Newsletter

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February 2012

What are you doing on February 10th? Would you like to spend an hour with me and 14 other smart people thinking out loud about the future of work?

I will be hosting “Talking About Tomorrow,” an “open mike” conference call at 11 AM Pacific Standard Time on Friday, February 10. There’s no charge to participate, but you do have to sign up in advance.

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My Bookshelf: The Agile Workforce and Workplace

The Agile Workforce and Workplace: Flex Primer for the New Future of Work
By Karol Rose and Lori Sokol, Ph.D.
Working Mother Media, New York, NY (2011)

Reviewed by Jim Ware

There have been thousands of books, articles, speeches, and blog posts in recent years on how to implement flexible work. Some of those sources have even been useful. But The Agile Workforce and Workplace, by Karol Rose and Lori Sokol, is by far the most comprehensive, and the most practical, guide I have found to date.

As readers of this newsletter know, I have spent much of my career campaigning for flexible work. In recent years my focus has been on Alternative Workplace Strategies (AWS) and managing remote workers, but that is only because I believe there are very practical physical, social, and technological challenges that must be addressed to make flexible work a reality.

I have a deep passion about making flexible work a reality for millions of people around the world. Most organizations make terrible use of human talent. All too often they still treat people like interchangeable parts in some grand machine, and fail completely to take individual differences, and personal needs, into account. The result is a tragic waste of human capital and loss of potential productivity, to say nothing of the poor treatment of people and the prevention of work/life integration. It’s simply got to change, both for the good of society and for the health of the economy.

And that is why I recommend this book.

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Going Mobile Overnight: Business Continuity Insurance

This is a reprint of the Compass article from our September Future of Work Agenda newsletter. We are reproducing it here to call attention to the importance of preparing for the upcoming flu season in North America, and the value of having a flexible/mobile work program as a means of coping with a pandemic.

By Jim Ware and Charlie Grantham

It’s fall here in North America, and the flu season is upon us. Most of us know there’s a greater risk than normal this year because of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as Swine Flu. Clearly, we all hope it won’t turn into a pandemic, but that possibility remains very real.

However, this isn’t a plea for you to get a flu shot (though you should, and we certainly plan to). Rather, it’s a reminder that unlikely but possible events like a pandemic, a hurricane, an earthquake, a transit strike, or—heaven help us—a terrorist attack could play havoc with your business. As Alvin Toffler pointed out many years ago, it’s those low probability/high impact external events that can create genuine “future shock” if you haven’t included them in your thinking.

While many organizations do have detailed business continuity and risk abatement plans, our experience suggests that very few of those plans include the best response of all:  a remote/mobile work program.

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C.K. Prahalad Discovers Corporate Agility

I was very pleased to read C.K. Prahalad’s back-page commentary in the September 21 issue of Business Week (“In Volatile Times, Agility Rules“).

The message is a basic one:  when the future is uncertain, you’ve got to be able to shift both your strategy and your operations in a nanosecond.

. . . Terrorism and pandemics pose threats of major disruptions.

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