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Harold Jarche

Harold Jarche's Public Library

08 Feb 14

Last year, for instance, Pentland’s lab put sociometers on 80 employees at a Bank of America call center in Rhode Island. The inconspicuous badges used Bluetooth and infrared signals to measure which co-workers the test subjects talked to every minute for a month and, later, another period of six weeks. After the first month the MIT researchers could see that individuals who talked to more co-workers were getting through calls faster, felt less stressed and had the same approval ratings as their peers. Informally talking out problems and solutions, it seemed, produced better results than following the employee handbook or obeying managers’ e-mailed instructions.

So the call center tried its own experiment. Instead of staggering employees’ coffee breaks as it had previously, it aligned their breaks to allow more chatter. The result, Bank of America told MIT a few months later: productivity gains worth about $15 million a year.

08 Feb 14

Have you ever wanted to view an RSS or ATOM feed in a web based feed reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines, but could not because the feed required user authentication or used an invalid SSL certificate?

Well this site aims to be your solution. Using the form above, enter in the feed url, your username and password and then submit. You will be taken to a new page with an alternate URL for your use.

This site does not require that you include a username or password. If you want to use this for all of your feeds, whether they require user authentication, are protected by https or whatever, feel free to do so.

03 Feb 14


Making Your Work Visible (Observable Work / In The Flow)
Seeking an answer to a question / problem
Answering a question directed to you about your area of expertise
Answering a question directed to you unrelated to your area of expertise
Creating a presentation for a team / committee / department / town hall
Collecting team input prior to starting a work deliverable
Creating content for a work deliverable (WIP)
Collecting feedback on an in-progress work deliverable
Creating content for a work deliverable (Finished Product)
Making Your Work Visible (Narrating Your Work / Above The Flow)
Writing your objectives
Writing a project status update to management / customers
Taking meeting notes
Capturing brainstormed ideas about a project / process / opportunity
Sharing progress / status on an assigned task
Making Work Better / Creating Shared Value by Default / Leading With Generosity
Achieving awareness of work outside your direct responsibilities
Coaching people outside of your team / department
Discovering external resources about your role / area of expertise
Leading / Participating in corporate responsibility projects
Contributing to the Corporate Conversation (Engagement, Activities, Facilities, Corporate Policies, etc.)
Building a Social Network / Making It All Purposeful
Forming and collecting a community of experts on a topic
Connecting with fellow employees on personal interests

31 Jan 14

Many countries do not have policies or standards in place for assessment and introduction of new WASH technologies. This results in arbitrary (or politically motivated) adoption of technologies that are not fit for purpose, too expensive for users, not viable at scale and inadequately supported at the local level*.

22 Jan 14

In late 2013, official documents obtained under freedom of information showed that Canada's domestic spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), had ramped up its surveillance of activists opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline project on 'national security' grounds. The CSIS also routinely passed information about such groups to the project's corporate architect, Calgary-based energy company, Enbridge.

21 Jan 14

Fracking wells generally consume between 2 and 10 million gallons of water in their lifetime. If every potential well in California identified by the U.S. Energy Information Agency were to be fracked, some 5 billion gallons of water would be required, according to Oil Change International.

Polls show Californians oppose expanded fracking in the Golden State and 65 percent of Californians say the state should act immediately to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

18 Jan 14

here are many arguments for inverting the management hierarchy in order to thrive in today’s economy. It is however, easier said than done, with many structural mechanisms working to reinforce rather than dismantle it.

We have identified a number of ways SNA can facilitate this challenging task:

Identifying how clients are actually being engaged with at all levels of the organisation. Visually identifying where bureaucratic processes are impacting performance.

Identifying who the ‘key players’ in the organisation are, being those identified through 360 degree nominations. Rewards and acknowledgement of these key players can change behaviours.

Identifying the ‘leaders without authority’. These are the people at the bottom of the hierarchy who through their powers of influence and persuasion can lead the way from the bottom.

Use the identified key players as connection brokers. In this way ensuring that the right connections can be made at the right time, without the overhead of bureaucratic systems.

Build the reach across the organisation through identified brokers in the ‘weak tie’ network, as a more effective alternative to relying on the formal hierarchy.

Identify the most cohesive teams as those who would benefit most from an injection of diverse connections through co-location. They would also suffer least from not being physically co-located.

13 Jan 14

A man's ideas are only "his own" when they're private. The point at which they are no longer private (i.e. published), they can no longer be his exclusively. To claim otherwise is to claim rights over the minds of other men, which is no different than claiming the "right" of slavery.

07 Jan 14

How Danfoss created jobs by downsizing

Industrial manufacturer Danfoss is the largest employer in southern Denmark, but in 2003 it faced the painful task of scaling down its workforce in the region. With a hit to headquarters’ morale inevitable, Danfoss’s leadership decided to engage with affected professionals in a completely new way. The idea was to recognize the region’s potential as an industry cluster, and to facilitate a process by which many of those skilled former Danfoss executives could establish themselves as high-impact entrepreneurs within it. Danfoss provided seed capital for new ventures using innovative funding mechanisms that distributed the risk between itself and the entrepreneur. It especially encouraged startups in areas complementary to its own business so that it could lend support both as an investor and as a customer—and was soon benefiting along both lines. Danfoss has earned a healthy return on the investments, and its access to sophisticated new services and products helps fuel its competitive advantage. The company’s sales subsequently jumped by €22 million.

But the benefits go far beyond Danfoss’s success. Hiring by the new ecosystem of startups brought unemployment in its region of Denmark down by 1.4 percent. The surprising outcome of Danfoss’s shedding workers was a beneficial churn into new deployments that has helped to counter industrial decline in the region.

The important lesson of this story is that this innovative approach was not led by the Danish government or a non-governmental organization; it was Danfoss itself that recognized the executive talent potentially going to waste and piloted new structures to employ it. Also note that Danfoss’s approach is a job creation model that can travel easily; it does not depend on any unique features of Danfoss’s business or the Danish economy. It is, more than anything, a change in mindset that teaches how important it can be to look at a downsizing situation through a different strategic lens. In any year, Danfoss would have made many purchases and investments. By putting the emphasis on job creation, it found it could do so in ways that also boosted regional employment

06 Jan 14

How Whole Systems Leadership Differs from Conventional Views of Leadership

“Most of the time we use leadership as a synonym for boss or boss-ship. We confuse leadership with leadership position. Leadership is a capacity of a human community to shape its future. Leadership is a collective. Leadership is everywhere.” ~ Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

04 Jan 14

This will require networked individuals to be more discerning - and ironically due to the need to filter and focus on a manageable set of network ties, there may be more limited serendipitous encounters due to information overload. People may also be doing more horizontal reading - i.e., scanning, not finishing articles and filtering at a more horizontal level. The question becomes - are people living in information bubbles, only getting reinforcement from sources in that bubble?

31 Dec 13

The companies that once operated the wells have all but vanished into the prairie, many seeking bankruptcy protection and unable to pay the cost of reclaiming the land they leased. Recent estimates have put the number of abandoned drilling operations in Wyoming at more than 1,200, and state officials said several thousand more might soon be orphaned by their operators.

30 Dec 13

We are not going to change our assumptions about what makes "good" writing over night. They are based on deeply held beliefs that are inculcated in all sorts of subtle ways. We are also going to face an uphill struggle changing expectations of our business writing in reports or even PowerPoint presentations. But with a blog, a business blog whether internal or external, we have a place to play. We can make the blog our own and we can write with our own voice. We can learn to notice more and value our insights. We can learn to use plain language and say what we mean. We can write in a way intended to be read by others like us and in doing so encourage them to follow our lead. We can together raise the prospect of reinventing business writing - and not a moment too soon!

22 Dec 13

Published in the journal Endocrinology, the study examined 12 endocrine-disrupting chemicals (both suspected and known) found in fracking fluid--which typically contains over 700 chemicals in total--in a lab. "We found that the majority disrupted estrogen or androgen signaling," says Susan Nagel, the lead author of the study and a researcher in obstetrics, gynecology, and women's health at the University of Missouri.

Next, the researchers took surface and ground water samples from areas near drilling accidents in the fracking-heavy area of Garfield County, Colorado. Compared to water samples in areas with less or no fracking activity, the samples taken from areas near Garfield's drilling sites had moderate to high levels of endocrine-disrupting activity, the study found. Samples from the Colorado River, which acts as a drainage basin for local drilling sites, also had moderate endocrine-disrupting chemical levels.

"We found about twice the amount of endocrine-disrupting activity in samples as we did in control samples," says Nagel. Keep in mind, these findings affect a lot of people--Garfield County has more than 10,000 active natural gas wells. Fracking sites are found in 17 states; since 2005, over 80,000 wells have been drilled or given permits.

16 Dec 13


Defined roles, such as the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned, and Crites' role which he describes as “a mixture of consultant and reporter.”

Supporting technology, such as MCCLL’s secure web site

Processes for capturing knowledge, such as the After Action Report.

Processes for synthesising and publishing knowledge ("The information is collected and analyzed. The lessons learned from that particular battle or event are extracted and published once a week")

Processes for Learning Before Doing (“A Marine that comes to war studies Lessons Learned, studies what his predecessor did before him, and that’s how he gets ready for deployment.”)

Governance, for example a top down steer on what needs to be learned ( “The command ... guide me into what lessons they want recorded, what lessons they’ve learned, according to their operations").

30 Nov 13

“During his seven years in the Senate,” the report continues, “he (Montgomery) cannot recall other times when representatives from the PMO actually attended meetings and insisted on wording of a Senate report.”

As negotiations reached their heated conclusion, Rogers sent an email to Woodcock and Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, to complain. "This is epic. Montgomery is the problem." In the end, the Duffy report was amended. By July, LeBreton had announced she was stepping down as government leader in the Senate, leaving Montgomery without a job.

In situations like these, a position is usually found in a minister’s office or elsewhere in government.

But a senior Conservative source says there was nothing for Montgomery, blaming his run in with the PMO.

A friend of Montgomery said he felt out of favour; that he was not seen as a team player.

30 Nov 13

More importantly these corporations, whether they're selling information or consumer goods, collude in a pervasive myth and toil to keep us uninformed on important matters such as the environment, economic inequality, and distracted by vapid celebrity claptrap. The Sun don't want an informed populace rejecting their bigoted dogma and daily objectification of women. Tescos don't want engaged and educated consumers recognising the damage that their corporate marauding does to communities, agriculture and local businesses. Their agenda is the same.

These organisations want us dumb and full of junk, in our bellies and our brains. The Sun boast on their website that they give advertisers unique access to their "market", that's you and your family, because as Murdoch says, they are trusted.

27 Nov 13

Seven tips for co-operative leadership

1. Be knowledgeable about your partners, their structures, strategies, needs and decision making systems

2. Be flexible adjusting your individual strategies or objectives to meet the overall aim of the partnership

3. Develop clear lines of communication and decision-making between all the partners

4. Share the power equally between the parties in the partnership

5. Get agreement on the operation and benefits of the partnership

6. Consider your role in the partnership and your motives for engaging with it

7. Most important – create trust between the partners

27 Nov 13

One evening we were invited to meet with the new Vice Governor of Jakarta, who together with the new Governor is among the most beloved and admired political leaders in Indonesia today. They have managed to take on corruption and huge vested interests in order to better serve the well-being of all. In short, they do what many had hoped from the Obama White House team: deliver.

So how can they cope with powerful vested interests turning against them? Total transparency! They put the state budget and every single stakeholder meeting they have instantly online. Interestingly, the Vice Governor talked about essentially the same key themes that earlier in the day the IDEAS fellows had talked about when reflecting on their experience: caring for the well-being of others, courage to fearlessly implement, and co-creating new economic models that serve the well-being of all.

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