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Harold Jarche's Library tagged WorkingSmarter   View Popular, Search in Google

Sep 14, 12

"As I often say, in a connected world, unless your skills are world-class, you are a commodity.

However there are three domains in which individuals and organizations can transcend commoditization and push their value creation to the other end of the spectrum, where they can command their price and choose their work.

The three domains are:

EXPERTISE. As more information is available, deep specialist world-class expertise that can be applied to create value for clients is the heart of much global value creation. That expertise must be broad-based, up-to-the-minute, and directly relevant to real-world issues.

RELATIONSHIPS. Expertise in isolation is not useful. The rich sets of relationships that form networks are at the heart of value creation. Those who can connect expertise and facilitate the co-creation of value in relationships will be at the heart of the economy.

INNOVATION. Innovation stems from connecting expertise, ideas, insights, and experience. Those who have original perspectives or can elicit new frames by bringing together diversity can capture and share extraordinary pools of value.

The future is stark. There will be a large and increasing divide between those who have one or more of these core strengths, and those who do not and whose livelihoods are on an ongoing path of commoditization."

Oct 20, 12

I love it when others summarize my work:

"The Change in Work - It's not just factory workers but even Doctors that are going to be automated or outsourced. So how will you make a living? Only truly creative work will pay.
So what is Creative Work? - It is not just design etc but will include making valuable things and even growing food - and new sites such as Etsy enable you to find a market
The Industrial World Deskilled work - It all became assembly - Anything like this can be automated and will be
The jobs cannot come back
Training works well when you want to learn how to drive a car - you can train to be a carpenter but making the shift to be creative or to stand for themseleves - you cannot train for that
What is the new?

So what helps you be this new person?
Apprenticing - complex things cannot be learned except by shared experience
The crafts communities have never lost this - learn the rules and then learn how to break them - look at studios - very little teaching - mainly doing
Then you have to get connected to your community
All sorts of studios will emerge that will help you where clusters of people who know aggregate
The Knowledge Artisans have to take charge of themselves 
What about advice for you?

Learn REAL skills - not just how to make it in an organization
Learn how to have a network - in the job world we don't have them - many of us don't know anything about this if we have had a job - so start now
This must be diverse and be about your interests
Put yourself OUT THERE
You are as good as your network
Think of yourself as a Freelancer for Life - and so always nuture your network  no matter what - avoid getting lulled into a sense of false security
His advice to his kids

Find the sweet spot (Dave Pollard) Find out your passion, what you are good at and what people will pay you for
You have to have all three"

Feb 15, 13

"Approaching workplace learning in this way - by supporting the extraction of learning from work rather than the injection of learning activities into work - presents a whole new set of challenges for HR, Talent and L&D professionals.

the challenges include the facts that:

It can't be built into a course or programme.
It can't be 'delivered'.
Managers need to be enabled and supported if it is to work.
It can't be managed and controlled in the way discrete training and learning injections into the workflow can be.
most of the learning processes are opaque to HR and L&D and can only be made explicit through observation and other field survey and data collection approaches.

Oct 25, 11

To improve, we must know our biggest failings.

In the training and development field, our five biggest failures are as follows:

We forget to minimize forgetting and improve remembering.
We don't provide training follow-through.
We don't fully utilize the power of prompting mechanisms.
We don't fully leverage on-the-job learning.
We measure so poorly that we don't get good feedback to enable improvement.

Jan 25, 15

"“Celebrity Freelancer” is my pet name for those internet-famous “gurus” who don’t seem to do much, besides spending 20 hours a day online, trying to get people to buy their e-books, speaking gigs or in my case, fine art.

For people stuck in office jobs they despise, being a “Celebrity Freelancer” sounds like a pretty sweet deal, until you actually have to do it. Having to be “interesting” every day and pimping all the time via your blog is actually a pretty demeaning and soul-destroying way to spend one’s life. After a couple of months you start hating yourself. Nein danke.
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[This is strictly my personal blog. My work blog is over at]

Since 1997 I've been drawing cartoons on the back of business cards, just to give me something to do while sitting at the bar.

So far, I have drawn over 10,000 of them.

The mission of is to document and archive every single one of the ten-thousand-plus cards I've drawn since 1997, plus any other cartoons, ideas and writings I care to share with the world. Documenting the cards is a mammoth task, but it’ll to be an amazing body of work, once it’s done.

I've been regularly showing the cards individually over at the since 2001.

The vast majority of the cards are India ink on acid-free card stock (Strathmore 400 vellum bristol board), cut to standard business-card size.

The cards are generally not for sale, because I want to keep the collection as intact as impossible.

I like getting emails from y'all:

I’ll be regualrly updating the site with new work, as events unfold etc.

Thanks for visiting,

- Hugh MacLeod

Sep 15, 14

"A growing talent gap that’s getting wider with more than half of employees surveyed feeling that their company provides inadequate training on technology, despite an acceptance that demand for skills like analytics and programming/development will grow sizeably over the next three years. Worse, less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.

Lack of leadership is to blame for all all this, with executives citing lack of access to strong leaders as the number two impediment to achieving their goals of building a workforce to meet future business objectives. Under a third of executives interviewed reckon that they would be able to replace a skilled departing employee from within the organization, with most of them believing that their own leaders don’t the skills to manage talent or inspire employees.

Workforce transience over permanence as the emergence of the ‘as a service’ economy leads to organizations tapping into freelance external contractors and resources to plug gaps and deliver ‘as needed’ skills. This clearly impacts on the nature of the workforce which becomes more fluid and less permanent. This one isn’t going to change though as 83% of executives state they plan to use more and more ‘consulting employees’."

Jul 18, 13

In the chart you can see that in the US in the 1980s there was strong growth in high-skill jobs and a reduction in low-skill jobs, in the 1990s there was massive growth in high-skill jobs and a little growth in low-skill jobs, and in 1999-2007 there was high growth in low-skill jobs and a little growth in high-skill jobs.

At no point was there growth in middle-skilled jobs.

Aug 01, 13

Forcing people back to the workplace is not the solution because too often when they are in the workplace they are either sitting in a meeting listening to endless presentations, or in a cubicle sending emails to each other. Neither of those activities is worth the cost in time or travel. The only reason to come together face-to-face is for people to be in conversation with each other! And real conversation happens all too infrequently in workplaces, as my own research has shown.

Mar 10, 13

Jaron Lanier was right, it sadly seems. The middle class will be no more.

"Wealthy musician Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to produce and release a record, recently used a TED talk to expand on the idea that artists should be willing to work for free. After relaying a story about how she used to be a street performer, Palmer, who is married to a very successful author named Neil Gaiman, told an audience of people who'd paid $7,500 apiece to be there that musicians shouldn't "make" people pay for their work, but rather "let" people pay for their work. She also explained that she found it virtuous when a family of undocumented immigrants huddled together on their couch for a night so that she and her band could have their beds, because her music and presence was a fair exchange for the family's comfort. After about 13 minutes of explaining why she is content with people giving her things, Palmer received a standing ovation."

Feb 23, 13

"Interpreting findings through Relational Proximity Lens: There’s more to the study, but I’ll take a look at just these findings. Remember, this is what characterized effective teams.

First, noticeable is the absence of learning styles, personality types or personal media preferences as a factor. Kelley’s summary doesn’t mention them. It was an intense 21 month study and I’m sure they would have controlled for those factors or rather picked teams similar enough that styles, types and media preferences wouldn’t vary greatly between teams.

Second, there were three driving factors for interaction media choice a) interdependence of tasks, b) complexity of task, c) level of trust and mutual understanding. In terms of Relational Proximity dimensions, I want to say the nature of the relational Purpose (dimension #5) is the driving factor for appropriate relational Directness (dimension #1). In other words, what they were about and their sense of common agreement on that determined how they chose to interact.

Third, a predictable yet flexible rhythm to their meetings was a major factor in success. The rhythm was determined and adjusted according to a) an upfront decision b) level of mutual trust and shared understanding (esp. in cross-cultural/professional situations) c) previous and expected outcomes. In terms of Relational Proximity, the regularity and future reliability of the meetings (dimension #2, continuity) was determined by their goal (dimension #5, Purpose) and by shared agreement (dimension #4, Parity)."

Feb 15, 13

"Anybody who's ever worked in a very repetitive, menial job will recognise this suspicious atmosphere – the less enjoyable a job is, the more people there are who suspect you of trying to get out of it. That's reasonable, I suppose, though if people were treated less like robots to begin with, they might not need so much surveillance. But the fabled "innovation" of the private sector never seems to be able to extend itself towards making jobs more self-determining and satisfying. Presumably this is because there's always a danger that self-determining, satisfied people might distinguish themselves in some way, might cease to be interchangeable and might want – indeed, deserve – more than the paltry wage they might be being paid."

Feb 07, 13

"Four Concluding Observations
• Structured Socialization
We see from this example that people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves. Before Researcher’s Square, the researchers at NIWL daily saw their colleagues coming in and out of the building, passed them on the staircase, or nodded to them in the hall, but they learned very little from one another. Moreover, when I asked them to anticipate how they might use Researcher’s Square, they could not envision a benefit beyond coffee and food. But when NIWL created a place for structured socialization* they not only learned from each other, the whole organization became more aligned and collaborative - in a word, more effective. Structured socialization named by my colleague, Robert Dalton, is the intentional design of processes and space that bring people together in conversational formats to create and share knowledge.
• Connection before Content
Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage. In Researcher’s Square, the coffee, food, and small tables for chats, all provided an atmosphere in which the researchers were able to build the connections that then allowed content to flow.
• Cognitive Diversity
The researchers proved to be more interested in others’ projects than they thought they would be. They assumed that what others were doing would be of little interest to them and likewise that others would have little interest in what they are doing, after all the projects they were engaged in were greatly varied and appeared to have little in common with each other. However, in Researcher’s Square these differences also brought with them an attribute that boosts creativity and innovation within a group, cognitive diversity. When people are cognitively diverse they bring to any problem, a larger set of tools derived from multiple perspectives, problem solving tactics, heuristics and interpretations.
• Conversation Rather Than Presentation
The learning that occurred in Researcher’s Square did not come from presentations, rather the knowledge gained was through conversation. When we think about learning from others our first thought is to have someone make a presentation. But as ubiquitous as presentations are, they are a poor way to learn from peers. Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.

NIWL created a Hallway of Learning that changed the organizational culture."

Feb 19, 12

The manufacturing jobs that pay best today look a lot more like knowledge work than traditional factory work. In fact, high-paid manufacturing work - guiding and maintaining advanced machinery, engaging in problem solving, and continuous improvement with other workers and engineers - increasingly is knowledge work.

Feb 12, 12

Here are a number of examples of how people and organisations are using social media for social learning – both INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY – in order to improve job, team and business performance and productivity. These examples are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e. most recent first.

Sep 24, 11

Gratton outlines five forces that will shape the future pattern of work:

Technology (think 5 billion people, digitized knowledge, ubiquitous cloud).
Globalisation (think continued bubbles and crashes, a regional underclass, the world becoming urban, frugal innovation).
Longevity and demography (think Gen Y, increasing longevity, aging boomers growing old poor, global migration).
Society (think growing distrust of institutions, the decline of happiness, rearranged families)
Energy resources (think rising energy prices, environmental catastrophes displacing people, a culture of sustainability emerging).

Jul 04, 11

All you need to know about training evaluation in ~700 words #MustRead #lrnchat #LetsMoveOn #WorkingSmarter

Jun 23, 11

Over breakfast before my flight, I jotted down thirty additional business topics that have natural learning solutions, for example feeding the talent pipeline, improving morale and lowering turnover, improving customer service, leapfrogging competitors, keeping everyone on the same page, not re-inventing the wheel, aligning with core values, developing managers and leaders, cross-skilling the workforce, personal development and growth, doing more with less, helping others learn, adopting good/next practices, and even improving the results of training. Within self-development, there are such things as leading better meetings, becoming a more effective speaker, improving one’s memory, being more persuasive, managing projects well, and writing to the point. These range from low-level how-to things like job aids to big-picture items like implementing strategy. There are doubtless many more topics.

May 01, 11

Automation of higher-level jobs is accelerating because of progress in computer science and linguistics. Only recently have researchers been able to test and refine algorithms on vast data samples, including a huge trove of e-mail from the Enron Corporation.

"The economic impact will be huge," said Tom Mitchell, chairman of the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "We're at the beginning of a 10-year period where we're going to transition from computers that can't understand language to a point where computers can understand quite a bit about language."

Nowhere are these advances clearer than in the legal world.

Apr 30, 11

It is difficult for contemporary observers to appreciate the profound impact these revolutionary breakthroughs had on the organization of economic life in the early decades of America’s industrial revolution. In 1890, nine out of ten white males worked for themselves, and the ones who didn’t were referred to disparagingly as “wage slaves.” At the time, the average manufacturing company had four employees, and few factories had more than 100 laborers. Yet within a generation, Ford Motor Company would be making half a million cars a year, Sears, Roebuck & Company would be operating a continental-scale distribution system, and US Steel would be able to boast of a billion-dollar market value.

Apr 22, 11

Radical Management: "This is not just PR bullshit" by @stevedenning via @MarionChapsal #WorkingSmarter

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