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Category: Posted: April 24, 2012 0 comments

This post is the first in a two-part reflection on two enduring management obsessions: control and employee engagement.

Shifting to the right

Following my post describing the Smart Work Framework, Harold Jarche (@hjarche) correctly commented that letting go of control would be an issue for businesses shifting to the right of the framework, from traditional structures characterised by place-dependent hierarchical structures to physically-distributed, networked structures.

Legacy of insight

As I have said repeatedly, in blog posts too numerous to identify, we have been here before. My contention is that social business developments are only the next phase in a trajectory of reform of ways of working, which began ...

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Category: Posted: March 30, 2012 0 comments

Introduction

The recent series of blog posts about the campus / learning workplace are the result of my growing awareness of the importance of the workplace for knowledge creation through the work I have been doing in recent years with Dr Marie Puybaraud and the Johnson Controls Global Mobility Network.

Work-based learning

I have another string to my bow. I headed up a team, over a decade ago, responsible for establishing and growing a UK university’s work-based learning Master’s degrees across all faculties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What this means is that rather than feeding students into pre-designed course, our starting point was a strategic thing the student’s business needed to do. We helped them scope a strategic objective and create a high-level...

 

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Category: Posted: February 06, 2012 0 comments

"Our theories and ideas have done much to strengthen the management practices that we are now so loudly condeming" Sumatra Ghoshal, 2005 in Academy of Management Learning, vol 4, no 1.

This post is a reflection on Ghoshal's observations on "the pretence of knowledge" and the scientific approach to management. I have been quiet on the blog writing front for about three months. This was in part because I needed to get my head down and get outstanding tasks done. There was something else though: a gnawing feeling that I am hanging back from saying something that has been on my mind for a long time. So here it is. ...

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Category: Posted: January 23, 2012 0 comments

I really did hesitate to write this post a) because I feel so repetitive b) it puts me at odds with so many people whose views I respect and c) because I do not want to sound likesomeone is wrong on the internet.

I decided to write it because I think in disparaging “the factory model”, “the industrial model” or “the engineering model”, there really is a danger of overlooking the abundant  insights into workplace social dynamics that have accumulated over decades.

Apprenticeships

I will start with a positive. My other half was searching through ...

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Category: Posted: October 10, 2011 0 comments

Many of us will have by now seen Steve Jobs’ inspirational address to the Stamford University graduates, where he talks about “connecting dots backwards”. This is what I have been doing for the past 18 months. I am now at last, and very thankfully, ready to move into the next phase of the business. This blog posts summarises the toolkit I have just finished creating as a result of all that dot-joining.

Zhou Enlai was supposed to have given as his assessment of the French Revolution of 1789 that “It is too early to tell”. As the evidence on the transformation of Social Business and Enterprise 2.0 working practices emerge slowly through time, I have been looking back at ... Read the article
Category: Posted: September 20, 2011 0 comments

I really did hesitate to write this post a) because I feel so repetitive b) it puts me at odds with so many people whose views I respect and c) because I do not want to sound like someone is wrong on the internet.

I decided to write it because I think in disparaging “the factory model”, “the industrial model” or “the engineering model”, there really is a danger of overlooking the abundant  insights into workplace social dynamics that have accumulated over decades.

Apprenticeships

I will start with a positive. My other half was searching through ... Read the article
Category: Posted: September 13, 2011 0 comments

The image is a pal with his winnings at Royal Ascot a few years ago. I gave up the opportunity to go a few days ago – silly me. Fond memories of a great day out. I digress already.

I have been deep in editing these last couple of days. For something that was so challenging to write, the book comes to obvious conclusions, the most prominent of which is that social business is not rocket science....

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Category: Posted: September 04, 2011 0 comments

Like many of the posts I write, this one wasn’t in the plan. I thought I had said all I wanted to about the current fad for social business. If ever there was a tautology then this is it. So I thought I might start blogging about the experience of developing the Smart Work Company’s new, shortly-to-be-launched learning communities.

And then I heard Gary Hamel talking on Big Think.com. I had to replay the video clip several times because I could not believe what I was hearing. ...

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Category: Posted: September 01, 2011 0 comments

The image on the left is taken from the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery. Hands and minds coming together in these economically turbulent times? Well it just seems appropriate considering that I am writing this in the aftermath of a second night of rioting in London and other UK cities, as well as the market turmoil following the US credit downgrade.

My academic training means that I sometimes sound (I think) detached. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all come from from somewhere and lived at a particular time. For me, my young adult years coincided with total economic collapse of the industry that was the whole source of my home town’s economic activity. I left home to find ... 

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