What A Difference A Space Makes
One can make a full-time job out of
working smarter. Northwestern University's Institute for
Learning Sciences director, Roger Schank, thinks that
education theory narrows to one lesson: “What you
know is trivial. The real issue is what do you know how
to do?” This principle is what Schank used to
design an interactive simulation for Anderson Consulting.
The goal was to simulate the challenges faced on a
typical consulting engagement. The program is called
Business Practices Course, and this learning-by-doing
virtual school seems to be doing its job. In fact, it
split training time at Anderson Consulting by 40 percent
and saved their corporate training university $10
We Like Work, But Not That Much
Has a new community emerged among coworkers due to the amount of time that we spend at work? Some social critics claim that because of the new economy and the erosion of civic communities, a new environment has been formed within the corporate office parks. New types of office friendships, a sense of belonging and a different level of comfort have emerged, these experts proclaim.
This is contrary to a recent survey conducted by Fast Company-Roper Starch Worldwide. Over 1,000 college-educated, working adults were questioned via an online poll about how personal their workplace really is.
When asked to characterize their relationships with colleagues, one-third of the respondents said that they would be friends with their coworkers even if they did not work together. However, those employees who feel this way tend to be younger.
Happiness Means Empowerment
Most of today's workforce wants to take responsibility for their work, be able to make decisions that really count and have clout. This is a promise created by our new economy. Workplace satisfaction is indicated by how this promise is delivered to us. We each go into a new job expecting empowerment, but whether we actually get it depends on whether a sense of fulfillment has been met from their work.
Employees entering a new job say that
they were promised such things as: the authority to
define their work; the power to make important decisions
about their work; a role as part of a team; the
opportunity to be an impact player; the chance to think
creatively; and the freedom to be who they are. These
ideals are part of this new workforce canon where people
connect those promises with the ability to find meaning
in their jobs.