ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

December 1999

Articles

Back To The Future In 2000

Purpose, Planning And Preparing

Get In Touch With Your Emotions

No Gimmicks. No Frills. Just The Facts

Ritz-Carlton Again



Columns

What A Difference A Space Makes
by Peter Block


Features

Brief Cases

Diary of a Shutdown

Views for a Change

Pageturners

 
Brief Cases
Business Briefs

 

Just-in-Time Learning

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 million.



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.

December '99 News for a Change | E-mail Editor
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