Archive for August, 2011

Open Atrium: Enabling & Powering Collaboration in the Workplace

August 23rd, 2011

Organizations across all sectors are understanding that their sustainability is directly related to how well staff learn from each other, create solutions that are vital to the organization success and innovate so the organization can better meet the challenges of operating in a fast changing and complex work environment.

I’m a strong advocate of the Open Atrium platform. As a collaboration tool it keeps me connected with my clients and enables me to engages staff in learning new skills, creating content and developing strategies that improve performance results for the organization.

Open Atrium is a free out of the box package. I love it because its features can outperform many high priced similar products designed to help organizations with their collaboration needs.

This is a list of the Open Atrium features:

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Working Smarter Video Series

August 16th, 2011

I’m very pleased to launch “The Working Smarter Video Series“. The videos (not sure how many yet) will be of interest to any leaders wanting to learn how to improve their organization’s performance and outcomes by creating a supportive workspace where staff learn and collaborate together.

The videos are brief and will give viewers a basic introduction to the working smarter core concepts. The three concepts (more like pillars) are social learning, collaboration and leadership.

The working smarter concepts are not difficult to understand because “it’s all about doing the job  better” (Jane Hart – Social Learning Handbook).

My goal for the video series is to encourage viewers to learn more about how this model can help them improve performance outcomes, in and outside the organization. Any practitioner, manager, Board Director or Executive Director will see themselves in this framework.

Here is how Harold Jarche describes working smarter in the Working Smarter Fieldbook.

Working smarter is the key to sustainability and continuous improvement. Knowledge work and learning to work smarter are becoming indistinguishable. The accelerating rate of change in business forces everyone in every organization to make a choice: learn while you work or become obsolete.

On a personal note, I’m discovering that producing videos is fun but takes a lot of time. What’s even more satisfying is the positive responses I’m getting as I integrate the working smarter framework into my work with organizations.

The working smarter framework is in permanent perpetual beta. Harold Jarche and other members of the Internet Time Alliance are the primary writers and publishers.

You will learn more about how the framework can help your organization meet 21st century challenges by visiting their websites.

Related Posts:

Introduction to the Working Smarter Video Series

20 Questions about Social Learning, Collaboration & Leadership in the Workplace

Resiliency & the Working Smarter Framework: Building on Strengths


Fix a Problem Approach or Change How You Work Approach – Lessons from my Holistic Dentist

August 8th, 2011


I have a holistic dentist and just love how his methods are so pain free and take into account my overall health. At a  recent dentist appointment for a tooth extraction, I discovered how the working smarter framework is similar to holistic dentistry.

Here is how my Doctor describes his dentistry practice .

” We take a holistic approach to dental treatment, primarily caring for our patient’s health and safety from both a conventional as well as alternative health care point of view. As such, we are a mercury-free dental practice. We examine the relationship between your oral health and the rest of your body, focusing on overall harmony – not just your teeth!

Dr. Chris (my holistic dentist) explained to me that it was very important to remove a dead tooth because that tooth was steadily affecting other parts of my body, particularly the internal stomach organs.

After my pain free extraction, I told him how glad I was to have taken his recommendation to extract the tooth.  Knowing my interest in naturopathic approaches to health, Chris offered a few comments about dentistry.

Chris explained that in general dentists are trained to solve problems, usually by removing it or patching it up. They are not trained to think about the total and long term health of the person. He said that many dentists recommend just leaving the dead tooth and mention nothing of the long term health implications of that option. He also emphasized the importance of asking probing questions to bring underlaying issues to the surface.

His comments got me thinking about my own adoption of the working smarter framework in my work with clients. That approach calls for a more comprehensive understanding of the organization’s internal and external communications and then implementing a social strategy that supports staff learning and collaboration. The end goal of this approach is a stronger, more resilient organization, creating new solutions and deepening relationships with all stakeholders.

I think the tide is turning as organizations are discovering that supporting staff to work smarter is the best way to address long term sustainability needs. The quick fix approach of signing up for a social networking sites without having a plan or even understanding why this might help the organization is coming to a close.

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Why Working Smarter – Works for Me

August 2nd, 2011

I’m producing a series of videos called  “Working Smarter”. Harold Jarche and others in the Internet Time Alliance (ITA) are the lead thinkers and writers on the working smarter framework.

Members of the ITA are publishing books, posting articles and making presentations around the world about how the business world is inexorably moving to a working smarter model.

Since immersing myself in the “working smarter” framework, I’ve become a full fledged advocate for this way of thinking about learning and working in a world transformed by digital technologies.

The framework has become my lens for making sense out of my own professional development as well in my work of mentoring or guiding organizations in their integration of social media strategies.

The videos will be posted over the coming weeks. This post is meant to give a “heads up” to those in my network and share a little bit why I’m doing the video series.

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