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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.

I’m so taken with this framework because I feel it can give non profit leaders a foundation for making vital and necessary changes within their organization.

Simply put, the framework shifts the conversation about integrating social media into the operations of the organization. The shift is to a plain thinking, plain language approach to keeping your organization healthy and sustainable.

One of many strengths of the framework is its emphasis on the innate assets and tacit knowledge of the workers. These assets are already present in the work place but under utilized, under supported and not well understood.

The framework has three pillars – social learning, collaboration and leadership. These three pillars support an organization that is dynamically engaged with stakeholders in and outside the organization.

Within the framework, supportive leadership is supporting and nurturing staff learning, innovation and collaboration so that services are constantly being adapted to meet the changing needs of consumers. In addition, new products and solutions to complex issues affecting the organization are being created.

Our networked, rapidly changing world firmly places organizations in a world were complexity is the norm. In this new work environment there are increased expectations on organizations to collaborate and produce innovative solutions to new problems affecting services or business goals.

I believe, social learning, collaboration and supportive leadership attributes are now core business skills that organization require to meet the demands of their consumers.

In a recent art post by Hugh McLeod on his Gaping Void site, he talks about how an highly successful international (online) company called Zappos exemplifies the concept that markets are conversations (visit the Clue Train Manifesto for a life changing read).

Hugh explains that the reason for their success is the culture of social interaction and learning that the CEO, Tony Hsieh has embedded in the workplace at Zappos.

The Zappos company is a good business example that illustrates the working smarter pillars of social learning, collaboration and leadership.

My goal for the video series is to inform workers and leaders about the working smarter framework and invite them to learn more by visiting the Internet Time Alliance site so they can read about the framework in greater detail.

The videos will be posted on a a weekly basis and in each short video, I will present some examples that illustrate how the framework addresses everyday service and long term outcome goals of of the organization. Of course I will add links to key resources and posts that delves deeper into the framework.

At the very least, producing this video series is pushing my own learning about integrating this framework in my work with organizations. I’m also learning a lot about creating video and just how time consuming and difficult (but rewarding) that can be.

A big thank you goes out to Harold Jarche and Jay Cross from the Internet Time Alliance for giving their encouragement to my video production efforts.



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  1. August 2nd, 2011 at 17:25 | #1

    Very good synthesis, Brent. You are adding your layer of sense-making and then sharing it with your network to create higher-value information, in true PKM fashion:


    I’m really looking forward to the videos!

  2. August 2nd, 2011 at 20:08 | #2

    Thank you Harold. It’s work in progress. I’m looking forward to my first video post as well.

    It is quite a challenge to synthesize social learning, collaboration and leadership into 3.5 minute chunks of inviting information.

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