The Brave New Workplace

Posted on January 3, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I just had a wonderfully productive conversation with my colleague, Dr. Margaret Schweer.  We are collaborating on a thought piece about the competencies needed to make the Next Generation Enterprise work.  Margaret is a specialist in HR  with a ‘minor’ in IT and I’m a specialist in IT with a ‘minor’ in HR.  We work very well together and came up with a lot of new ideas we are going to use for our paper (more on this in future blogs). 

But the interesting thing here isn’t the content of the discussion, but the process.  We found it easier to have a phone discussion about blogging rather than blog itself.  Our relationship has been built over years of knowing each other, talking by phone, and getting together (even though we live in different parts of the country).  So it’s not natural for us to just jump on one of the social networking tools to do our work. 

So one of the things we learned today was that these new tools don’t replace the old ones.  At least not yet.  Using the telephone worked just fine, thank you.  It felt strange…talking about web 2.0 while clearly being in web 1.0.  But I think a lot of people are in this place.  We older folks (the older than the “Gen-Y” or “net-generation” folks) are not yet comfortable using many of the social networking tools, so we haven’t yet experienced the value that I’m sure is out there. 

We have to be willing to experiment and learn the old-fashioned way.  And that means we have to be brave.  We have to show courage.  We have to be willing to make a mistake or two (and the mistake or two will be more public than we are normally comfortable with).  But how else will we be able to enter the new workplace?

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One Response to “The Brave New Workplace”

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As an even “older timer” I empathize with your perspective, and feel that for some time into the future, the “old” methods will be supplemented by the new, rather than replaced. In fact, anything else might be quite unfortunate. I see today individuals who email colleagues in the next office rather than walk to see them or pick up a phone. IMHO, this significantly impedes communications and weakens relationships. Let’s embrace the new Web 2.0 world for all the new things it enables, and keep that of the Web 1.0 (and before) that we should!


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