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The Web will be the single most foundational aspect of people’s lives in 2025. People’s companion devices — the 2025 equivalent of today’s phones and tablets — will be the first thing they touch in the morning and the last thing they put down to sleep. In fact, some people will go so far as to have elements of their devices embedded. The AI-mediated, goggle-channeled social interactions of the near future will be as unlike what we are doing today, as today’s social Web is to what came before. The ephemeralization of work by AI and bots will signal the outer boundary of the industrial age, when we first harnessed the power of steam and electricity to amplify and displace human labor, and now we see that culminating in a possible near-zero workforce. We have already entered the post-normal, where the economics of the late industrial era have turned inside out, where the complexity of interconnected globalism has led to uncertainty of such a degree that it is increasing impossible to find low-risk paths forward, or to even determine if they exist. A new set of principles is needed to operate in the world that the Web made, and we’d better figure them out damn fast. My bet is that the cure is more Web: a more connected world. But one connected in different ways, for different ends, and not as a way to prop up the mistakes and inequities of the past, but instead as a means to answer the key question of the new age we are barreling into: What are people for?

Stowe Boyd, Pew Internet’s Digital Life In 2025

Nadella’s email drips with that familiar mixture of faux sympathy and non-information that is so typical of carefully managed corporate communication.

Lee Hutchinson, Microsoft layoff e-mail typifies inhuman corporate insensitivity

Lee Hutchinson didn’t think much of Nadella’s layoff announcement email from a few weeks ago, because if concealed as much as it shared, and shows a deep lack of sympathy for those being sacked.

Different Kinds Of Workers Need Different Kinds Of Workspaces

Canon Australia worked with Puzzle Partners to observe how workers actually used their old workplace, ethnographically. What they discovered led them to reject a pure Activity-Based Working (ABW) arrangement, where no employee ‘owns’ or has an assigned workstation.

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Instead, the ABW workscape has a pallette of different work areas oriented toward different work modes and tempos: collaborating, focusing, socializing, and learning, for example.

Canon Australia adopted a hybrid model, based on three very different styles of working:

Rohan Pearce, Why Canon Australia shunned activity-based working (well, kinda)

Employees fell roughly into three categories. ‘Focused workers’ who spent most of their time desk-bound working on their individual tasks; ‘balanced’ workers who spent equal amounts of time performing individual tasks and collaborating with others; and ‘mobile’ workers who spent only a minimal amount of time at their desk.

The upshot, Flemington said, was that Canon realised that one size wouldn’t fit all, which ruled out an ‘all in’ activity-based working approach. “We learned a lot of lessons from going to visit other organisations,” the HR head said.

At other organisations Canon visited, full ABW wasn’t working for every employee: “For some employees, where they spend most of their time at their desk, it’s pointless saying to them you need to have a locker, an unassigned desk, and go and find that desk every day, because they spend all their time at that desk.

"We took the approach that because a focused worker spends 80 per cent of their time working on individual tasks, we’ve given them assigned seats. For mobile and balanced workers, we work in a more flexible way."

'Focus' areas are located around the periphery of Canon's two floors in the building (a third floor is allocated to its R&D organisation, Cisra), while in the centre are more 'active' spaces for collaboration.

In addition to providing lockers for workers who tend to move around more, Canon designed spaces to match the meeting styles that had been observed, ranging from smaller areas for ad hoc catch-ups through to areas for brainstorming and formal meeting rooms.

Personally, I would be in the library for 5 hours a day, and the rest floating around.

The real takeaways:

  1. Find out what sorts of work modes are present in your company before committing to any stem-to-stern remake of the office workscape.
  2. The researchers determined that what they discovered ethnographically by direct observation of users correlated strongly with what worker surveys showed. So, a small company can probably rely on a simple survey that provides a range of working styles — maybe more than the three at Canon Australia — and then proceed to a hybrid of traditional and ABW workspace, if that is called for.

think-progress:

California is now experiencing its most severe drought ever recorded.

And no change in sight.

think-progress:

California is now experiencing its most severe drought ever recorded.

And no change in sight.

How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?

Dr. Seuss

Dieter Rams: Ten Principles For Good Design

Good design:

  1. Is innovative - The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an end in itself.
  2. Makes a product useful - A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic criteria. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could detract from it.
  3. Is aesthetic - The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  4. Makes a product understandable - It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  5. Is unobtrusive - Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  6. Is honest - It does not make a product appear more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
  7. Is long-lasting - It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail - Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
  9. Is environmentally friendly - Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  10. Is as little design as possible - Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

(Source: publishertheme)

8 Ways to Maximize Your Creativity at Work

stanfordbusiness:

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Tweet this:
Giving to others and orienting yourself to a larger purpose can result in more creativity and enhanced work performance. –Professor Jennifer Aaker
Read the New York Times article.

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Trusting employees with the freedom and resources to excel leads to more creativity and risk-taking in the workplace. –Professor Joel Peterson
Read the LinkedIn post.

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Laughter in the workplace can help organizations boost happiness, creativity, and productivity. –Eric Tsytsylin (MBA ’14)
Watch the video.

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By fostering a greater sense of fairness in the workplace, companies can achieve “sustainable creativity.” –Peter Georgescu (MBA ‘63)
Read the article.

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A manager who takes time to feed his or her own creative side knows how to elicit the creativity of others. –Professor Baba Shiv
Read the article.

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Constructive disagreements at work can cut down on mistakes and be a source of creativity. –Lecturer David Bradford
Read the article.

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People who find a sense of meaning and joy in their daily jobs are up to 3x more creative than their colleagues. –Professor Behnam Tabrizi
Read more on Facebook.

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Visual thinking is the foundation for being creative and solving some of the most complex problems. –Lisa Kay Solomon
Read the Tumblr blog. 


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