Harold Jarche - Posts




What is working smarter?

I’m in the business of helping organizations work smarter. What does that mean?

Our industrial and information age is nearing an end as we transition into an era where creativity becomes the most important element in our economy. We are also living in a more complex time as traditional disciplines blur and as information explodes. For the developed world, that means the future does not lie in doing manual or simple work because much of it will be automated. Merely complicated work, which is most of the work done in traditional industrial or office jobs, is being outsourced to the cheapest source of labour. That leaves complex work, requiring initiative, creativity and passion.

How does this affect our daily lives?

First of all, look at the restructuring that is happening in our economy. Jobs are being shed that will never be replaced. Can your work be done remotely by someone who doesn’t cost as much? Then at some point in the near future, it will. Companies are finally realizing that they need to work smarter. That means automating and outsourcing where necessary (if they don’t, their competition will) and then figuring out how to get things done in complexity.

The core of .. ...

Blind monks in a complex society

As you may have noticed, this has been a busy week. I flew to Maastricht, NL last weekend, via London and Brussels; a 24 hour trip. The highlight of getting to the working smarter event with Tulser was a short but enjoyable stop in Brussels with Christian De Neef who met me at the airport and drove me to the train station. We only know each other through Twitter and it was a casual comment on Christian’s photo that initiated our meeting.

Conversations during the working smarter events in Maastricht and London were stimulating and there were a couple of constant threads. One was the fact that there is little difference between many of the information intensive support functions in any organization  - information technology, knowledge management, learning & development, human resources.  Each support function is a blind monk trying to understand an elephant. I’ve discussed this many times and Karyn Romeis, who attended our session in London, suggests that learning has to move to the front of the organization. It’s not just learning that has to become more operational, but all support functions, and all together. As Christian and I were talking, it was ...