Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Arts

Video to Introduce a Concept: Yay or Nay?

Online collaboration tools empower us by providing the opportunity to maintain a presence in multiple locations at once. This concept is illustrated by the latest video created by the Flipside Workspace team. To truly appreciate the rich scenery and immersive experience however, don’t just watch the video… give Flipside a try! Having done so myself, I can tell you that this platform holds special appeal to untold numbers of Generation X and Y members who’re already adept at navigating interactive virtual environments. In other words, we can take to this like a fish takes to water.

Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast

Sometimes when working in an alternative workstyle, you really do need to be in two places at once.  As a consultant, it’s the only way to be productive AND responsive to your geographically dispersed clients.

Readers of this blog know we created Flipside Workspace as the online collaboration platform for the consulting arm of Duncan+Coleverria, Inc.   It’s worked so well for us, we’re slowly opening it up to other companies and small businesses.  We decided to approach the introduction of Flipside Workspace using video, since most people have difficulty grasping the concept of using virtual worlds in a business setting.

It’s too early to tell if we’ve been successful, but we did have a lot of fun creating this.  We put our blood, sweat, and tears into making it just right.  Soon, Anna Marie (AKA The Awkard Gawker) will be writing about how we put this together in…

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This INTJ’s Take on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Typealyzer

My Typealyzer result: NT for “Rationals” and INTJ specifically.

Having written on the subject of surveillance, I’ve been exploring how much insight others can possibly acquire about you just based on your writing. From here, it didn’t take long to discover various text analyzers developed through uClassify.com (most of which seem crudely put together), but I’m pretty sure more sophisticated, and less readily accessible, text analyzers exist elsewhere. Of those that are available to the public, Typealyzer (which gives you a Myers Briggs type based on your writing) has been most frequently discussed by bloggers. Did the Typealyzer accurately classify me? Although there are infrequent variations on individual posts, for the most part, it has classified me as INTJ and this is consistent with how I score on self-reported assessments across time and situations as well as others’ evaluation of me.

Yes, much uproar has been made about MBTI’s reliability (or rather lack thereof) in recent years. In this post, I will delve deeper into problems encountered in the use of the MBTI. After some thought, I believe I can reconcile claims of unreliability with claims of reliability (and meaningfulness for some test-takers). To begin with, a better question than “Does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” is “For whom does MBTI have good/poor reliability?” See the discussion (pages 290-292) in Capraro, R. M. & Capraro, M. M. (2010) about why it may be incorrect, in this case, to speak of reliability for a tool or instrument. Rather, it may be more accurate to talk about reliability for a particular evaluation or the interaction of evaluation and assessment tool. This article is available here and here. Read more of this post

Images of Industrial Age Office Work: Clock Watcher

Clock Watcher 16" X 20" acrylic Copyright © 2013 by Nathan Myhre

Clock Watcher 16″ X 20″ acrylic
Copyright © 2013 by Nathan Myhre

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Nathan Myhre would be contributing art that represents the life of the average Industrial Age knowledge worker. I say “Industrial Age” even when it comes to post-Industrial parts of the world because we’re still bidding a long and difficult farewell to the Industrial Age work-style with most knowledge workers coming, going, and working essentially the same work-shift (9-to-5). What’s the alternative? Harness and utilize today’s technology to give workers more control over where and when they work as well as to work more productively. Read more of this post

Is Solo Creativity Really Dead?

Everywhere I look, various experts are heralding the benefits of group work over solo, independent work. Insisting on working alone is selfish they say. Collaboration fosters more creativity than solo work they say. It’s one thing to be describing the work style that brings out the best for the bulk of the “bell curve,” however if there’s one valuable lesson to learn from decades of studying psychology it’s that, when it comes to people, it’s impossible to generalize about a great, many things. Still worse is to subject the people who don’t fit to the “tyranny of the majority.”

So here I am working alone, independently on my blog and other creative writing, art, and musical side projects. I’m blissfully happy. Life seems great. Everything seems alright with the world. And yes, any creative inspiration that has struck me may owe its existence to the synergy of ideas I’ve gained in past encounters with people, films I’ve watched, and books I’ve read. However, I am producing my work now alone, on my own and it feels great. So the last thing I wish to witness is a mass movement that pushes one style of working (group work) over another (solo work).

Those of you who know what it’s like to be a “misfit” in one way or another, I think, can appreciate how statements about working “this way” or “that way” is better for everyone are ill-thought out. To maximize productivity and creativity across a whole society, it would be ideal to maximize freedom for everyone to work in the way that suits each person best. If you are most productive and creative while working in a more collaborative manner… great! If someone else is most productive and creative while working alone… great! Different strokes for different folks. The Industrial Age is characterized by standardized, one-size-fits-all work policies. Here’s hoping that the push towards group work with the simultaneous denouncement of solo work goes the way of the Industrial Age as well.

To my relief, I’m not alone in my leaning towards working alone. In this post, Patrick Ross makes a powerful argument about not making this an either-or situation. While celebrating the ways in which today’s digital tools foster collaboration, it’s not necessary or even desirable to denounce solo, independent work. As it turns out, many writers and artists would agree.

Related article

By the way, if you are interested in optimizing collaboration, the next Better Collaboration online Meetup, takes place on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2:30-4:00 pm EST (11:30-1:00 pm PST): Innovating the way dispersed teams collaborate!

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Featured speaker in this event will be Paul Brody, CEO and Co-Founder of Sococo. Sococo is an innovative tool for fostering impromptu collaboration without having to physically be at the same place. Everyone can see who is around and, with one click, can immediately start a conversation or meeting (voice, video, chat, multiple screen shares).

These educational video conference series are geared towards organizational leaders wishing to learn more about improving collaboration and productivity through the use of online tools. Visit the Better Collaboration website or register here at on the Better Collaboration meetup page!

The Artist's Road

Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity.

The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf capitalism.” For years now digital utopians have first insisted that we all believe in a myth that creativity and innovation comes from solitary thinkers; then they knock down their straw man by pointing to the power of collaboration. Citing the Firefox browser (volunteers maintain and upgrade it) and Facebook (the content comes from us, not Mark Zuckerberg), Neal Gabler wrote this: “In our global, networked economy, the lone wolf is rapidly becoming an anachronism, one that threatens to impede innovation rather than fostering it.”

Hmm.

Perhaps I’m sensitive to the suggestion that…

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Announcement: Source Materials List & Upcoming Features

Hip

Hip (Photo credit: wasoxygen)

This is a general announcement to notify readers that a comprehensive list of links to research studies, scholarly articles, white papers, and various documents covering on this blog is now available. As stated on the Source Materials page, I will continue to update this list as I find more material. So check back if you don’t find what you’re looking for or feel free to make requests and I will see what I can find.

It’s proven tougher for me to post more regularly as I’m in the midst of a work-life transition, however I’ve arranged to feature an artist’s rendition of the Industrial Age office work lifestyle as well as social commentary that revolves around associated problems (e.g., stress, boredom, etc.). Read more of this post

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