Loads has happened since last September, both professionally and personally. It's hard to know where to start. I suppose the best place is right here, and the best thing is to pick up where I left off.
It is not so easy to find a personal voice. None of me came through in the careful analysis of the earlier posts, so I will try being myself.
One of the most significant things I did professionally last year was to hop on a plane to Toronto and go the Workplace 2017 conference at the University of Waterloo. The keynote speaker line-up was impressive. The conference was three glorious days of thinking, reflection and entertaining, stimulating conversations with academic colleagues and business leaders.
For me, Jim Balsillie was particularly thought-provoking and Richard Florida was spell-binding. What I also found remarkable was the consistency of the messages being communicated by the speakers.
The main theme of Dr Frances Westley's talk at the research forum on the first day was the need to integrate knowledge and purpose. She spoke about workplaces increasingly emptying of meaning, and people’s rising frustration in not being given the opportunity to make things happen.
Later in the conference, Nicholas Crook and Dan McCauley presented findings from a Towers Perrin survey, of 88,600 individuals in 18 countries, around attracting and engaging talent. One of their high-level findings is that people enjoy challenging work and want to learn, but there is a gap between the discretionary effort that people would willingly invest and how effectively organisations tap into and channel their commitment and energy.
Will Enterprise 2.0 technologies restore meaning to work through social interaction? I would love to think these technologies will energise opportunities for learning and creativity. I am cautiously hopeful, although changing control-derived mental models will not happen overnight.