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Apr 23, 2011

National League of Cities: Helping City Leaders Build Better Communities

The National League of Cities (NLC) promotes exceptional leadership and professional and personal advancement.  It builds city leaders' skills and capacity by providing leadership development resources, neworking opportunities, education and training, and conference opportunities


Apr 23, 2011

"Hooked at the Roots" - Making Connections at the California Workforce Association Spring Conference

CWA Conference Bag
CWA Spring Conference

It's Spring in San Diego and that means three things: sunshine, baseball, and the Spring Caifornia Workforce Association Conference! (Yes, I'm from Oregon - there are plenty of folks from Nevada, Texas, and Washington participating, too). Having spent two days working and learning with west coast friends and colleagues, we asked a CWA trio of Friday-morning early risers about their key takeway points, and added a few of our own. 

  • The conference theme, Hooked at the Roots, was important and effective as a framework thinking about our ever-more interdependent work. Charles ("Gus") Whalen, Jr., Chairman of the Warren Fatherbone Company and author of Hooked at the Roots, a book documenting the company's evolution and commitment to community, made an impression with his colorful quips, quotes, and wise observations. (We liked the simple but profound - "Know why you do what you do.")
  • Barbara Halsey, the new Executive Director of the California Workforce Association, welcomed attendees with an invitation to exchange "meaningful ideas" during our time together. The folks we spoke with took this message to heart. Many communities are in trouble - too few jobs, too many people looking for them, skills mismatches, firms unable to access capital, integrate new technologies, or find talent, and the deeply troubling growth of poverty and other social ills together with a decline in the resources available to address these needs. Workforce and economic development professionals, educators, and others in the "jobs" business can face difficulty finding new (and better?) ways to meet these needs in the context of increasing (and increasingly complex) demand.
  • We helped each other find ways to learned to do what we call "working out loud." For some, this means using social media to engage with the colleagues, peers, partners, and clients. For others, it means, engaging a broader range of citizens in the development of policy and the design of programs. The field is taking tiny steps in this direction, but interest is high. Thanks to Celina Shands Gradijan at Full Capacity Marketing, Erin Hart and Tamara Murray at Fenton Communications, and the CWA team, especially Victoria Melshaw who, in addition to designing the lovely conference collateral, also posted general goings-on to the CWA Facebook page throughout the conference. Full disclosure: our team did a lot of tweeting under the hashtag #CWA11.
  • We heard murmuring about some serious concerns, too: "We can't just continue to do more with less."... "There's too much effort being put into preventing disaster and not nearly enough into figuring out how to deliver clear value to our communities - even if that means doing different things than we do now." ... John Baker shared his knowledge about engaging legislators. Others suggested it was time to find new legislators who are interested in jobs, talent, and communities. There is clearly a need for workforce leaders to set a new course.

As past participants in a few CWA conferences, we felt the agenda was strong - and the sessions we attended were high-quality.

We extend: thank-yous to CWA staff and conference planners for orchestrating such a great event; congratulations to Wendy Frederick (Riverside County Economic Development Agency) on winning the 2011 Professional of the Year Award; and a happy thumbs up to Emily Shepherd for the terrific graphic facilitation which made those large, theater-style sessions colorful and engaging, even when the content was hard.


  • Our photos form the conference.
  • Combined tweets; our tweets (a problem with search engine prevents combining today)
  • Our presentation materials (for those in our session) on slideshare.


Apr 19, 2011

A Giant Thanks to the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Last week, we engaged about 60 professionals (Whoa! More than we'd planned!) in a session on Workforce Leadership at the Partnerships for Success Spring Forum. Many thanks to everyone who attended, and to Kriztina Palone at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) for making the logistics work like a dream and insuring that terrific leaders wound up participating in our session. We learned a lot from them, and from Rhonda Simmons, OEWD Director of Workforce Development, and Robert Sainz, Community Development Department Assistant General Manager at City of Los Angeles, both of whom shared their wisdom during a working lunch.

  • Our photos from the event are here (under Creative Commons license, fee free to use).
  • Our slides are here.

And if you did not receive a stack of cards from our session, please email: kwolff@thinkers-and-doers.com, and we will get you one.

Thanks again all!

Apr 15, 2011

Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc.: Adding Value to the Community

Cover of PPT
“We don’t create jobs, but we make sure that the jobs that are created can be filled,” says Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (LVWIB) in Pennsylvania. Nancy's peers pointed to her as a source of great ideas and an example of effective leadership. Here are a few of the observations and insights she shared with us.

Ensuring that those jobs find the right people is no easy task, especially in a changing economy. Businesses are getting smaller in her region. “There are only thirty companies left with over 1,000 workers, and most small firms employ between one and eleven,” Nancy noted.  She went on to argue, “We all need to be smarter—jobs are requiring a higher level of education and skills. Employers are no longer concerned with where a job applicant has worked in the past, they are concerned about what skills they will bring to the job, because they cannot spend the time and/or money retooling the worker once hired.” Her region has the second highest unemployment rate in the state and the type of individuals unemployed now include many professionals who have not accessed the Board's services before. Real wages are decreasing, with the newly re-employed taking jobs at 30-35% lower wages.

But Nancy is passionate about her work, pointing to a pair of tools that help her do her work effectively: 1) a holistic approach; and 2) and the triangle collaborative.

Holistic Approach

Nancy reminds us that that it takes a “holistic” approach to get those jobs filled. This is one thing she did not anticipate that her job would require. “I never thought I would have to be this holistic. Everything is connected to everything else”, she stated. “We must know all of the players - know about all of the resources within the community.  We act as the connectors, relationship builders and navigators within the system. We are the clearinghouse.”

How does she engage these partners? She listens to them. She asks them what they need and then helps them to get it. She also preaches that everyone needs to get engaged in solving community issues. She asks others “What have you done today to give back?” But she is careful about how much she asks of others, and always recognizes them for their contributions and value they have added.

Collaborative Triangle

Nancy participates in a collaborative “triangle” comprised of education, economic and workforce development. The role of economic development within the collaborative is to provide continuous environmental scanning.  Workforce development’s role in the collaborative is to be the connector between employers and education. This ensures education teaches the skills and provides the certifications required for high demand occupations.

As part of economic development’s role, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis created a snapshot of the region’s economy. It identified the jobs and labor market outlook, including employment trends, high demand occupations, key industry clusters (leading to 6 industry partnerships) and the resources of the system. This helps Nancy and the community determine: 1) what types of jobs will be in demand in the future, 2) what skills and education will be required for each of those jobs, and 3) the best way to access each of those jobs. In fact, those words have become her mantra, and she discusses them with everyone she works with throughout the day, including businesses, educators, economic developers, and job seekers. 

Based on this information, the community decided to raise the education level of everyone in the region. They determined that the Associate’s degree would become the basic level of education within the community.  This was jointly funded by the community college and the ARRA funds received by the LVWIB. This initiative caught the attention of President Obama, who visited the region to learn more about the initiative.

As part of workforce development’s role in the collaborative triangle, Nancy asked educators what they needed and then helped them to get it. She hosted superintendent forums, and teacher and guidance counselor forums. She learned that schools needed connections to local businesses, something that Nancy and her agency already had developed.  This led to business/education partnerships, company tours for youth at local businesses, and one company that is teaching a class in high school showing how math is applied in the workplace. These discussions with education also led to colleges enhancing their teachers’ curriculum, and, identified one career awareness web tool that is used throughout education and workforce development called “Career Cruising.” The region is also in the process of creating and implementing a career pathways model.

The CareerLinking Academy is another outcome of the collaborative. This allows high school students to explore career interests, map career paths, and link to employment and education opportunities. This initiative began with all high school students and is now imbedded in business programs within the school.

Although most literacy coalitions focus on training individuals who cannot read at all or read at a very low level, this collaborative helped the literacy coalition to reverse its focus to those individuals who were close to completing and ready to move on to higher training and jobs.

To be successful in this collaborative requires Nancy and her agency to show how it adds value in the community.  She must demonstrate this “value added” every day to legislators, businesses, educators, economic developers, and the community as a whole. 

Working in collaboration to make these system changes, Nancy and the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. are solving community issues.  As she stated, “We must be moving towards something—not just moving.”

Apr 7, 2011

Doing Great Work, Making Work Great in Chautauqua County, NY

Chautauqua Lake

A Chautauqua in Chautauqua
Susan McNamara leads the Chautauqua Workforce Investment Board (Chautauqua Works) in western New York State - a rural community bordering Lake Eerie. When we learned that she had been selected by the Chautauqua Leadership Network as Leader of the Year, we knew we had to meet her.

The workforce system is complex. What Workforce Boards (WIBs) do can be difficult to explain, especially as federal and state workforce policy directives shift, creating expectations at the community level that local programs may not be prepared to meet. But Susan is very clear about the workforce board's role in her community: "We are the eharmony of talent. We link job seekers with opportunity and firms with talent. We grow both people and businesses."

When we asked her to identify the big workforce issues in her community, she didn't hesitate: literacy, "bench strength" (especially in industries rooted in STEM - science, technology, engineering, and math - skills), and entrepreneurship.

Bench-strength? We couldn't leave that alone.

Developing the Next Generation of Community Leaders
Like many smaller communities rooted in manufacturing, young people in the Jamestown-Dunkirk-Chautauqua County region have a hard time seeing themselves in jobs or careers without leaving the area. But data shows that there are good jobs available and that there will be a wave of coming retirements across firms and industries. (The recession may have slowed the exodus, but it has not reversed the trend.)

The Chautauqua Advancement Project is one way the WIB hopes to build the next generation of business and community leaders - and the next, and the next. Funded by the Gebbie Foundation and run by the Chautauqua WIB/Chautauqua Works, the project offers young professionals (many, recent college-graduates) paid internships with local firms. Interns work four days per week with their host firms and meet as a group on Fridays for a variety of coaching, mentoring, leadership development and networking activities. The interns also work on volunteer and community projects as a group and meet with high school students (the next, next generation) to share their experiences as young people building careers in the region.

WIB staff learn as much from the future-leader-interns as the interns learns during their program. "Young people understand social networks in a profound way. They can connect to knowledge and resources with such immediacy - it never occurs to them that they cannot access the answer to the question or find a person who can help them. This orientation brings "the globe" right to Main Street. It's going to change the way we work."

Growing People Who Grow Business
Entrepreneurship is another area in which the WIB has been active since its founding as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization over a decade ago.

"We work a lot of angles to support entrepreneurs - we host the young professionals networking group (to support peer connections), we helped found a tech incubator, and we do serious hands-on support for start-ups looking to meet their human resource needs so that 'talent' is on the radar of start-ups at their founding. We're a small, rural community. Our growth will be through entrepreneurship, not through business attraction, so if we're about workforce, we've got to be about entrepreneurship."

Literacy, regional economic development, STEM skills - the Chautauqua WIB touches many issues. We asked Susan what it really takes to lead on such a complex agenda. "This economic crisis is a great opportunity for WIBs to shine because they can address both long- and short-term." But engaging on an issue, she noted, does not necessarily mean that the WIB leads the charge, "You have to know your strengths - what you are uniquely good at. Then take roles that play to those strengths."

A Methodology for Engagement, Skills to Make it Work
Susan and her colleagues use a familiar approach to community engagement:
1. Engaging people around data to make a case (making sure more than one organization does the convening - if the community is going to take charge of an issue, the issue has to be broadly owned).
2. Convening conversations about how the community might address the issue.
3. Developing a tentative plan and engaging people around it.
4. Nailing down partners and commitments to own pieces of the plan - this often requires resource development efforts.
5. Piloting solutions.
6. Documenting and assessing progress.
7. Analyzing results.
8. Improving, scaling, or redesigning approach.

So we asked her what skills she finds essential for doing this work well. She replied,"You can always learn the content - workforce, WIA, etc., but to do this public-facing work, you have to be able to listen, understand constituent interests and motivations, facilitate, and get stuff done - set priorities, identify timelines and tasks, make decisions, learn, and build relationships - without which, you can't do this work."

Great Leadership Development Experiences
We've been asking our interviewees about their own leadership development - great experiences, activities, or people from which they've learned. Susan named events in other fields - a convening hosted by the National Science Foundation, for example, that provided her with insight about how scientists and science educators see the world.

But she also noted something we thought was really important. She observed that we could do a better job of making everyday activities great - by thinking about the design of those activities more deeply and broadly. "Our field organizes events as if they are all about sharing information - all cognition, no connection, but connection really matters. Relationships (online and offline) are how we get things done."

Hmmm....We'll be chewing on that for some time to come.



*Thanks to Susan Manus (suespix) for the Flickr photo.

Apr 7, 2011

"A Dozen Surprises about the Future of Work": Implications for Workforce Professionals

Photo of Andy Hines

The Future of Work.
Andy Hines, University of Houston Futurist, author of Thinking about the Future, and editor of Hinesight, spoke to the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration's Region 4 Technical Assistance Forum in Dallas last week about the future of work.

We thought it was worth following up with some ideas about the implications of Andy's "Dozen Surprises" for workforce policy makers and program professionals.

Here's Andy's presentation if you'd like to have a look.


We've summarized Andy's key points below, adding our own commentary along the way.

Surprise #1: Humans will be augmented.
On the one hand, anyone who wears glasses is already "augmented." On the other hand, emerging technologies have the potential to dramatically improve human performance, physically and cognitively. This is great news for people with disabilities who have faced an uneven playing field for decades. But it also raises bigger questions about the work-related expectations, like whether students taking prescription drugs to stay awake or improve their performance are "cheating?" Or whether people who are working without augmentation will be left behind.

Will organizations need policies governing worker augmentation? What advice will workforce professionals provide to students, workers, and firms about this issue?

Surprise #2: Emerging markets will rewrite the rules of work.
Will work hours remain 9-5 when more American companies serve markets in Asia? As more foreign firms locate their operations in the US, will they function like American firms? How will we negotiate increasingly culturally diverse workplaces? Will the rules of work (hours, pay, benefits, organizational culture, etc.) change? These and other questions challenge the leaders of global firms today, and will challenge our institutions more broadly tomorrow.

Workforce leaders may welcome the arrival of more diverse firms and industries with whom to partner on a wider range of issues - but they will need more than just labor market and economic data to be able to make good decisions about where to invest their time and resources.

Surprise #3: Where is intelligence?
Our "things" are getting a whole lot smarter. This implies big changes for the world of work: the abilty to find intelligence in streams of data will be in demand across industries; as well, the expectations of people who are "knowledge holders" will increase and shift - these people will be expected to be able to deliver intelligence where it's needed, when it's needed, and through any device people happen to have. Learning and labor exchange will be no less affected by these trends - what are we doing to aggregate information about jobs, work, and learning currently shared openly through social technologies and make sense of it?

Surprise #4: Getting Paid
Ouch. This is a tough one. We are developing new "open source" business models that rely on volunteers, students, even customers to co-create value (via the design of products and services). But we have institutions and systems locked into models that assume customers pay companies for what they produce. Companies in turn, pay employees for the hours they spend on the job. Navigating the challenge of payment for "value" and not just for products or services poses significant challenges for companies going forward (especially those in the knowledge business). It also means that individuals have new ways to access opportunities (e.g., by co-creating products and not just applying for jobs). Both will likely need help managing these transitions.

Surprise #5: The "gig" economy (we changed the name here because, well, we really like this subject and for us, "gig" speaks to the dynamic better than "project")
As we shift to an economy rooted in agile teams developing products and services across firm, industry, and even geographic borders, people will not be connecting to "jobs", but to "work" - in the form of projects, gigs, or time-limited contracts. But navigating this kind of labor market depends upon a few things: social networks, especially easy access to weak ties; and community access to benefits - like health insurance and professional deveopment and learning opportunities. Are we becomng our own managers? What does that imply about workforce preparation programs/content?

Surprise #6: Is fairness possible when "same-rule-for-everybody" policies no longer work?
We saw the beginning of this question arise as "flex-time" policies entered the workplace. Who gets a customized work arrangement and how do we insure that different arrangements are "fair?" There are no easy answers here, but the trend suggests that workforce professionals be attentive to clients' negotiation skills and not just their skills certifications.

Surprise #7: Working to live, not living to work
The great recession changed the way many Americans behave, economically. We are saving more, spending less, and exploring new ways of sharing. Collaborative consumption, while not quite the norm, is no longer "the fringe" either. Even the most fiercely independent Americans are discovering alternatives to ownership and opting out of long commutes from the suburbs. More of us are deciding that if we're going to work hard, we may as well love what we do - especially in an uncertain economic environment. This changes the way labor markets work: self-employment options become more attractive to more people; and job seekers begin to assess opportunities not just based on hours and pay, but on other important intangibles - is the company a "good" employer? A "good" corporate citizen? Does it produce a product I can be proud of? Workforce professionals will increasingly be called upon to provide this kind of information to their customers in addition to information about jobs. Already we are seeing workforce programs build their capacity to provide career and learning advice, not just access to job opportunities and training.

Surprise #8: Work is a thing you do, not a place you go.
The combination of flexible hours and collaborative platforms (like Sharepoint, Basecamp, wikis, etc.) have challenged organizations to reinvent workflows. This pressure will increase as workers seek to integrate personal/social technologies in seemless ways. For workforce professionals, understanding these technologies and the skills people need to use them effectively in their job search, work, and in learning and career deveopment will be critical.

Surprise #9: Where do I get training?
Accessing training has been outsourced - to us, the workers. On the positive side, we've never had more options - online, offline, classroom-based, practicum-based, etc. But how do we find what's best for us? How do we assess effectiveness? For workforce professionals, this is a dramatic change. It means understanding a much broader education and training ecosystem that is not even necessariy located in a geographic place. It might mean revisiting the definition of "training" - and making it possble to invest more flexibly, in adult internships for example. And it surely means preparing clients for a world in which training and career advancement is up to them. 

Surprise #10: Nearsourcing, not outsourcing.
Changing global economics, the complexity of supply chains, the rising cost of fuel, and expectations about environmental regulations are making local and simple sound increasingly attractive. But for companies to succeed locally, they will have to strengthen local ties to their communities - a great opportunity for workforce leaders.

Surprise #11: Happiness matters, too, not just productivity. (We changed this title, too - blogger's discretion).
For years I've asked my economist friends whether they wake up in the morning thinking about their contribution to the gross domestic product. For years, they've laughed. Today, economists and policy makers are finally catching up. Happiness matters in more than Bhutan - we're all getting on board, though "well-being" seems the frame we're most comfortable with.

Surprise #12: Meet the new boss - not the same as the old boss.
The impact of multiple generations with different workstyles and experiences in the same workplace is a subject much written and talked about. Workforce professionals will be increasingly called upon to provide advice to workers and firms about managing in ways that faciltation intergenerational learning and minimize potential conflict.

There's a lot to chew on here. We're grateful to Andy for sharing it, and to DOLETA Region 4 for hosting the event.


Apr 5, 2011

The Keys to Rural Prosperity? Effective Conversation, Social Technologies & Collaborative Action (& Diligence)

Reimagine Rural Blog Header

Deep Conversations that Lead to Change
We're talking to lots of leaders to inform the Enhancing Workforce Leadership project. Most of them see themselves as part of the workforce development system - they might lead local or state workforce agencies or work for community colleges or non-profit organizations that are in the workforce business. But we are also interviewing a small number of leaders working on jobs, talent, or workforce issues who do not think of themselves as part of a "workforce system." Mike Knutson is one.

Mike runs the Reimagine Rural blog and is a master of sharing high-value information on Twitter (@Mike_Knutson). A former educator and current economic and community development professional at the Maroney Rural Learning Center, Mike has authored many posts about workforce issues in Miner County (where he lives and works) in an effort to connect with other changemakers working in rural areas.

A Word about the Rural Learning Center 
The more I follow Mike, the more the amazing transformation occurring in 3,000-person Howard, South Dakota and surrounding Miner County becomes clear. The key points of the story are these:

  • In the late 1990s, a high school class project resulted in a boost in local spending to the tune of $15.6 million in one year.
  • About the same time, community leaders began to engage citizens in serious conversation about a vision for the future and support small community projects that improved quality of life for residents in the short-term.
  • Foundation investments, including a decade-long partnership with the Northwest Area Foundation,* helped Miner County leverage volunteer-driven community efforts into an economic (and social) transformation strategy - including an emerging Center for Rural Learning that helps local residents access opportunities for learning, work, and business ownership and shares lessons and experience with other rural communities seeking to reinvent themselves.  

This story is summarized here and here, and in Chip and Dan Heath's book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard - which reflects the set of practices that has worked in Miner County and continues to inform the community's change efforts.

So What are the Workforce Issues in Miner County?
There's a tag cloud on the blog so you can see for yourself, but "brain drain," entrepreneurship, talent, education, millennials, and the creative economy all feature prominently. We've heard an earful about many of these issues from workforce leaders across the country. (And yes, the creative economy in rural South Dakota - perhaps especially in rural South Dakota.)

Mike and his colleagues advance solutions in ways big and small:

  • They are building the $5.8 million center, which: will provide training in wind energy technologies not on a semester basis, but in a rapid-fire 28 days, followed by continuous on-line learning and engagement (in partnership with Airstreams Renewables); offer access to unprecedented learning, social networking and business development opportunities for residents from across the region; and share lessons, information and expertise about rural develop with rural neighbors and friends seeking to reimagine their own communities.
  • They are working with the University of South Dakota and neighboring Tribal Nations to reinvent teacher training programs to better prepare educators for working in rural environments through the Go-Teach initiative. The goal is a smarter next generation of workers and citizens.
  • And they are training non-profit organizations in how to use social media effectively, because as Mike says, "Technology is the key to rural prosperity - and I'm a former anti-social-network guy."

Lessons for Leaders
Mike and his colleagues have learned a lot. But when we asked what really mattered, here's what we heard:

  1. Conversation. Mike offered this observation several times during our interview: "Conversation is two-way. It's about listening as much as talking. Conversation leads to trust - and you can't do very much without that." He also observed that supporting conversation means getting comfortable with conflict - learning how to manage it constructively. "Disagreement," he noted, "helps me learn."
  2. Creativity. In an observation of great relevance to workforce (system) leaders, Mike noted that "training" is often too narrowly conceived, and rests on a set of asumptions that may not hold going into the future. "We don't know what jobs will exist in the future - if we only train people is narrow skills sets, we'll have to do it over and over again" suggesting a sort of dependency on the whims of the labor market, rather than an ability to find opportunity, and adapt as it shifts" - and share the responsibility for learning and training differently. "And if what we want is better jobs in the future, then we'll need new ideas. That's creativity and we ought to embrace it."
  3. Co-. It's the first two letters of collaboration, but the way Mike emphasized them made it clear that the kind of co- he's talking about goes well beyond working together. "If they build it, they will own it," he noted, arguing that leadership aimed at solving complex problems has to be about facilitating not directing - co-creating solutions, not imposing them. But this means leaders need to be both adept at managing ambiguity and comfortable experimenting. "Often there is no clear path forward, we have to have room to try different approaches, and learn from our mistakes."

The folks at the Rural Learning Center have met with over 30 states to share their experience.

I hope Mike's standing invitation to visit holds true as I may not be able to resist one myself.

*The Northwest Area Foundation's ten-year initiative ended in 2008 - and not without controversy. But Miner County's was one of the successful initiatives - and the Foundation's own report points to Miner County's local leadership as among the key reasons. The report will be of interest to other foundations seeking to invest in significant change, but also to government agencies engaged in similar work. It offers a fantastic set of lessons, and is a courageous publication for the Northwest Area Foundation to share.

Apr 2, 2011

What Skills Do Workforce Leaders Need?

What Skills for Leaders?
Among the sessions we attended at the US DOL Region 4 Technical Assistance Conference in Dallas this week was Ed Morrison's Strategic Doing workshop. Since there is considerable common ground between our project and his work, we asked him to share his observations about leadership. Click play (above) to hear what he had to say.

Leadership & Networks
As we talked, Ed expressed enthusiasm for our leadership project (thanks Ed!) and pointed us to two blogs posts he'd just written the week before. They are right up our alley. We hope you enjoy them, too:


Mar 29, 2011

How Many People Think Social Media is Changing the Labor Market?

Hands raised

"How many people think that social media is changing the labor market?" That was the question Richard Froeschle, Director of Labor Market and Career Information for the Texas Workforce Commission, asked that prompted so many raised hands today at the US Department of Labor's Technical Assistance Forum in Dallas, TX. You could be forgiven for thinking he'd asked who wanted an ice cream cone, given the overwhelming response.

Richard pointed to a few data points that seemed to affirm the position of the hand-rasiers:

  • The New York Times renewed experiment with paid content, which, if successful, promises to inject an new revenue stream (read: jobs) into a sector that has had difficulty finding its footing in the wikinomics age;
  • The changing nature of jobs themselves - the growth in social technology platforms like LinkedIn (which just attracted its 100 millionth user last week) and Facebook (which exceeds 600 million users - double the US population) are becoming platforms for everything from commerce, to learning, to job-finding, to philanthropy and volunteerism. They are increasingly platforms for work and learning, not just sociaizing.
  • Changing expectations about how information moves (or should move) from one person or group to another. Social technologies reduce friction, increase speed, and rely on the knowledge and networks of "the crowd" rather than just experts or organization domains. This shift makes some jobs obsolete and creates other jobs - across all sectors.

We will be exploring our own version of this question during the Dallas event - we're interested in the kinds of leadership opportunities and challenges new social technologies raise. If you see us, notebooks or cameras in hand, please let us know what you think.

And if you tweet, please use #reg4wf, so we can find all the smart observations you are making.

Kristin, Vinz, Michelle


Mar 27, 2011

Corporation for a Skilled Workforce: Innovative Customized Solutions for Leaders

The Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) partners with leaders in government, business and education to help them navigate the new economy and develop job opportunities for those who need it. CSW provides a wide range of services including strategic planning, developing leadership capacity, and building and facilitating networks. CSW builds leadership capacity through leadership academies, executive coaching, and learning networks. The organization has also experimented with Workforce Bootcamps, two-day introductions to strategic workforce development for new and emerging workforce leaders and board members.




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