My work helping clients work smarter generally involves informal learning, collaboration, knowledge-sharing, organization development, and nurturing learning ecosystems. I rely on concepts from design, psychology, consumer marketing, network theory, social science, and media. I work with these disciplines because that’s where I have experience. However, they’re only the tip of the working smarter iceberg.
Working Smarter is a holistic approach to doing business.
An article by Jonah Lehrer in today’s Wall Street Journal describes the impact of the color of workplace walls on performance. People in red-walled rooms were “much better at skills that required accuracy and attention to detail, such as catching spelling mistakes or keeping random numbers in short-term memory.” People in blue rooms “did far better on tasks requiring some imagination, such as coming up with creative uses for a brick or designing a children’s toy.” I’ve noted before that people who work in yellow-walled rooms are more optimistic and happy — and therefore more productive.
Does this mean interior design could be a factor in working smarter? Sure.
Jack Welch has said, “Getting the right people in the right jobs is a lot more important than developing a strategy.” People are most productive when they’re creating lots of value doing things they like and are good at. Is slotting people into the best jobs for them working smarter? Sure.
Business organizations are undergoing a grand convergence. Work and learning are becoming one and the same. Smart companies don’t send workers away for training; they enable them to learn in the course of work. Learning well is working smarter.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe,” wrote John Muir. He was writing about nature, but the same holds true for the human side of enterprise. The “people disciplines” of organization development, talent management, training, and management development are all interlinked. You can’t do one without impacting the others. Who cares? It’s all just working smarter.