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The Woven blog

In this era of globalization, as outsourcing is on the rise and work is increasingly distributed around the world, there are new realities that organizations must recognize in order to stay current. The Woven blog aims to provide information on the changes taking place, on the vital role of technology, and on Woven’s related activities.

Person of the Year: You.

Dave » 17 years 26 weeks ago

Every year since 1927, Time Magazine has dedicated an issue to profiling the man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that “for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year.”

Web Worker Daily and the virtual worker

Dave » 17 years 41 weeks ago

Web Worker Daily is a new blog which I came across recently via the excellent TechCrunch site. With its tagline “Rebooting the Workforce”, it’s dedicated to those operating outside of the conventional workplace paradigm. The virtual worker — often referred to by the site’s authors as “bedouins” after the desert-dwelling nomadic tribes — is one whose primary tool is a laptop, who works wherever there’s a WiFi connection and a coffee, out of bistros and bars, even on the beach. Virtual workers freelance, have flexible schedules, and can show up to work in pajamas. The site aims to explore this phenomenon and provide a forum for these workers to come together and share.

Reflections on labor

Dave » 17 years 41 weeks ago

Yesterday marked Labor Day in the United States. It’s a day many people regard as a last chance for leisure before being plunged back into the regular work cycle and the colder, shorter, darker days ahead.

The day itself was founded as a celebration of the American worker, and, ironically, we celebrate by not working. We light up the backyard BBQ and kick back with some steaks and beer instead.

It all seems very appropriate to me. After all, many of us see our work as the daily grind — a monotonous, but necessary, cycle of struggle to bring home the cash to support you and yours. It’s no wonder Monday is traditionally dreaded and Friday is looked forward to. Makes sense that Labor Day is always the first Monday of September then, doesn’t it? It’s good to stop, relax, and put labor into context.

Bernanke on global economic integration

Dave » 17 years 42 weeks ago

Ben Bernanke is Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the quasi-governmental central banking system here in the United States, which has tremendous influence over the monetary and credit conditions in the economy. In a recent speech, he talked about global economic integration.

As Bernanke spelled out, when economists measure the earth in “distance”, they’re referring not just to the physical distance, but to other factors as well. Things like the cost of shipping goods, the time it takes for a message to travel, and the cost of sending and receiving that message are all important. They also factor in what they call the “width of the border”, which are the costs associated with tariffs and other rules imposed at a border, as well as costs that arise from differences in language, culture, legal traditions, and political systems.

Conversation begets collaboration

Dave » 17 years 42 weeks ago

It’s really incredible when you think of how the Internet has expanded the reach and ability of our conversations. Information can spread through the world at the speed of light, and we’re more empowered to connect and to share because of it. That creates the possibility for a radically new world, unprecedented in all of history. When we can connect with such ease, we can have a conversation. When we can have that conversation, we can discover synergies, and explore working together. When we work together on such a global scale, well… the potential is exponential.

Trust is at the heart of collaboration

Dave » 17 years 42 weeks ago

That’s how Jim Ware over at the Future of Work Weblog put it, and I couldn’t agree more. He pointed to the most recent Wikipedia gaffe, where people swarmed in to edit an article with fictitious information, as indicative of “the dark side of collaborative technology”, and of “the dangers of remote collaboration with strangers”.

First, I’d be wary of calling it “the dark side of collaborative technology”. After all, it’s not collaborative technology that is the problem, but anonymous collaboration itself. I do agree that the nature of anonymous, remote collaboration creates opportunities for abuse. Indeed, there’s less of a deterrent against abuse when you don’t think anyone will know it was you. That’s a real-world concept widely applied.

The beginning of the end for outsourcing?

Dave » 17 years 44 weeks ago

Is the IT outsourcing boom over? One independent study seems to think so.

From one article that nicely summarizes:

Companies are reining in outsourcing since they either mistakenly outsourced a process or function that is core to their business and are now bringing it back in-house; their provider over-promised and under-delivered; or the complexity of managing and measuring outsourcing projects and relationships overshadowed the benefits, reasons [a principal at the management consulting firm that produced the study].

Global teams 'round the clock

Dave » 17 years 43 weeks ago

Geographically distributed product development is continuing to take hold.

From an article I came across (via the excellent Future of Work Weblog):

The new flagship mouse that Logitech will announce this fall is truly an international beast. The mechanical engineering and design took place in Ireland; electrical engineering in Switzerland; corporate marketing, software engineer- ing and quality assurance at the company’s Fremont, Calif., headquarters; tooling in Taiwan; and manufacturing in China.

Hello adhocracy, goodbye beaurocracy

Dave » 17 years 45 weeks ago

Mega corporations, those huge companies that try and do everything and anything under one roof, are going the way of the dinasour, and are being replaced by smaller, more agile businesses that are able to respond quickly to market changes. And many companies are in the process of reinventing themselves.

It’s no longer about top-down command and control, where layers of management are necessary to relay orders from the top through to the people actually executing. Instead, a more horizontal approach is taking hold, where each member of a company understands and owns their role, and has more decision making freedom.

The least developed countries

Dave » 17 years 46 weeks ago

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently released a comprehensive report on the state of the 50 least developed countries. It highlights the economic forces and trends affecting these countries and dives into a slew of economic data I won’t even try to understand.

The overall picture is that while these least developed countries (LDCs) have made record progress as a whole, they are still wrought with enormous challenges. The progress they have made isn’t necessarily sustainable, and the productivity gap is widening.

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