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97. Have Technology, Will Travel

Debra Dinnocenzo Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF

206

97

101 Tips for Telecommuters

Have Technology,

Will Travel

In the not-too-distant past, when you left your office to travel on business, you pretty much “unplugged” from your normal activities and communication. (You might remember how agonizing it was to

“catch up” after some of those extended road trips.) I can recall people referring to themselves being “out of pocket” for the days they’d be gone, and the implication was that regular work would cease, voice-to-voice contact would be minimal at best, and mail would simply pile up in in-baskets until the trip was over. Enter onto the business scene a series of innovations to improve our access to information and connectivity to everyone regardless of where we are: telephone calling cards, lower longer distance rates, telefax technology, and increasing access to readily available public fax machines, voice mail, cellular phones, e-mail, notebook computers that continue shrinking in size and weight, wireless Internet access, personal digital assistants, etc. It’s a whole new ball game, and road warriors run the bases between on-line, real-time, and waste-no-time technology solutions that make you feel as if you never really left home after all.

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9. Industrial diarrhea

John de Graaf Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Industrial diarrhea

DDT is good for me!

—1950S JINGLE

The chemical age has created products, institutions, and cultural attitudes that require synthetic chemicals to sustain them.

—THEO COLBURN ET AL.,
Our Stolen Future

Imagine spotting them through binoculars at a baseball game—icons of advertising’s hall of fame, lounging in front-row seats behind home plate. Look, there’s the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel, signing autographs and passing out smokes to the kids. The Energizer Bunny flings handfuls of batteries into the crowd like Tootsie Rolls, while Ronald McDonald argues defensively with an environmentalist about hormones, antibiotics, and pesticide residues detected in the Big Mac. The plump Pillsbury Doughboy giggles as the Jolly Green Giant looks down on the game from the parking lot, ho-ho-hoing every time the home team scores. No one messes with a guy that size, even though chunks of pesticide slough off his green body like gigantic flakes of dry skin.

They seem so innocent, so endearing, don’t they? So American. Many of us grew up with these guys, and we love their entrepreneurial optimism, their goofiness, their cool. Our demand for products like theirs has kept the US economy in the growth mode, overall, for more than half a century, and it really can’t be denied that America’s dazzling products make life seem bright, shiny, and convenient. But at what cost to our health, and the planet?

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Contents

Mike Song Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576750025

5. Evolving Forms of Corporate Structure

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CORPORATE STRUCTURE

The Second Wave
Hierarchy, matrix, business unit

The Third Wave
Team-value

The Fourth Wave
Community

 

FROM A SECOND WAVE business perspective, no significant change can be understood unless one looks at the structure of how business is conducted. Organizational structure supplies the building blocks of business activity; it fixes the mind-set from which change is evaluated. In the Third and Fourth Waves, by contrast, organizational structure will be a consequence of business activity. To show how this transformation will come about, we first look at contemporary Second Wave models of organizational structure.

Second Wave companies, especially the large and very large corporations, are committed to hierarchical models of organizational structure.

The traditional hierarchy, with its centralized, top-down control and staff organized to serve the boss, was based on the presumption that managers know more than their subordinates. The two classes above the support staff, managers and professionals, were considered to possess fundamentally different types and amounts of knowledge than those below them in the hierarchy; and managers were to be the decisionmakers. This line of thinking, which served us well in earlier times, is no longer appropriate. Most professionals now know far more about the particulars of their products, market performance, and customers than the manager could ever hope to know. The shift in information technology and knowledge is pushing the corporation toward a fundamental change in the role of management.

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CHAPTER 2: A Model for Understanding Covert Processes

Robert J. Marshak Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This chapter introduces a multidimensional model that explains the sources and dynamics of all covert processes. Instead of addressing each of the five covert dimensions separately, the model reveals what they have in common. This model addresses three critical questions:

This chapter provides a conceptual foundation for thinking about covert processes and how they may impact any change initiative.

A number of years ago, Judith Katz and I developed the Covert Processes Model to help us better understand, diagnose, and deal with the complex dynamics involved in all covert processes (Marshak and Katz, 2001). The model shows the fundamental sources and types of covert processes for individuals, groups, and organizations (see accompanying illustration). It is eclectic, drawing on a diverse set of psychological, sociological, and 20 social-psychological theories to bring together in one framework a range of covert processes that are normally discussed separately. It is presented in everyday language and organized around a metaphor used almost everywhere to connote overt and covert dynamics in organizations.

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