In the interests of promoting online learning, Flexibility
is pleased to publish here a brief guide to the emerging vocabulary of the new
world of work.
So take a quick dip into our
value-added knowledge base of innovation, garnered from the intellectual capital of our
telepatetic* expert team.
Words + interpretation
Holistic - not
just looking at the thing itself, but the whole kit and caboodle. On the lips of a
consultant or contractor it means "Let's turn this into a bigger project".
- choose from:
1) a great leap forward in one's conceptual framework for the way of doing things:
2) I'd rather do it in a way I understand better;
3) a small change won't do - we need to look at this in a holistic context.
usually one of a group of hypothetical situations. All but one of these will be entirely
implausible or impractical.
Following an holistic approach to enable a paradigm shift typically generates a
Tele - a prefix
which can be attached to any noun or verb, and most other parts of speech, indicating the
speaker understands the significance of new technology. We will be offering a prize of a
free subscription to Flexibility for the best new tele- word this month. IBM and
other notable modernisers are trying to replace "tele"
with "e-" but words such as
"e-business" can cause confusion in nightclubs and sometimes even
the space between the ears of the person from the IT helpdesk.
enhancing the professional activities of staff so that they can fulfil a range of roles
and develop their portfolio of skills and employability.
For example, using work experience trainees, cleaners and even actors for TV production
rather than expensive & qualified craft technicians. Money saved can be spent on
Investors in People programmes etc.
the practice whereby workers have to sit somewhere different every time they come into the
Tends not to apply to people in authority or others with difficult personalities.
Knowledge management a concept
based on distinguishing between data, information and knowledge, but not necessarily
wisdom. It involves keeping know-how in the organisation after right-sizing has disposed
of the people who knew it.
Good "KM" requires new money and good consultants to develop
holistic strategies and systems for capturing and sharing corporate knowledge.
Further down the food chain it means hours of trawling through information systems to find
something out. This replaces the archaic approach of phoning the person who has the answer.
Proper training is essential to maximise the benefits of this approach. A cultural
paradigm shift is also recommended.
- used to mean the ability to keep on making money (as in economically sustainable).
Since 1992 it implies environmental stewardship, biodiversity, lots of buses and lots of
Sustainability is invariably a key outcome of any new policy, technology, electronic
service or paradigm shift.
It also apparently includes social equity ( - at least for neo-Marxist South American
priests and many UK local authorities), not to mention motherhood and apple pie.
The virtual workplace
- describes a spectrum of scenarios resulting from the paradigm shift brought about
by a more holistic approach to hotdesking, enabling telecollaboration over electronic
Working this way creates innovative sustainable work environments, providing workspace
scenarios which i) benefit the environment and ii) promote social equity.
This is because i) workers don't need to drive as much, and ii) it means that poorer
people can turn their living rooms into impromptu call centres. Incidentally this also
promotes healthiness in the young as the kids have to play outside.
Taken to its logical conclusion, it means work can be wherever you are. And this can only be
a good thing....
Andy Lake (Editor)
* telepatetic, by
the way, means something like "wandering at a distance" - on the lines
of "peripatetic", only more networked. (from Greek "tele"
= "far" and pateein = "to tread")
I think I made it up, but you never know!