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Posts Tagged ‘virtual work environments’

In my Leadership class, a couple of my classmates presented on leadership in virtual work environments.  They showed the video below and one excerpt caught my attention … watch the first minute to see what I mean.

This IBM employee works virtually from the Fire station where he is a regular volunteer.  Genius!!  As more and more companies and government agencies go completely virtual, this may open up a whole host of possibilities for volunteers.  In fact, one concern I have heard of potential virtual workers is that they would prefer to have an office setting or be around other people when they work.  What if a small nonprofit could supply the desk space in exchange for a regular commitment of volunteer time.  This could be a very symbiotic relationship.

One example… an IBM employee that has great technical knowledge works from the offices of a small nonprofit in exchange for “on call” hours in which they make themselves available for technical assistance or training.  As long as the employee is doing project based work that is very flexible, it should work out well.

What do you think?  Could you envision scenarios in which a virtual worker could volunteer in a new way?

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Thank you to my friend and classmate Sarah for posting this on our Knowledge wiki:

“‘It has been said that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out; but if you place a frog into a pot of cool water and slowly raise the temperature to a boil, you’ll have dinner (that is if you like frog legs). Some have disputed the veracity of this claim (experiments date back to the late 1800s). I’ve never tried it; but true or not, there is a point. Beings (frogs or humans) react differently to abrupt changes than they do to slow, gradual changes.”- LawyerKM.com

Since the law firm is the only place I see KM working, I was really excited to see this post that dealt with change management. What caught my eye was the very beginning…

“Let me begin with the end in mind:

Take Aways: (1) Gradual change may be more effective than abrupt change; (2) KM has broad reach and impact; (3) KM and change management (CM) are inseparable.”

As I have been thinking about how to slowly introduce change at my workplace and I have decided to focus on getting knowledge out of email.

Some examples of how I have started to do this are:
1) We convene Volunteer Manager Roundtables once every 3 months and a lot of knowledge is shared and created. After the event in the past we have emailed all of the attendees with notes and suggestions for further reading or events on the topic. This time around, I created a WordPress Blog and tried to replicate the conversation in the blog that was happening at the roundtable. After the event we sent an email to the participants with lots of links to the content on the blog and encouragement to use this space to keep the conversation going.

2) Today I hosted a training on Online Volunteer Recruitment. After the training I made the presentation into a flash video with embedded links that I then embedded on the new WordPress site (using tags to make the content more easily findable).

3) I have been assigned to be a Move Coordinator for our move to a new building this summer. For the last couple months I have been sent emails with attachments to very important documents about the move. Today I talked to the Move Committee about having a space on our Intranet where those documents can live so that we all have a central location to access them.

I really wanted to tell the Move Committee all about Virtual Work Environments and how much more successful this move would be if we were using one, but I realized that that level of change is beyond our scope at the moment. By starting with just getting the documents out of our email and into a more open and accessible space, I feel like I accomplished a small victory and began to cook the frog.

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