The Changing Workplace

 These articles are part of a series of reflections on the Global Network Annual Conference. To view the previous post, click here.

As a first activity in the Changing Workplace session, participants were invited to gather into age groups and discuss the changes that they have witnessed in work and the workplace over the course of their lifetime, and to place their observations on a large-group timeline.

There was a fair amount of overlap among the findings of the small groups: the increased pace of work, the blurring of boundaries between private and work life, the increasing abundance of information and communication. Looking and the combined timeline, one participant summarized the feeling in the room: ‘It’s all negative.’

The majority of the people in the room though had taken part in the pre-conference Positive Participative Innovation workshop, and questioned their negativity in light of their recent energizing and productive experience provided by the positive approaches of AI, OST and Design Thinking. The need for a more optimistic outlook in facing these challenges was palpable in the room. Suddenly, Kristin offered her solution to the group: ‘I like to frame it as ‘I am learning how to…’’.

Her intervention was met with nods of approval and smiles. Indeed, we are living in changing times. That is a fact that all our combined experience eloquently demonstrated. Framing our own challenges as practitioners within the context of learning and humbly viewing ourselves as learners allows us to embody the principles of the learning organizations we seek to design.


Dena Duijkers,

HSI 2014

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