Progress is often driven by our need to adapt to times of great stress. As we watch fuel prices climb and the economy sink, there's of course a very human desire to begin thinking that the sky is falling. Instead, this might be our opportunity to transform systems that haven't been working very well for a while.
- Instead of driving to offices that are miles away to "put in our time," we can work from home or even consider distributed work. Here are 20 benefits to going completely virtual. They seem pretty powerful to me.
- Maybe we'll stop measuring productivity in terms of time spent in the office and start measuring it in terms of results. Maybe we can find some ways to make work suck less.
- We could re-think our training paradigms. Outmoded classroom training could be replaced with social media-enhanced distance learning models that allow us to learn anytime, anywhere.Or maybe we could even take greater charge of our own learning by building robust PLEs.
- Meetings could be re-thought, maybe making them optional or using an unmeeting structure. Maybe they could even be replaced by tools like blogs, wikis and Google docs that would allow us to work asynchronously and help us more effectively document our discussions. Web conferencing and video-conferencing models offer additional opportunities to connect without driving anywhere.
These are small things in some ways, but cumulatively, they could have huge impact on our environment, on our economy, on our quality of life. They would give us extra time to spend on things we love, including family, friends, volunteer work, artistic pursuits, spirituality. They could help us refill our personal wells, which in turn fuels our compassion, creativity and ability to cope with a changing world. Yes, we're facing some scary things, but maybe we need to look for the ways we can use them for positive ends.
What other opportunities do you see? How can we use some of the tumult we're facing as a society to effect positive change?