What This Blog is About

A long time mentor and friend, Cicely Berry, often says: "all we do comes from our need to survive".

Cis is the Voice Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company. Her profound work and deep appreciation of the human spirit has affected diverse communities all over the world.

Will take you to my current work.

This blog is dedicated to the belief that the overall health of a community or organization is a clear reflection of their ability to communicate.

"Cada cabeza es un mundo" - Cuban proverb

"Every head is a world"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Can We Re engineer The Workplace for Today's World?

Job Corps Plans Makeover for a Changed Economy - NY Times, February 20, 2007


“Once you could go into the Job Corps and get a G.E.D. and go out and make a living,” said Esther R. Johnson, a career executive in the Labor Department with a doctorate in education who took over the corps last March. “You can’t do that anymore.”

This article actually has some hopeful insights, as well as some harsh realities about today's environment for young people who are not easily included in the general offering of opportunity in the U.S.

It set me thinking about how acceptable the concept of re engineering is for corporations. Yet, the idea of re working the workplace, to meet today's realities, seems less of a possibility somehow.

Recent thinking about re engineering unions for example, or looking at public education from individual needs as opposed to a "commodity" approach, seem to echo lessons learned from large organizations.

A number of well known companies nearly lost their identity and existence before understanding that they had really lost their ability to reach the customer before re configuring their efforts.

Starting simple, while building understanding works well. Focusing on something achievable where people will learn together, what they could not learn alone, is fundamental.

This effort to makeover the Job Corps and contemporize the potential of that long standing (and successful in many ways) initiative seems very interesting.

"Dr. Johnson wants the Job Corps to aim higher, helping graduates into careers with a bigger paycheck.

To do that she plans to lengthen the average stay for many graduates beyond the current 11.4 months, improving their reading, math and vocational skills. She also wants trade courses to connect more closely with college programs and emerging industries, and she thinks the corps must double the number of graduates, now just 10 percent, who go on to higher education".

My guess is that even more may be achieved if this is really set in motion.

Do you have examples of complex issues where focusing on simple, but meaningful objectives would help jump start a significant effort?

Look forward to hearing from you.


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