“Be proud of Yourself”

Dick Davies Writes

Dick Davies a highly experienced senior manager who's at the stage where's he's reflecting deeply on management practices in organizations. He says for example that: "... the human fabric of the workplace precedes in importance that of technology". In 2010, Dick started a series of articles on independent contractors and the future.

Independents can take the initiative now to fix Australia's productivity

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Productivity is very much in the news, with a recent speech by Glen Stevens, Governor of the RBA, echoing a sentiment widely expressed about 'the two speed economy' and what happens after the mining boom.  More...

The Ideal Work Environment

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Melbourne consultancy Quantum Edge did a major research exercise some years ago to uncover the psyche of the Australian workplace. They discovered a pattern through which a brilliant start frequently led to decline and fall. The new worker, they found, was well educated, hard working and enthusiastic, so keen that they would practically do the job for nothing: they called them 'volunteers'. This continued for a while until something happened that really annoyed them, but when they tried to get the matter addressed, they found they weren't able to. This rankled them so much that they couldn't let it go, and buttonholed everyone they talked to. The shine had come off their unalloyed keenness and the 'volunteer' had morphed into a 'whinger'. More...

Emporium: Transforming work in Australia

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Economic pressures are forcing a separation between traditional 'jobs', with connotations of long term continuity and high overhead costs, and 'work', activity to achieve outcomes which can in principle be done by anybody anywhere who has the capability required. As a result, work is becoming institutionalized in new ways, which can potentially benefit both those doing it and those paying for its outcome. More...

Let's take them on

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Despite being so numerous and prosperous, independent contractors remain, on the whole, isolated. This will suit some people and may be why they chose to be independents. My theme in these articles, however, is that many independents could benefit from collaborating, firstly by to use their know-how to engage decision makers and get to valuable (and high fee-earning) projects, and then continuing to build the 'independent brand' into an attractive option for getting many more things done. More...

Building the context for the independents' revolution

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I started by describing a working environment that got the best out of people, then gave an example of what it could achieve. I then went on to sketch out how independents could cooperate to make this sort of thing happen, and suggested that developing a practice of effective meetings is a key place to start. I now want to turn to what these meetings need to achieve if independents are to have their full economic impact. More...

Effective meetings are the key

Monday, March 01, 2010

In the last article I described a scenario in which independents cooperate to gradually position themselves to compete for most of the work in the economy. This week I want to talk about the secret weapon that enabled them to do it---the meeting. More...

A scenario in which Independents trigger the start of a new workplace

Friday, February 19, 2010

In the first article I stressed how important an engaging and supportive human environment is for work. In the second I gave an example of what could be achieved in such an environment. Now I want to sketch out a scenario of how independents could make this happen. I'll describe it in three phases. More...

A glimpse of what could be?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An aircraft manufacturer was in trouble. A full order book stretched out for many years, but work practices and the computer applications supporting them were proving so inflexible that they were losing money. They desperately needed to change and turned to their biggest IT supplier to ask if they could help them.  More...

Independents and the future of work

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I had a transformative experience in my late twenties when I got a job that totally changed my notion of work.

In other places I had worked, I had been drearily aware of needing to look busy, be careful about who was allowed to be told what, never be seen leaving early and so on. It was made clear who you had to salute and who you could look down on.  More...

ITC contracts could be a great opportunity

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reading the material about ICT contracts, I found myself thinking "what's wrong with this picture?" Apparently, independent contractors offering an expertise that is highly valued and hard to come by are being entirely stitched up by intermediaries who have taken over their client relationships. It's not clear what value the intermediaries are adding, other than taking on the 'people stuff'---the communication and administration load. A lot of technical people will avoid dealing with 'people stuff' if they can, and that may be happening here. More...