Richard Florida,The Creativity Exchange & Best Buy

kinnon —  December 6, 2006 — Leave a comment

Jordon Cooper points to Richard Florida’s new blog, The Creativity Exchange. I quoted Florida extensively in one of my most read posts, Killer Ideas vs Idea Killers Part Two – from a Gallup Management interview:

Creative people want the freedom to work on their own terms and on their own time. They want to be responsible. That doesn’t mean there’s no accountability, but the accountability doesn’t come from sitting at a desk counting time. Instead, the accountability is: “Do you deliver? Do you meet your performance measurements? Do you produce quality work in a timely way? Do you contribute?”

BizweekroweIt would seem that Best Buy has been listening to Florida in creating their ROWE, Results-only Work Environment. From the Dec 11th, Business Week Cover Story:

The nation’s leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical–if risky–experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. The endeavor, called ROWE, for “results-only work environment,” seeks to demolish decades-old business dogma that equates physical presence with productivity. The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours.

Hence workers pulling into the company’s amenity-packed headquarters at 2 p.m. aren’t considered late. Nor are those pulling out at 2 p.m. seen as leaving early. There are no schedules. No mandatory meetings. No impression-management hustles. Work is no longer a place where you go, but something you do. It’s O.K. to take conference calls while you hunt, collaborate from your lakeside cabin, or log on after dinner so you can spend the afternoon with your kid.

Florida comments on the Best Buy story,

Working is no longer defined by real estate. The limits of technology during the industrial-organizational age required that we work in shared spaces, offices and factories. But now technology means we can work anywhere, anytime. How long will it take for other companies to catch on? And what about other dimensions of human life? Learning is also no longer defined by real estate. When will universities and schools go post-geographic, allowing “students” to engage in learning-by-doing? The great irony of our time is that just when technology has freed us from the constraints from working and learning in central facilities, it makes our location – the place we choose to live – ever more important.

We live in very interesting times. The days of treating creatives and knowledge-workers as widget makers in a factory are rapidly coming to an end. Would that those in leadership positions in the workplace, and even the church, get that through their heads sooner, rather than later. From my Killer Ideas vs Idea Killers Part Two post, quoting Florida again,

For managers, CEOs, or political leaders, the challenge is “How do I motivate? I see that the old, top-down, hierarchical, follow-me, my-way-or-the-highway style of leadership doesn’t cut it anymore.” The leaders who will be successful today, in business or politics, will be those who can stimulate and harness the creative capabilities of the greatest number of people.

Make a point of visiting Florida’s new blog on a regular basis (or just add it to your Google Reader!)

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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