SEPT 2012.

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CONTENTS

HOT SPOTS UPDATES

Last places for workshops

Don't forget we're running two workshops this month – Future-proofing the Team Leader on October 16 and Driving Collaboration on October 18. You can register online.

Research and Diversity Consortium

Join us for breakfast on 17 October, 8.30am at the Royal Society of Arts in Central London – just email Tina for details.

MEET THE GAMECHANGERS

We recently met the GameChanger strategic innovation group within Shell, and were enthused by their ideas of how to we can use the latest developments in science and innovation and translate them into the workplace. You can read a little about the GameChanger group and their research, which presents innovation and ideas in a really interesting way.

SERIAL MASTERY – WHEN SPECIALIST IS BEST

We have touched on the importance of specialisation before, but felt it was time to revisit it. For many businesses, specialisation seems counter-intuitive: We get in the habit of trying to be good all-rounders, because we feel it makes us a better employee, or manager. But this isn't the case. For real innovation to occur, it's best to bring together a lot of specialists and have them look at the problem together. Lynda was interviewed for a feature in The New York Times on this very issue, which she calls "serial mastery". To read the feature, click here, and to read more about specialisation, click here.

THE POLARISATION OF THE WORKFORCE

Lynda has written a Viewpoint piece for BBC Business and her comments have really struck a chord – we have been inundated with comments. In the piece, Lynda highlighted that millions of jobs will be lost around the world as a result of the globalisation of virtual work and increased connectivity. Many of these jobs will be in "middle-wage, middle-skilled" jobs such as secretaries or line managers, because they can be replaced by technology or outsourced. What we will have instead is an increasingly polarised workforce, concentrated heavily at each end of the job spectrum. This picture sounds bleak, but Lynda has hope that we can adapt – click here to read the article.

NOW EVEN BIGGER IN JAPAN

Last month we shared the exciting news that The Shift had become the top-selling business book on Amazon in Japan. We're excited to see that the book is still growing in popularity – the online book club with the author Chikirin (whose blog has received more than 45 million views) is scheduled for October 6, and we have had emails from other readers who are hosting their own group discussions.

WHAT WE'RE READING

GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

We have been reading about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which seem to have exploded into general awareness in the last few weeks. A MOOC is a free course conducted over the internet, and the march for access to top-class free education is being led by Coursera, which has recently partnered with many top institutions including Princeton and Georgetown. One journalist from TIME magazine has written about his experiences here while a Stanford professor is blogging as he teaches.

WHO'S IN OUR NETWORK

CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN

It's hard to believe we haven't mentioned Clay before: the master of "disruptive innovation", he has been at the forefront of management thinking for years. A professor at Harvard Business School, he teaches one of the most popular elective classes, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise. You can watch the video of his TEDxBoston talk from a couple of months ago here but we wanted to draw your attention to his blog post on open innovation, a topic we covered briefly in the last newsletter.

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