Harvard Information for Employees

A strong communication plan will help managers set expectations and successfully orchestrate a diverse group of distributed employees. A thorough plan ensures that employees get what they need to stay connected with their team, customers, stakeholders, and the University.

Discussions about communication tools, protocols, and the ways in which people use these to interact with one another are ideal at the onset of a team approach to flexwork; however, anytime is a good time to establish or revisit a communication plan. A successful plan requires shared understanding and commitment so it’s important for all team members to participate when writing or revising a team communication plan.

Please also see CWD’s “Leading and Managing in a Hybrid Work Environment Toolkit” which includes more in-depth and how-to advice for building skills for a culture of fluid communication in the context of flexwork. Teams should develop a communication plan that addresses:

Planning Doesn’t Have to Be the Enemy of Agile

Planning was one of the cornerstones of management, but it’s now fallen out of fashion. It seems rigid, bureaucratic, and ill-suited to a volatile, unpredictable world. However, organizations still need some form of planning.

And so, universally valuable, but desperately unfashionable, planning waits like a spinster in a Jane Austen novel for someone to recognize her worth. The answer is agile planning, a process that can coordinate and align with today’s agile-based teams. Agile planning also helps to resolve the tension between traditional planning’s focus on hard numbers, and the need for “soft data,” or human judgment.

Agility Hacks

How to create temporary teams that can bypass bureaucracy and get crucial work done quickly.

In the past 20 years, the agile approach to improving products, services, and processes has swept the business world. Rooted in software development, agile has spread to many other functions, and some companies have turned much of their organization, including the C-suite, into agile teams.

But agile is not suitable for all circumstances, particularly in carrying out the many key operations and functions of an organization that require consistency and efficiency.

This article describes how large established companies can use agility hacks to temporarily bypass their standard processes to act quickly and effectively while leaving the overall system alone.

Harvard ExecEd – Strategic Agility

Facing rapid change—and even unprecedented upheaval—large and small businesses alike must race against time to innovate and adjust their strategies, business models, organizational systems, and cultures.

While some organizations struggle with rapid transformation, many are able to evolve quickly because leaders have built strategic agility into the organization’s DNA. In this live online program, you’ll learn how to become a more strategically agile leader who can help your organization compete and succeed in uncertain times.

John Dewey’s 4 Principles of Education

There are only a few ideas that had as much of an impact on education as those of John Dewey. The American philosopher, psychologist and educator believed children to be active contributors and agents of their learning, and not just passive recipients of knowledge of previous generations.

He believed that for knowledge to be acquired successfully, learning should be an experience. His Experiential Learning approach was based on four core principles.

Learning by doing

Learning by doing refers to a theory of education. This theory was expounded by the American philosopher John Dewey. It’s a hands-on approach to learning, meaning students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn.

“I believe that the school must represent present life-life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.” John Dewey in My Pedagogic Creed

German elementary schools

Deutsche Welle – Do you know your Gymnasium from your Gesamtschule? The German school system is certainly complicated. For this week’s Meet the Germans, Rachel heads back to the classroom to get to grips with the different types of schools and to find out what kids like about going to school in Germany.

Rachel moved from the UK to Germany in 2016. As a relative newcomer she casts a fresh eye over German clichés and shares her experiences of settling into German life. Every two weeks she explores a new topic – from German books to German-Turkish culture or Germany’s obsession with cars. This week: German schools and the education system.