Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Posted by Jeremiah Genest on Aug 11, 2019 2:13 pm

One of the strategic goals of the ASQ in 2020 is "Drive Thought Leadership in Excellence Through Quality." I think it's important as the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum does it's part towards realizing this strategic plan to define the boundaries of the body of knowledge of this forum.

I've been developing a mindmap to help understand the lay of the land. This mindmap is aiming to identify three things:
  1. ASQ certifications and body of knowledges
  2. Relevant external professional associations
  3. Identify the relevant standards (ISO, etc)
I'd love to get people's thoughts, additions and interpretations of this.

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Re: Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Posted by Jeremiah Genest on Sep 1, 2019 9:38 pm

So far the voice of customer survey has 160 results, about 6% of our total membership. Probably keep it up 2 more weeks to capture folks coming back from summer vacations and send out one more reminder later this week.

So far the results are interesting:
# Question 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   Total
1 Organizational culture 41.00% 41 12.00% 12 10.00% 10 9.00% 9 5.00% 5 5.00% 5 5.00% 5 2.00% 2 2.00% 2 1.00% 1 1.00% 1 1.00% 1 2.00% 2 2.00% 2 0.00% 0 2.00% 2 0.00% 0 100
2 Motivation 4.00% 4 10.00% 10 12.00% 12 8.00% 8 9.00% 9 10.00% 10 8.00% 8 6.00% 6 8.00% 8 7.00% 7 8.00% 8 3.00% 3 3.00% 3 2.00% 2 1.00% 1 1.00% 1 0.00% 0 100
3 Employee Involvement 3.00% 3 10.00% 10 16.00% 16 9.00% 9 11.00% 11 7.00% 7 11.00% 11 6.00% 6 7.00% 7 4.00% 4 6.00% 6 6.00% 6 4.00% 4 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 100
4 Communication 8.00% 8 14.00% 14 11.00% 11 20.00% 20 7.00% 7 7.00% 7 7.00% 7 8.00% 8 5.00% 5 5.00% 5 2.00% 2 2.00% 2 3.00% 3 1.00% 1 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 100
5 Talent management 1.00% 1 4.00% 4 2.00% 2 3.00% 3 9.00% 9 9.00% 9 3.00% 3 4.00% 4 13.00% 13 8.00% 8 12.00% 12 9.00% 9 10.00% 10 4.00% 4 5.00% 5 4.00% 4 0.00% 0 100
6 Change management 2.00% 2 7.00%

Re: Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Posted by Jeremiah Genest on Sep 8, 2019 10:48 am

Been thinking of collaboration as a core part of the body of knowledge, so I have been pulling together a list of issues. Please add additional ones and/or resources in the comments.

Trends Concerns
Increasing collaborative modes of working, specifically more: 
Matrix structures (Cross et al. 2013, 2016; Cross and Gray 2013) 
(Distributed) Teamwork (Cross et al. 2015) 
(Multi-) Project work (Zika-Viktorsson et al. 2006) and multiple team membership (O`Leary et al. 2011) 
Interruptions, which are ‘normal’ or even as a necessary part of knowledge workers’ workday (Wajcman and Rose 2011) 
Collaboration, which is seen as an end (Breu et al. 2005; Dewar et al. 2009; Gardner 2017; Randle 2017)
Collaborative work is highly demanding (Barley et al. 2011; Dewar et al. 2009; Eppler and Mengis 2004)
Perils of multitasking (Atchley 2010; Ophir et al. 2009; Turkle 2015) 
Too many structurally unproductive and inefficient teams (Duhigg 2016) 
Lack of accountability for meeting and conference call time (Fried 2016) 
Overall, lack of structural protection of employee’s productive time (Fried 2016)
Impacts of collaborative technology 
Growing share of social technologies in the workplace (Bughin et al. 2017) 
‘Always on’ mentality, cycle of responsiveness (Perlow 2012) 
Platforms are designed to prime and nudge users to spend more time using them (Stewart 2017) 
Unclear organizational expectations how to use collaborative technology and limited individual knowledge (Griffith 2014; Maruping and Magni 2015) 
Technology exacerbates organizational issues (Mankins 2017) 
Inability to ‘turn off’ (Perlow 2012) 
Technology creates more complexity than productivity gains (Stephens et al. 2017) 
Increasing complex media repertoires: highly differentiated, vanishing common denominator (Greene 2017; Mankins 2017) 
Social technology specific Increased visibility (Treem and Leonardi 2013) and thus the ability to monitor behaviour Impression management and frustration (Farzan et al. 2008) 
Overall, overload scenarios and fragmentation of work (Cross et al. 2015; Wajcman and Rose 2011)
Increasing ratio of collaborative activities for managers (Mankins and Garton 2017; Mintzberg 1990) and employees (CEB 2013; Cross and Gray 2013) 

Workdays are primarily characterized by communication and collaboration.
Managers at intersections of matrix structures get overloaded (Feintzeig 2016; Mankins and Garton 2017) 
Limited knowledge how to shape collaboration on the managerial level (Cross and Gray 2013; Maruping and Magni 2015) 
Experts and structurally exposed individuals (e.g. boundary spanners) easily get overburdened with requests (Cross et al. 2016; Cross and Gray 2013). 

Behavioral traits (‘givers’) may push employees close burn-outs (Grant 2013; Grant and Rebele 2017) 
Diminishing ‘perceived control’ over one’s own schedule (Cross and Gray 2013) 

Overall, managers and employees do not have enough uninterrupted time (Cross et al. 2016; Mankins and Garton 2017)


  • Atchley, P. 2010. “You Can’t Multitask, So Stop Trying,” Harvard Business Review 
  • Barley, S. R., Meyerson, D. E., and Grodal, S. 2011. “E-mail as a Source and Symbol of Stress,” Organization Science (22:4), pp. 887–906.
  • Breu, K., Hemingway, C., and Ashurst, C. 2005. “The impact of mobile and wireless technology on knowledge workers: An exploratory study,” in Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Information Systems, Regensburg, Germany.
  • Bughin, J., Chui, M., Harrysson, M., and Lijek, S. 2017. “Advanced social technologies and the future of collaboration,” McKinsey Global Institute.
  • CEB. 2013. “Driving the Strategic Agenda in the New Work Environment
  • Cross, R., Ernst, C., Assimakopoulos, D., and Ranta, D. 2015. “Investing in boundary-spanning collaboration to drive efficiency and innovation,” Organizational Dynamics (44:3), pp. 204–216.
  • Cross, R., and Gray, P. 2013. “Where Has the Time Gone? Addressing Collaboration Overload in a Networked Economy,” California Management Review (56:1), pp. 1–17.
  • Cross, R., Kase, R., Kilduff, M., and King, Z. 2013. “Bridging the gap between research and practice in organizational network analysis: A conversation between Rob Cross and Martin Kilduff,” Human Resource Management (52:4), pp. 627–644.
  • Cross, R., Rebele, R., and Grant, A. 2016. “Collaborative Overload,” Harvard Business Review (94:1), pp. 74–79.
  • Cross, R., Taylor, S.N., Zehner, D. 2018. "Collaboration without burnout". Harvard Business Review. (96:4), pp. 134-137. 
  • Dewar, C., Keller, S., Lavoie, J., and Weiss, L. M. 2009. “How do I drive effective collaboration to deliver real business impact?,” McKinsey & Company.
  • Duhigg, C. 2016. Smarter, Faster, Better - The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, New York, USA: Penguin Random House.
  • Eppler, M. J., and Mengis, J. 2004. “The Concept of Information Overload: A Review of Literature from Organization Science, Accounting, Marketing, MIS, and Related Disciplines,” The Information Society (20:5), pp. 325–344.
  • Farzan, R., DiMicco, J. M., Millen, D. R., Brownholtz, B., Geyer, W., and Dugan, C. 2008. “Results from Deploying a Participation Incentive Mechanism within the Enterprise,” in Proceedings of the 26th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Florence, Italy.
  • Feintzeig, R. 2016. “So Busy at Work, No Time to Do the Job,” The Wall Street Journal
  • Fried, J. 2016. “Restoring Sanity to the Office,” Harvard Business Review .
  • Gardner, H. K. 2017. Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos, Boston, USA: Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Grant, A. 2013. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, New York, USA: Penguin Group.
  • Grant, A., and Rebele, R. 2017. “Generosity Burnout,” Harvard Business Review
  • Greene, J. 2017. “Beware Collaboration-Tool Overload,” The Wall Street Journal
  • Griffith, T. L. 2014. “Are Companies Ready to Finally Kill Email?,” MIT Sloan Management Review
  • Lock Lee, L. 2017. “Enterprise Social Networking Benchmarking Report 2017,” SWOOP Analytics
  • Mankins, M. 2017. “Collaboration Overload Is a Symptom of a Deeper Organizational Problem,” Harvard Business Review
  • Mankins, M., and Garton, E. 2017. Time, Talent, Energy, Boston, USA: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Maruping, L. M., and Magni, M. 2015. “Motivating Employees to Explore Collaboration Technology in Team Contexts,” MIS Quarterly (39:1), pp. 1–16.
  • O’Leary, M. B., Mortensen, M., and Woolley, A. W. 2011. “Multiple Team Membership: a Theoretical Model of Its Effects on Productivity and,” Academy of Management Review (36:3), pp. 461–478.
  • Ophir, E., Nass, C., and Wagner, A. D. 2009. “Cognitive control in media multitaskers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (106:37), pp. 15583–15587.
  • Perlow, L. A. 1999. “The time famine: Toward a sociology of work time,” Administrative Science Quarterly (44:1), pp. 57–81.
  • Perlow, L. A. 2012. Sleeping With Your Smartphone, Boston, USA: Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Perlow, L. A. 2014. “Manage Your Team’s Collective Time,” Harvard Business Review (92:6), pp. 23–25.
  • Perlow, L. A., and Porter, J. L. 2009. “Making time off predictable--and required,” Harvard Business Review (87:10), pp. 102–109.
  • Randle, C. 2017. “24/7: Managing Constant Connectivity,” in Work Pressures: New Agendas in Communication, D. I. Ballard and M. S. McGlone (eds.), New York, USA: Routledge, pp. 20–26.
  • Stephens, K. K. 2017. “Understanding Overload in a Contemporary World,” in Work Pressures: New Agendas in Communication, D. I. Ballard and M. S. McGlone (eds.), New York, USA: Routledge.
  • Stephens, K. K., Mandhana, D. M., Kim, J. J., and Li, X. 2017. “Reconceptualizing Communication Overload and Building a Theoretical Foundation,” Communication Theory (27:3), pp. 269–289.
  • Stewart, J. B. 2017. “Facebook Has 50 Minutes of Your Time Each Day. It Wants More.” The New York Times
  • Treem, J. W., and Leonardi, P. M. 2013. “Social Media Use in Organizations: Exploring the Affordances of Visibility, Editability, Persistence, and Association,” Annals of the International Communication Association (36:1), pp. 143–189.
  • Turkle, S. 2015. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, New York, USA: Pinguin Press.
  • Wajcman, J., and Rose, E. 2011. “Constant Connectivity: Rethinking Interruptions at Work,” Organization Studies (32:7), pp. 941–961.
  • Zika-Viktorsson, A., Sundström, P., and Engwall, M. 2006. “Project overload: An exploratory study of work and management in multi-project settings,” International Journal of Project Management (24:5), pp. 385–394.

Re: Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Posted by Jeremiah Genest on Sep 29, 2019 2:10 pm

Disciplines can be modeled as a system comprising an “activity scope” that is enabled by a “knowledge base” but conditioned by a “guidance framework”.

From Rousseau, et al “A Typology for the Systems Field” 
  • The guidance framework typically involves multiple worldviews. The same subject matter can be studied from different worldviews, and the theories around a given subject can be interpreted differently from different worldview perspectives. You can see this in the various flavors of continuous improvement or better yet, the presence of a sustainability push within the society.
  • The knowledge base is the data, theories and methodologies that drive the discipline
  • The activity scope describes the range of activities in a disciple, including the professional practice.

Re: Building a Body of Knowledge for TWEF

Posted by Jacqueline Jolly on Nov 8, 2019 3:09 pm

I do have a couple of things to add, both stemming from recent conversations I've had with other leaders in my organization. My apologies in advance for not taking the time to figure out how to be more succinct here!
  1. With regards to strategic planning, I definitely think we have room to reference a methodology like Hoshin. Our Director of Practice Support was sharing the IT organization's 3-year plan with me over lunch a couple of days ago, and my general thought was that it was an aggressive but achievable plan that will lay a rock-solid foundation for executing on the firm's overall 5-year strategic plan if executed well. That led me to ask him how well the front line people in the IT organization (both core IT and practice support) understood how their day-to-day linked back to the 3-year plan and to the firm's overall strategic initiatives, goals, mission, and vision. The staff are all very good at the technical aspects of their jobs, but do they have enough context to make it more than just a paycheck? He was refreshingly honest; they don't because those conversations are not had. When front-line workers have a better understanding of these linkages, teams are more engaged and collaborative and have the psychological safety needed to speak up when something isn't working; without this level of engagement, execution of the 3-year plan (and therefore the firm's 5-year plan) won't be nearly as successful as it could be.
  2. The Senior Manager of Marketing and Business Development asked me to give a short talk on transformational change to her team (I had casually thrown out this term when we were talking about something completely unrelated while we were waiting to board the train back to Chicago from Milwaukee, and she latched on right away). Many of them are younger, and this is their first job out of college; for even some of her more senior team members, this is their first job at a law firm so they may not necessarily understand why the firm's 5-year plan is such a radical departure from "how we've always done it," or what that means for them as they are confronted with new challenges and opportunities. I started out by providing some high-level definitions of change, incremental change, and transformational/radical change, examples of each, and how incremental change might help lay the groundwork for transformational change. I then talked about the history of change in other industries and the unique conditions that have allowed legal to remain stagnant for so long and why those conditions no longer apply. I linked all those concepts to core elements of the firm's strategic plan (the manager had already shared the plan with them so they were familiar with the elements). Finally, I ended with tips on how they could thrive in times of transformational change. The manager closed out by linking my material to conversations they'd all had in previous team meetings. The goal here was to equip them with additional context so they would fully understand why the firm is doing what it's doing and be better prepared for the challenges and opportunities with which they will be confronted.
For my first example, my general point is that we'll definitely want to consider how to communicate the importance of providing sufficient context to all employees, clearly linking what leadership is asking of them to the organization's overall goals. This HBR article touches on the impact this can have. In my experience, service organizations haven't always been great at this, especially as you get lower on the organizational food chain.

For my second example, my point is a little bit harder for me to articulate within this context. To boost team and workplace excellence, the manager asked me to introduce her team to a very high-level, somewhat squishy concept. I thought it was important to also apply some historical industry context so they could better understand the "what" and the "why." I don't know how, where, or even if this fits within our BoK, but I want to throw it out there as something to think about.

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