The following outlines the content and chapters of Makers of the Environment Book 3:
Professionals are finding that geographic information, facility information, utility information, operations information, business information, political information, sustainability information, and virtually every other form of information, are intertwining. The line between information producers and information users is vanishing. Yet, rather than using scientific methods and looking at the underlying structure and systems, we have fallen back on tradition and legacy systems to drive educational decision-making. Most of the jobs that people will hold twenty years from now have not yet been invented. Today’s collaborations need people that can synthesize information and problem solve within the collaborative framework. People must synthesize new things from what usually looks to be unrelated things. The willingness to innovate backed up by deep knowledge and broad interests are the keys to making the changes required in an integrated world.
Change is certain
Considering those aging out of the system, plus those laid-off and those now entering the system, we need to pay attention to how best to educate for the future. Without such a change in focus we will not be able to create a workforce that is adaptable to rapid change. In the last half of the twentieth century, most people focused on specialization and professions became compartmentalized.
The Wrong Code
The system quotes the price, takes your money, and books your flight, quickly and efficiently. Behind the scenes, many systems tie together (integrate) to make this happen. Thousands of systems combine to let you book your ticket from the comfort of your home. Such systems have become so widespread that it makes you question how the built environment fits into this world.
Returning to the days of travel agents, print newspapers, paper billing and the other common technologies from before the Internet, is out of the question. The change comes from learning new ways of working, becoming more collaborative and being lifelong learners. We need to figure out ways to bring collaborative and integrated processes into the built environment to make our careers more significant.
Society generally accepted that we could teach people most effectively by using the assembly line or linear model to move people though the system in lock step. The core mission of higher education is NOT to be “all things to all people.” Departments secondary to education’s core mission have been the main cost drivers. The commodity approach to higher education changed the governance of universities into a business management model from the traditional faculty deliberation and consensus model. Most of the jobs that people will hold twenty years from now have not yet been invented.
July 4, 2019 Norfolk, VA
If you are going to do work in high-energy environments that require people to be fast on their feet, you want people that are focused and can “get in the zone.” Future leaders need inspiration and teamwork skills to get the best from people in an integrated world. Without changing how we react to our world and to others, we may never see the benefits of technology in the built environment.
Wide and deep
Pete, Gary and Fred exemplify the traits and beliefs that make people successful in the fast-paced world of tomorrow. The beliefs that guide Pete, Gary and Fred are the culmination of years of experience and training. They use their personal guides like road maps.
Competency comes from a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities and motivations. Ability to synthesize and reorganize information to find better ways of doing things. Ability to predict the likely outcomes that will result from changes. Willingness to acknowledge changes that have occurred. Ability to encourage and reward others for initiative and creative work. Ability to facilitate change initiatives.
How can I acquire the skills?
Few focus on the people side of the change equation. Most ignore the fact that the world is changing to become more open with more complex social structures. Technology and business are merely tools and structures to enable and manage people. Become an expert in the social side of the changes in our world. Information modeling creates the opportunity to respond at the pace of today’s world.
Embrace the Future
Collaboration focuses on leveraging the expertise of each team member to get the job done so well that others’ work is better. Team members are interdependent, value other members and acknowledge others’ expertise and standing in the hierarchy to learn and advance the work. It is difficult to create organization charts for distributed collaborations. Team members functions change frequently and behind-the-scenes interactions are the norm.
The system needs to turn away from teaching tools, toward teaching technology as a way of thinking. The skills taught in the current system need to be reevaluated and refocused towards new ways of learning. Educators must learn new ways to reflect the ways of working that will be common in the future.
Professionals are finding that geographic information, facility information, utility information, operations information, business information, political information, sustainability information, and virtually every other form of information, are intertwining. Only when people see that the current system is inefficient and ineffective can positive change happen.
Complex tools are not always the best way to solve problems. The built environment is a system, made up of systems. Often these systems never achieve their original goals and will not work in the future, no matter how much time and money is spent trying to fix the flaws.