Trading Places

From Peter Day's excellent World of Business podcast, and a long interview with Richard Florida (16.9.08), there was a fascinating little section on the nature of the work environment, managerial style and organisational success, sandwiched between high octane chat about cities and Detroit & GM vs. Toyota.

Specifically, Florida talks about a presentation he gave at Google's NY offices and how he has come to conclusion that once people have experienced this type of environment (only possible within a city context he suggests) and the Google style of managing people (see this previous IB post on Google and innovation) they wouldn't work in any other: "talented and smart people have a choice".

In this context he paraphrases management thinker, the late Peter Drucker

You can't treat the knowledge worker like an industrial worker, you have to treat him or her like a volunteer whose commitment to your organization is contingent on them wanting to be there. You have to get people intrinsically excited about your organizations, you can't beat knowledge out of them, you can't pay money for knowledge out of them, you have to excite them internally. And the the city they live in, the physical space they work in, are a critical part of this picture.

Right on…