Sunday, July 1, 2007

Charlie and Jim at the Cutting Edge of THEFUTUREOFWORK

Anyone who has visited Prescott, Ariz knows that the town is funky and the territory is stunning. But the business opportunities are severely limited, particularly if you don't run a retail store or are involved in tourism. For consultants like Charlie Grantham, selecting Prescott as a base would have been a hard-scrabble choice less than 10 years ago. He would have been forced to live in a congested urban center like Phoenix or run a store.

But Grantham, 57, a pragmatic visionary who was born in the mid-west, educated on the east coast and has lived all over the world - from the U.S. to Europe and Asia thanks to a stint in the military - finding a location to settle was a major concern. Migrating to California in the 1980s to live in an innovative culture, he was driven out by high housing prices and eventually settled in Prescott where homes were half the price as the Silicon Valley. Besides, he feels that "communities like Prescott are where creative talent will go to and I wanted to be one of the first."

At heart a creator and entrepreneur, he creates ideas, products and organizations that relate to the latest trends in work and employment. Recognizing the power of "consciously created new social networks," he and his partner Jim Ware founded The Future of Work in 2002 because "my life experience tells me that the best chance for positive human evolution lies in constantly changing social structures -- NOT hierarchical organized, rigid structures; they are not human in character."

The Future of Work is an outgrowth of The Work Design Collaborative (WDC) that Grantham and Ware began in early 2002 when he joined forces with Jim Ware and recruited several corporate sponsors to address questions about how the changing workforce, new technologies, and new workplace designs were altering the very nature of work. According to its Web site: "The WDC now represents the combined interests, resources, and experiences of Jim and Charlie over the past 25 years. Our partnership has grown out of 10 years of collaborative research and consulting in information technology, human resources, and facilities management," he said.

Charlie and Jim are writing a book about their experiences. Maybe you want to write to them here.

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