Wendy Waters
by Wendy Waters
Mon Mar 30th 2009 at 8:31am UTC

Five T’s in the Workplace

Talent, Tolerance, Technology, Territorial Assets, and Tension

These are the workplace characteristics to seek if you’re wanting a job that will offer exciting challenges and have the best chance to survive the economic downturn and thrive in the next upswing – at least that’s my theory. Challenge it if you like.

Richard Florida has demonstrated how talent, tolerance, and technology can help a city prosper, attracting creative people and the businesses that want to hire them. He has recently added “territorial assets” to the mix (locational amenities) and I’ve long promoted Tension as another T – people need a reason, a challenge – to form community and generate new ideas.

It stands to reason (and Florida may have said this somewhere) that the ideal workplace would also offer:

  • A chance to work with talented, experienced, and wise co-workers.
  • Leadership that is tolerant or open to new ideas, alternative approaches to problem solving, or working generally.
  • Top technology that increases efficiency  (which doesn’t necessarily mean every latest gadget or program).
  • A great location near amenities of interest to me (whether transit, roads, parks, restaurants, cafes, pedestrian malls).
  • The types of challenges or tensions in which bright creative people can make a difference.

Status quo is boring; a company just raking in the money without much effort can be a dull place to work after a while (creative people often seek more than a good paycheck).

By contrast, threats, tensions, and new challenges can force all the talented people in an organization to elevate their performance – and the current once-in-a-lifetime economic event is creating many new challenges.

And, I would argue that those companies most open or tolerant to trying new things in the current downturn, to introducing new technologies (such as social media in the workplace), ensuring their location both appeals to workers and helps them be productive – these are the organizations most likely to survive and thrive.

3 Responses to “Five T’s in the Workplace”

  1. Swordsman Says:

    It would sure be nice.

  2. MB Kurilko Says:

    Hear hear! I just left a job of ten years because it lacked every item you list – and more. Once people’s basic needs are met, research shows they don’t work for money. I was making more money than I’ve ever made in my life and walked away. My spirit was broken by being in such a toxic environment; that’s something no amount of money can restore.

    Thanks for the great post!

  3. Swordsman Says:

    Still, a lot of folks are going to be forced to take whatever is available right now. When conditions improve, then yeah.