Individual Space:
A NavCenter™ Environment for an Enterprise of One

James B. Smethurst
September 21, 1997

How can a personal work space be transformed into a NavCenter™ environment? How can an individual make use of the NavCenter concept? In developing the NavCenter concept, we have discovered that a certain number of "Rules of Engagement" (standards and practices) go a long way towards helping a NavCenter space fulfill its purpose. In transferring the NavCenter concept to an individual's workspace, we have found that the Rules of Engagement for a NavCenter environment can still be applied, with some minor modifications. (Please see the "Rules of Engagement" article to familiarize yourself with these terms.)

Straw Dog Design
This represents a subtle shift in focus for organizing your work each day. A Straw Dog for each day, designed to achieve certain goals, to bring certain pieces of your vision into reality, allows you to remain immersed in the context of your vision even while you focus on task-level work.

Circle Up
This concept takes on a new meaning for an Enterprise of One. One application of this is to be able to bring together your value web in a physical space to work together on the larger venture which you all constitute. Another application is to bring together the stakeholders of any particular project on which your enterprise is working.

By venturing into the world as an Enterprise of One, it is all the more important for you to maintain one or more relationships with a sponsor or mentor with more experience in your field of work and from whom you may seek counsel.

Center Maintained as an Invitation to Work
As with a larger NavCenter environment, a more organized environment allows you to concentrate on the work at hand and to find the things that need finding. The ritual of resetting the space can become especially important for an E of 1 as a way to end the work day, leave the work in the space, and free yourself to enjoy your time outside of work.

Real Artists Ship
Document, document, document! Keep track of thoughts, phone calls, meetings, projects with work products (even very simple ones) that give context, provide synthesis and propose next steps for each of the events that occur. Organize these products in such a way that you can access them quickly and easily when the need arises in the future. You have ONE chance to document something--NOW. You never know at the time whether or not it might be useful in the future to have a synthesis of an event. For more on this concept, see the 10 Step Knowledge Management model.

Being There
You must be committed to this work. This must be the work you love. You must choose to do this work, or you should be doing something else. When individuals create enterprises of one, this rule is normally the reason for doing venturing into self-employment.

A Day in a NavCenter Environment


Enter the space prepared to work. The space was reset the night before and waits invitingly for you to begin. Your first task is to revisit the Straw Dog for today that you designed the night before. Given the nature of the calls and meetings scheduled for the day, you have decided that today's theme will be nurturing the value web. Last night's design seems to hold.
Scan the newspapers and two selected magazines for articles related to members of your ValueWeb™ community and the industries in which they operate. Enter significant findings into your archives database.
Conference call involving stakeholders in a project that is moving towards completion. The project has gone well, and the various pieces of the value web represented on the call have been pleasantly surprised by how smoothly things have gone. You begin laying groundwork for cultivating more projects with this collection of people. You coordinate a physical meeting of these people closer to the project completion date.

Debrief yourself on the call. Compose and send the messages that were promised during the call. Include a brief work product that synthesizes the contents and tone of the call.

Lunch with a potential customer out of the office. The customer surprises you by being much more enthusiastic than you had imagined. Thinking back to your Straw Dog, you had scheduled a call this afternoon with a few investors to consider some long range strategy. You decide to postpone that call and invite this customer back to your office to continue this discussion. This customer, you realize, will add both resources and diversity to your value web, if this relationship blossoms, and therefore this break from the Straw Dog nevertheless achieves the kind of goals you had hoped for today--if it works.

You return with you customer to your NavCenter. The space is still configured for your individual work, but you quickly fold your workstation out of the way and set up a small collaborative space in front of the 8' Work Wall. The customer spends these few minutes looking in fascination at the information you have displayed on half of your WorkWall™ units--project status maps that are tied together and to the mission statement above, interesting articles and information about members of your value web that you have posted on hypertiles, quotes that you have stumbled across recently that you have found to be relevant to the work at hand. Once the space is configured with a small round table and two chairs facing the four feet of WorkWall space that remains free, you sit down with the customer and discuss the possibilities of your relationship--how each of you might fit into each other's ValueWeb communities, what your individual visions are and how they might complement each other, what projects might allow each of you to add value to each other on one level while exploring other possible avenues along which the relationship might develop. You use the WorkWall unit to scribe the session. You reach a tentative agreement with the customer and arrange another meeting.
You debrief yourself again and enter this information into your knowledge base. You set up the necessary files and records for a new customer. You iterate the wall scribe and arrange for it to be delivered to the customer as a work product the next morning.

You reset the space and configure it for the work that will begin the day tomorrow. You design a Straw Dog for tomorrow, again accounting for the progress of today and for the tasks that are scheduled for tomorrow. Once these tasks are completed, you leave the space until the next morning.

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