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Lynda GrattonWe hope all of you have enjoyed your holidays and feel reinvigorated for your return to work! Lynda has been in Africa, and was excited by the spirit, entrepreneurship and community feel. She gives some of her feedback in this issue of the newsletter.

We want to continue to bring you great content that you won't be able to read anywhere else, and which will inspire and enthuse you to help your organisation flourish and become more innovative and energised. Keep us updated of exciting developments in your organisation!

Don't miss next month's edition of the newsletter: exclusive research results from our project with Singapore's Ministry of Manpower!

UPDATE: New members added to the 2009/10 Research Consortium

While we are still a few weeks from the formal launch of Lynda’s new Research Consortium, we have already signed up some of the world’s most exciting organisations. Just confirmed are: global media information company Thomson Reuters; Virgin Active, the health club group within one of the world’s most recognisable brands; World Vision, the global charity; and Absa, the leading South African bank.

They join: Britain's National Health Service (Europe’s largest employer); telecommunications company Colt; Avusa, the South African media company; electronics and IT conglomerate Fujitsu; retail giant Marks & Spencer; and the charity Save the Children.

Titled 'The Future of Work and the Adoption of Innovative Organisational Practices', the Research Consortium will run for six months. If you think your organisation might be interested in joining, please email Tina on tina@hotspotsmovement.com or visit the Hot Spots Movement website, where you can download more information.

We are keen to add some more organisations from the Middle East and from Asia to the Research Consortium: if you're working in those parts of the world, or have people in your network that may be interested, please put them in touch with Tina.

Hot Spots around the globe

Human resources is one of the key growth sectors in South Africa, and HR professionals play an important role in their organisation – as shown by a strong South African contingent on the Research Consortium.

Lynda has a very strong following in South Africa, and speaks there often; last week she spoke at a double-header conference with Dave Ulrich in Johannesburg, and received her highest ratings to date in the country from delegates. As usual, the delegates were really inspiring, sharing their challenges and opportunities with each other and with Lynda.

So, what does the rest of 2009 hold for South Africa?

She explains: "There is such a strong spirit in South Africa: people are proud – and rightly so – of the emergence of home-grown multinationals such as Vodacom and MTN on the global stage.

"South Africa's next challenge is one of urbanisation. Should people be encouraged to move to the towns as the land is developed and business expands? Or, is it the African way to build and develop rural-based communities?

"Keeping the intellectual capital "at home" in South Africa is also a concern: just because South Africans are resident in their country, doesn't mean their intellectual capabilities are kept within the borders. With working from home becoming so popular, their talent and resources can effectively migrate to other countries via online working.

"Just as with many other countries, one of the biggest concerns (and opportunities) post-recession is the major acceleration of technology. Most companies aren't prepared for this acceleration, and how it will change and realign organisational structures, pay and reward systems for employees, as well as the very notion of what an employee is.

"The capacity to be the first mover post-recession is one of the most important gifts that the HR function can give to the organisation. Think more like scientists than HR professionals: operate tests, control groups, carry out research, be analytical. Your organisation needs to adapt now before it’s too late!"

Real-life Hot Spots examples: where business has adapted to fit society's needs in South Africa

Lynda has really developed an affinity with Sub Saharan Africa, and one of her observations was how South Africans have embraced technology to build communities and networking – creating Hot Spots.

Lynda said: "Africa is really becoming a joined-up community, in part using mobile phones. South Africa has really embraced mobile technology. What we're seeing is the use of phones for moving money, applying for jobs, networking, and becoming a base for entrepreneurship. This is providing the foundation for a very exciting future."

To hear more of Lynda's thoughts, click below.


Examining theories on networks

Network theories are proving to be the most dynamic area of research at the moment in the HR sector – the ties that bind us. On average, most of us will have between two and six close ties with people, who reciprocate strong relationships.

But close ties, contrary to popular belief, don't make networks; you need weak ties and associations for that. And this is the main difference between genders: women normally have more close ties than men, because these strong relationships require time and maintenance.

These weak ties are important for sharing knowledge and inspiring innovation. The most dynamic networks are those that bridge areas of knowledge and expertise. Human connections are the single biggest reason we join a company in the first place, because we have a friend there; yet the biggest reason for leaving is because of our boss.

It’s worth taking the time and effort to build and maintain your network: you can gain support, skills, and mutually beneficial contact could even turn weak ties into strong ties/friends.

Developing networks: who's in our network?

Tammy EricksonAt the heart of Hot Spots is the capacity to create valuable and exciting networks. Over the next few issues of the newsletter, we will be introducing you to some members of the Hot Spots' network who have been important sounding boards. This month, we're introducing someone who many of you are already familiar with – Tamara Erickson.

Tammy is a great friend of the Hot Spots Movement, who worked with Lynda on the Cooperative Advantage Research Consortium, which was the beginning of the Hot Spot Movement. She has a wonderful grasp of how the demographic changes will play out for business and society, and is one of the most exciting bloggers around right now.

You can read more of her work here.

REMINDER: Hot Spots Programme, London, November

We have a few spaces left for Lynda's two-day Hot Spots Programme in London on November 3-4, so sign up now! You can read more about the event here.

Glow continues to spark the imagination

During her one-day presentation in Johannesburg, Lynda shared some of the key tenets of Glow with delegates – and the concepts and action points really resonated with the audience. The timing is so relevant: we, as individuals, we can use this period of economic uncertainty to develop our own ability to be innovative, and to inspire others. Think of it as training ourselves to be better managers and employees… at no cost!

Since the launch, there have been some really positive reviews for the book in the media – including a tip that it should be compulsory reading for contestants on the TV series The Apprentice!

"Perfectly suited for the times, Glow turns the spotlight on the ultimate unit of management, the individual." Simon Caulkin, The Observer

"A thoughtful and compelling must-read, in your local park, on a train, or anywhere else that you might just strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger." Angelo O'Conner, People Management

"If only the hapless recruits on The Apprentice had read Glow, Lynda Gratton's self-help book for achieving in the global workplace, they might have learned what it really takes to work for Sir Alan Sugar." Evening Standard

Have your say

Do you think your company is prepared to come out of the recession, geared up for growth? What role do you think the HR function can play in this? Email Lynda with your thoughts on Lynda@hotspotsmovement.com.




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