JULY 2014.



A selection of our favourite quotes from people we’ve been talking to over the past few weeks.

“In a world of doom and gloom, Gratton’s new book ‘The Key’ is refreshingly optimistic: large corporations hold the key as a force for good. Beyond ‘green-washing’ and cheque book philanthropy, large corporates have the resources to enhance both internal and external resilience. Gratton carefully evades the household-term ‘CSR’, framing ‘resilience’ as a more active CSR 2.0.” - Hans van der Heijden,
Head of HR Policies at Rabobank, The Netherlands

“I would like to see more youth engagement from companies to help bridge the gap between workplace demands/skills and young people’s expectations.” Dana El-Sheikh, from Oman Oil Company’s HR services firm, Takatuf

@HRCurator @lyndagratton employee engagement surveys are also telling us nothing's changed. Yet most HRDs keep going to the same toolbox” - Steve Johnson, Managing Director, Transfirmation Partners, via @transfirm



Lynda’s fellow Thinkers50 thought leader Tammy Erickson will be holding her all-member meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on September 18-19 this year, under the theme Leading into the Future. The event offers a fascinating insight into organisational development and leadership issues, with expert speakers including Rob Cross from the University of Virginia, Andy Lorenzen from host organisation Chick-fil-A, and of course Tammy herself.

To find out more about the event, visit the Tammy Erickson Associates website.


One of our most recent visitors at our Somerset House office was author, speaker and social media expert Adam Gray who dropped in to share his tips on building a successful online presence. We were really pleased to get a personalised glimpse of Adam’s extensive knowledge and expertise in this area – and we’ve also enjoyed reading his book Brilliant Social Media, which contains all his wisdom on how to improve your social media strategy.


By Lynda Gratton

During my recent visit to Japan, I found myself thinking more and more about how Japan will cope with the dual conundrum of an ageing population and a rapidly shrinking workforce. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the challenge facing Japan, 22% of the population is 65 or older, and this will increase to 40% by 2060. This increasing number of older people will be supported by a shrinking population of workers, owing to Japan’s birth rate of just 1.39 children, one of the lowest in the world. More


Over the next nine months, The Future of Work Research Consortium will be running its biggest ever survey, asking Generation Z – or, more specifically, school students aged 14-18 – to tell us about their aspirations and expectations in terms of their career, work life and home life. The outlook of these young people – many of whom can expect to live a hundred-year life – is likely to be very different from that of people already working today and we will be sharing the results with our consortium members so they can start planning ahead for Gen Z employees. More


Following the publication of Lynda Gratton’s latest book The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems last month, we’ve seen some great reviews, including one in People Management which described the book as “erudite and considered from start to finish,” and suggested it “deserves to land on CEO’s desks with a thump.”

We’d love to hear what people in our network think of the book, too. If you’ve had a chance to read it, drop us a line and we’ll feature your thoughts in our next newsletter. Send your review to sarahlouise@hotspotsmovement.com.

Hot Spots Commentary

Are Mindfulness, Health and Wellbeing Necessary or Just Nice to Have?

If you’ve been to any business conferences over the past few months, you won’t have failed to notice that interest in topics such as mindfulness, health and wellbeing is at something of an all-time high. CEOs have been encouraged to pay more attention to the importance of sleep, and many businesses are encouraging moments of meditation, and we drew these topics into our Resilience and Purpose FoW theme as ways of building resilience. More


Our research team really enjoyed Lucy Kellaway’s recent article in the FT about how the most diverse teams often end up descending into groupthink, remain at the level of banal exchange of business jargon rich platitudes and find it hard to make any decisions – let alone creative ones.

So, is this a death knell for diverse teams? We think that Lucy’s observations are thought-provoking and certainly reinforce Lynda’s research which shows that people find it easiest to collaborate with people they perceive as being similar to themselves. But what it tells us most of all is that creative collaboration in the context of a diverse group takes practise. Throw a group of smart people representing different cultures, genders and generations into a room and they will interact based on the lowest common denominator – business jargon – rather than nudging each other towards mind-blowing insights. More


Lynda will be participating in Dr Tanvi Gautam’s #indiahrchat on Co-Creating Meaningful Careers on 30th July at 2.30pm BST (9.30am EST, 7.30pm IST). You can find out more about the event on Tanvi’s LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Catch up with Lynda’s hugely successful speech on Corporations as a Force for Good, which she delivered at the RSA in London. The video also includes a Q&A with Lynda and the RSA’s Chief Executive Matthew Taylor.

A Japanese translation of Lynda Gratton’s latest book The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World’s Toughest Problems will be published in August.

Did you know you can sign up for FoW membership year round? Join now to participate in our upcoming theme about the 100-year life and its inevitable effect on work and careers. Contact tina@hotspotsmovement.com for more details.

Earlier this month Lynda Gratton was on BBC Radio 4 for their Today show talking about the future of work. You can listen to the show here.

If you missed the original broadcast on Saturday 28th June, tune into the BBC World Service to hear Lynda Gratton being interviewed by Peter Day for his Global Business programme.

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