TAKING OUR OWN MEDICINE
As you may know, at the Hot Spots Movement we strongly believe in networks, and we advocate the importance of companies and employees being conscious about the need to build networks. We were therefore delighted when we were invited to join Jericho Chambers’ network of professional partners. Jericho Chambers is, in their own words, “a radical set of communications counsellors ….” The creation of Jericho Chambers was a reaction to the dwindling public trust in major corporations and institutions, a phenomenon which we have seen clearly in our Future of Work research. The empowerment of people means that influence shifts from state to citizen; from employer to employee; and from corporation to consumer. We are beginning to see the impact of this distributed activism, and institutional communication therefore needs to work differently. The Hot Spots Movement is now one of the partners in Jericho Chambers’ network of ‘like-minded’ companies that are available to support Jericho Chambers’ clients. You can visit Jericho Chambers’ website to read more.
WHO IS IN OUR NETWORK
You can count on Judith Samuelson, the creator of the Aspen Business and Society Program, to always offer interesting and surprising viewpoints. We find that very refreshing and invite you to read her Huffington blog posts.
We keenly follow Judy and Aspen BSP’s work on how business uses its potential to shape the long-term health of society as well as their work to align business decisions with the public good. Like Judy, we are strong believers in the potential of businesses to ‘do the right thing’, and Lynda Gratton’s new book (due out in February 2014 – more about this in next issues of this Newsletter) focuses on the role of companies in solving society’s biggest challenges.
Judy has broad experience and has led the Ford Foundation's office of Program Related-Investments. She has also been a middle-market banker in New York's garment center for Bankers Trust Company, as well as a lobbyist and legislative aide working on health and education issues.
In 2012, Judy was named in the “Good Business New York™ Leading Women for 2012” list as one of 25 women who are creating a better world through work and business. In 2011, Judy was named a Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior.
WORLD WIDE RELEASE
We’re very excited to share with our readers our new video on FoWlab. It is the world wide release of the video, and we hope you like it. Please send your comments and questions to Tina Schneidermann.
What is FoWlab? It is a platform which allows you to engage your employees in an informed, focused, real-time debate. Traditionally, organisations have called on their employees to voice their thoughts in surveys, focus groups, or intranet interaction, but these approaches are time-consuming, expensive, limited to predefined questions, and often lack actionable solutions. FoWlab offers a powerful and creative alternative in providing a facilitated space for employees to experiment with ideas in an open and collaborative environment.
In FoWlab we combine online discussion with deep analysis, with our global research team using advanced analytical software to generate reliable benchmarks from the qualitative data that emerges from FoWlab. By employing sentiment extraction technology, we can analyse the tone of thousands of conversations in real-time, measuring the general mood around key topics under discussion.
GENDER REALISTIC PARITY
Today, despite the considerable efforts many companies have made to address the issue of gender imbalance, there is frustration that they have failed to make a sustainable difference. This came out as the biggest challenge during the Peer Assist Group calls we had last month as part of our Inclusion & Diversity Research Consortium on ‘Building a more Gender Representative Leadership team’.
We debated a wide range of measures that organisations have tried, ranging from the impact of socioeconomic factors on gender representation to practical steps for increasing the number of women on boards. It was widely accepted that the current policies of women networks, mentoring, flexible working and flexible career tracks have failed to gain any traction. In fact, some of these measures, like the long maternity leaves in Scandinavia, can have adverse and unintended consequences for women as is often the case when you try to change complex systems.
Our conversations revealed the need for a radical re-evaluation of the approach to achieving gender balance at senior levels in organisations – so radical as to accept that the current approach simply won’t have anywhere near the hoped for impact.
Companies are unlikely to make the breakthrough they seek, unless attention is paid to the changing workspace. The rise in non-traditional families, converging expectations of men and women, flattened hierarchies, a shortage of critical talent, evolving needs of generations, and an increasingly multicultural workforce are all forces driving the changing world of work.
We will look at how the evolving workspace, and in particular a new notion of career tracks, may have a positive impact on gender imbalance, when we look at our third theme ‘The Key to Re-Imagining Careers’. We are looking forward to re-imagining careers and gaining clarity of how this may lead to gender balance.