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Hot Spots Newsletter: dispelling myths and addressing loyalty

Thank you to everybody who has submitted ideas and comments – it adds a different dimension to the Newsletter! Please keep them coming to Tina.

Are you following Lynda on Twitter? If not, click here. You can also sign up to the Hot Spots Movement Facebook page and, of course, you can read Lynda's thoughts on her blog - you can read and comment here.

Dispelling common myths

Over the last few years at the Hot Spots Movement, we have collected data from more than 200 teams from more than 20 multinationals around the world. In short, this data comes from more than 2,000 team members and 1,000 internal or external clients in companies like BT, Marriott, Nokia, Philips, Siemens, SKY, Reuters, and so on.

Based on this research we can dispel some common corporate myths about team performance – once and for all. Andreas Voigt, Founding Member of the Movement and Research Director, explains here.

Hot Spots public workshops announced in London

We have been inundated with requests to run a Hot Spots workshop – so we booked the team and are running two! The first is on Hot Spots on June 2, and participants will have access to our most recently developed diagnostic tool in advance to profile one of their own teams and go away with a tailored action plan to enhance that team's performance.

Tina said: "The vast majority of our work is done in the heart of a company, working with their teams 'in private'. But we find that the public workshops bring a new energy to participants, as it brings new perspective to the challenges they face, and bring external collaboration into the session. After all, networks and spanning boundaries are one of the tenets of Lynda's teaching, and we like to practice what we preach!"

The second workshop on the Future of Work and will be held on June 9. This workshop will bring together the very latest research data from our FoW consortiums, and participants will be immersed in a packed programme to understand the 33 trends that will shape the way we will be working in the next 20 years.

You can read more here (registration online) or email Tina for more details.

What price loyalty?

Lynda has been looking at the issue of corporate loyalty – our employers towards us and vice versa – for some time now. She was inspired to blog about her thoughts after the recent news of Renault sacking an employee of 31 years for corporate espionage before backtracking.

In her contribution to a piece for the FT, she asked: "Should three decades of company loyalty have bought him the benefit of the doubt? Or is loyalty an outmoded concept in the modern workplace?"

Lynda said: "Loyalty is dead – killed off slowly through shortening contracts, outsourcing, automation and multiple careers. Faced with what could be 50 years of work, who honestly wants to spend that much time with one company?

Serial monogamy is the order of the day. But whilst loyalty is dead, long live trust. Loyalty is about the future – trust is about the present.

Trust is core to the relationship between the employer and employee, and without it relationships become simply transactions and work is mired and slowed through continuous checks and monitoring."

We asked Dan Pink, one of our good friends, what he thinks based on the research he has done on motivation and reward. Dan replied: "There's plenty of loyalty in the workplace today, but the axis of loyalty has shifted. In the past, loyalty was vertical. That is, the organisation was on top, and it provided security down to the individual. In return the individual provided loyalty *up* to the organisation. That sort of loyalty is kaput. It doesn't exist.

"But loyalty in general isn't dead. It's different. It's been replaced in many ways by what we might think of as horizontal loyalty - loyalty not up to an organisation, but horizontally to teams, colleagues, ex-colleagues, professions, and projects. That sort of loyalty is alive and well."

We also asked another friend, Scott Bedbury, former chief marketing officer of Nike and Starbucks. He agreed that the definition of loyalty has changed. "The term "employee loyalty" continues to lose relevancy in a world that has been driven for the past few decades by big multinational brands focused almost entirely on growth and profit for shareholders," explained Scott. "Twenty years ago "loyalty" had a more black and white, almost binary definition: you're either with us or you're not. Today, smart companies define loyalty in different terms and look within the grey area more than ever. A better term would be "engagement" with the understanding that there are many different levels of engagement and emotional connections that ultimately determine productivity, innovation, satisfaction and longevity.

"Considering the sad state of engagement within most companies and institutions (think government), it may not take much to set yourself apart from your competitors and find ways to deepen your relationship with employees. But don't expect loyalty. Instead, inspire commitment and productivity by meeting them on their terms, empowering them to succeed and showing gratitude for their contributions. It's not that hard to make an improvement."

Are there other human emotions you see changing over the course of the next couple of decades of work? Email Tina with your thoughts.

You can read more from Lynda, Dan and Scott on the subject here.

Future of Work Research Consortium 3

It only seems yesterday that we launched FOW2 in London and Singapore, but it was six months ago! We have opened up registrations for FOW3 and have been overwhelmed by the response.

By the launch of FoW3 in October 2011, we anticipate that much of the world will be out of recession, and some regions will be experiencing high growth. We also anticipate that the spread of technology will begin to impact the emergence of new talent pools, and the rise of ever more virtual ways of working. As Gen Y begins to take a more prominent role, we anticipate their interest in Co-Creation and Open Innovation will impact innovation and bring potential productivity gains.

For FOW3, we will build research hubs in London, Singapore, India and USA. These global webs of conversations and knowledge sharing are vital to understanding the future. The Consortium will kick off with workshops (face to face) in Singapore (October 3), London (October 5), New York (October 12) and Mumbai (November 7).

The Future Critical Topics we will be examining in 2011/2012 are:

  • Technological Advance
  • Generational Cohesion
  • Complex Collaboration and Team Work
  • The Leader of the Future
  • The Future of Employee Engagement

You can read more here or email Tina for details.

Hot off the press – Lynda's new book

Nobody guessed the title of Lynda's new book, so we can finally reveal: it is called The Shift. It will launch on May 12 and is about the future of work and the choices each of us has with regards to shaping our own future of work. Next month's newsletter will feature excerpts and more details…. and we might even let you know what colour suit Lynda will have made for the launch!

Site visit

You may have noticed already, but we have revamped the Hot Spots site recently, adding masses of new content and tools. Have a look at the Resources section, where there are a number of videos, audio clips, interviews and articles. Tina posts regular news updates on the home page as well, so keep checking back.

On the subject of news, Lynda has featured a lot in the press recently, including Gulf Business in Dubai, Infoworks, and HR Matters in Malaysia.

A day in the life: Julia Goga-Cooke

As with many organisations today, the Hot Spots team operates across time zones and geographical locations. Another characteristic of our way of doing business is that it's extremely personalised and based on very high levels of service – we have a lot of direct contact in the form of conversations or meetings (online and face-to-face) with our Research Consortium members and our clients. We thought it would be interesting to share what the structure of a conventional day looks like, so we asked Julia to share details of one working day last week.

6 am: Tim has BBC World Service on, I bring coffee and breakfast in bed, check the day's schedule and e-mails on my iPad (I love it). First meeting at 7.30am with Australia, so I have some more time to get ready.

6.30 am: Phone rings, it's the Australian client; they haven't put their clocks forward so our start time is now. They apologise for the mix-up, while I start to mobilise brain and speech mechanisms at this time of day.

7.30 am: Tim has been trying to get Dan out of bed and ready for school. Crisis: I forgot to buy printer ink yet again, so he can't print out his geography project. I come to the rescue with a memory key and highlight 'buy ink' in the to do list.

8 am: write summaries of the five new case studies produced by the research team – this will make it easier for members to decide which ones they should include in their Blueprint. It's all about making it as easy as possible for FoW members to make the most of their membership

8.30 am: phone briefing with one of our European FoW Consortium members in Amsterdam to advise them how to write the Blueprint. This is the summation of everything we've learned in the six-month Consortium, so it is essential it is read (and used) by the key people in the organisation

All this, and we're not even at 9 am! Click here to read on.

Who's in our network?

Seth Godin is one of our favourite authors in the business arena, and we have been reading his new book, Poke the Box. In it, he challenges people to forget any constraints we think we're under and just do. In his own words: "Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you could do. If you lived in that world, what would you do? Go. Do that." There is a really interesting Q&A (plus some videos) here.

Seth's main focus is on marketing, but his work shows how the same principles can be applied in the rest of our lives. He challenges everything we think and do, and demonstrates ways we can operate outside a conventional corporate structure (Poke the Box was published via The Domino Project).

And if that wasn't enough, his blog is excellent as well.

Blog watch – websites we like

The Writer's Almanac – particularly its daily email update – is a really soothing way to start the day. Delivered to your in-box, it features a poem or quotes from a story, as well as a round-up of "what happened today" – quirky biographical details on writers and artists who were born that day. And, if you are reading at your computer, you can click on the Listen tab, and have the poem read to you.

It is supported by The Poetry Foundation in America and here is a recent daily message.

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