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Hot Spots Newsletter: collaboration at the core of an organisation

This month, we're looking at the different facets of collaboration: how company structures need to change, how the senior management need to lead by example, and how it can play a huge part in an organisation's diversity programme.

REMINDER TO BOOK FOR PUBLIC WORKSHOPS

Have you signed up to the Hot Spots Movement Facebook page? You can also find us at the Future of Work blog and we're also on Linked In. Lynda also has a Twitter feed and you can follow it here.

How can we drive inclusion in an organisation?

In the 1990s, diversity was one of the key words in HR policy: ensuring representation of many employee profiles within the workforce. But what has become clear over the last decade is that it's no longer enough to recruit a diverse range of personnel – it counts for nothing if that diverse workforce does not feel truly included and part of the workforce. Addressing the issue of diversity without being inclusive will not lead to productive collaboration or engagement.

Organisations today need to maximise the talent they have in their workforce, so this means getting the best out of every person and ensuring they are able to work together as a truly blended and cohesive team. And then, once you have that blended efficient force working together, you need to retain it. Many of the Fortune 500 companies are heavily white and predominantly male at a senior level: so this means their inclusion programmes are not as successful as they should be.

Nothing promotes inclusion in an organisation as much as collaborating in teams. This exposes team members to new people – and their skills – and seemingly different individuals form new bonds. In addition, collaboration promotes connections between people in different countries, with different working methods, in a way that they would never have been able to do a decade ago.

Knowing Gen Y

Following the completion of the third Future of Work Research Consortium, with one of its main areas of focus how we work with Generation Y and other projects we have run, we now have what we think is the world's biggest data set on Gen Y. Our research on Gen Y (or Millennials) covers well over 40,000 individuals and their role in their organisation, and has amassed data from around the world. We look forward to partnering with companies to use the findings further, and you are welcome to contact Tina Schneidermann to hear how we can help you understand your Gen Y challenges and opportunities.

Three areas to develop collaboration

We took a few minutes with Madeline Cranfield, Collaboration Practice Lead at the Hot Spots Movement to ask her where organisations need to focus their efforts. Madeline gave us three areas to think about:

  • How an organisation's structure can support – or hinder collaboration. Processes, right through to rewards, should be aligned
  • Leaders should show collaboration in their actions: this sends a clear message to the employees about how good practice is supported and celebrated
  • Teams are the bedrock of collaboration, but how are people supported so that they can ask the difficult questions?

You can watch the video here.

Changing face of the workplace in Australia

Lynda will be giving an address (via video) to a really interesting government-backed conference in Sydney in October, called The Future of Work – Developing Australia's Workforce in a Global Economy. This is a great time to be having a conversation like that in Australia, as the government focuses on workplace performance, skills, and workforce retention.

In a recent interview, Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said: "The challenge here is to become a high wage, high performance, high productivity economy, not a low wage, high conflict economy. We are putting in place the biggest skills package ever; we're rolling out the National Broadband Networks, we're putting in place structural things which assist productivity."

As well as infrastructure changes, Shorten acknowledged that the government's focus on productivity was "all about the future of work". He explained: "The future of work in Australia is a good job. What constitutes a good job is one which you want to turn up to every day; it's one where you don't think you're wasting your time or you're receiving stupid instructions from the person above you in the food chain. It's where you feel you're empowered, it's where you feel you're getting skills development. These things are where productivity lies."

If you're with an Australian company that might be interested in joining the Future of Work consortium, we'd be particularly keen to hear from you. We are keen to follow how these Australian government initiatives are taken up.

  • The Shift is available in Australia, through Harper Collins, and in Dymocks and Angus/Robertson bookstores.

Update from Asia

Martina Elvasari from Kraft Foods Indonesia, is one of our most active members of the FoW Research Consortium in Asia, and recently took second prize in a contest for future HR Leaders in Indonesia. Martina attributed much of her success to the FoW, as her learnings from the consortium over the last two years have led her to think more about carbon reduction. Mandeep Maitra, Head Asia for the Hot Spots Movement, spoke to Martina about the contest and her work, and you can read the interview here.



The Singapore chapter of the FoW recently held a networking event, and we were joined by members from Asia Capital Reinsurance Group, Abbott, Kraft Foods, Ministry of Manpower, SATS, Shell, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Members were updated on the final findings of FoW3 as well as plans for FoW4, with a round table discussion on some of the regional HR challenges faced by members. The leading challenge continues to be talent – finding the right talent and retaining it, and some of the other challenges are actually scheduled for FoW4.

Join our Jam

Talking of collaboration: we are holding our first Jam on New Ways of Working. The Jam will take place in July and is part of a series of Jams for individual companies, who will each get a report based on their Jam and well as benefit from the combined findings and insights.

If you aren't a member of the Future of Work Consortium, you are unlikely to have had a chance to experience a Jam first-hand before now. In brief: a Jam is an online 72 hour knowledge-gathering and brainstorming session, designed to dynamically pull together the insights of a wide group within a short, and finite, timeline.

We launched the Jams for FoW3, and they were a huge success, both for participants sharing ideas, and for the senior executives, who learnt a lot in a very short period of time. For the New Ways of Working Jam, we will collate the stream of ideas from participants, wherever they are based in the world, and use the results to develop a new model for new ways of working, and customised for each company in the Jam.

If you would like to hear more about the New Ways of Working Jam, please contact Tina.

FoW: how do the insiders feel it has developed?

As we enter the preparation phase for the fourth Future of Work Research Consortium, we thought it was time to talk to two of the team members that work on FoW, to check in on preparations for FoW4 and to ask what differences they have seen over the last three editions.

Max Mockett, who works on research and forecasting, and is one of our Gen Y team members, explains: "The change that I've noticed is the research – in what we do, but more noticeably, in how we do that research.

"At the moment, we're hard at work putting interesting questions together that will stimulate discussion in the Jams. The development of the Jam platform and methodology has been fascinating. As a shameless technophile, I see the FoW Jams as the most exciting, most advanced, and most efficient way of collating deep insight from a pool of diverse experts. By bringing our consortium members together in a process of collaborative intelligence, we're able to generate really interesting information around complex issues."

Max says that the summer months are the time to reflect on the themes chosen for the FoW4 and gather ideas and material to study in advance of the late September launch. He says: "But the real excitement starts in September, when we get to share our thoughts with hundreds of people around the world and, more importantly, they get to share their thoughts with each other and us."

The three big themes for this year are: the role of business in society, the impact of future talent, and agile business.

Julia Goga-Cooke, Programme Director for FoW, is really excited about how the team has strengthened the technical platforms for the Consortium, allowing better data and insight collection. She said: "The core of the Institute's research capability is 'collaborative intelligence'. Our tech platform has facilitated new and exciting crowdsourcing, including the Jams, but also tailored portals, sophisticated surveys, polling techniques, and benchmark data. This means the team is able to rapidly assimilate the knowledge of communities drawn from both within and outside of a company."

20 companies have already signed up for FoW4, which will launch in late September: Abbott, Aditya Birla Group, Arla Foods, Cisco, Diageo, GEA Group, KCOM Group, Marks & Spencer, Ministry of Manpower (Singapore), Novo Nordisk, Outotec, People in Aid, RBS, Save the Children, Shell, Tata Consultancy Services, UBS, Unilever, Vodafone, Volvo.

If you would like to join them, please contact Tina.

Video: looking at the workplace of the future

Lynda spoke about connected teams and their role in the workplace, as well as other factors to be considered over what the 2030 organisation will look like, organisations with a panel at a recent Economist conference. You can see the panel discussion online here.




Who's in our network?

We have been reading Vijay Govindarajan's new book (co-authored with Chris Trimble) on Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere. At the Hot Spots Movement and the Future of Work Research Consortium, we do a lot of work with companies in India and elsewhere in Asia, and have always been excited by how many new and exciting ideas are born in that part of the world. You can read his Harvard Business Review article on the subject here. Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric, said the book was a "framework for the next phase of globalisation". VG is a Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College; you can read more of his work here, or download a chapter of Reverse Innovation here.

Now available in Taiwan

The Shift is now available in Taiwan – the 12th language and 24th country. This is the most wide-reaching publication of a book by Lynda since Living Strategy.

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