MAY 2013.



It is time to sign up for the Future of Work Research Consortium – the next membership year will start in September 2013. Contact Tina Schneidermann to find out how you can join.


Vote for Lynda Gratton in the highly recognised Thinkers50 ranking by clicking here.



Organisations are increasingly aware of the importance of profoundly understanding the work and life aspirations of Gen Y. Quite early on, PwC made understanding Gen Y a key tenet of their talent strategy. To learn more about PwC’s approach to understanding this important cohort, you can listen to a podcast with Dennis J Finn, the firm’s Vice Chairman and Global Human Capital Leader.

Last year the Hot Spots Movement worked with PwC on a large-scale research project and a FoWlab jam conversation with a global group of the firm’s Gen Y-ers. Dennis Finn and his team used the insights from this project to inform their Gen Y strategy. Here is how Dennis recounts the project:

“Running a FoWlab jam allowed us to bring together 1,000 Millennials from across the firm. The global conversation that took place was not only inspiring in its sense of community, but was also rich with insights that we could take back into the organisation. The project is already beginning to change the way we engage our Millennials, who by 2016 will comprise 80% of our workforce.

“By encouraging our employees to freely discuss why they chose to work for PwC, and how their working lives could be improved, FoWlab was great at delivering unexpected insights that a survey would never have touched on. At the same time, advanced analytics revealed common opinions based on how people talked about particular topics. More


This month, our Research Team has been busy finalising the themes for the new membership year of the Future of Work Research Consortium, which will begin this September. One of the themes we are excited about is Resilience and Purpose. To get some new views on the topic, Lynda Gratton asked students in her London Business School MBA Elective how they think we can make organisations truly resilient. In response, the class delved into themes ranging from climate change and technology to demography, debating how these forces will influence the way we do business. The broad nature of this discussion is an indicator that Resilience is a nascent theme in management and one that requires further research. One point the students did agree on was that organisations must build inner resilience to cope with the pace of change. Lynda asked them what the drivers of inner resilience are: “Knowing how and when to engage your wise crowd of employees and preserving the energy levels in your organisation through new ways of working” were some of their responses.

Our Research Team is now exploring how organisations can adopt the practices that will make them truly resilient, ready to share the latest thinking with Consortium members in September.

Contact Tina Schneidermann to find out how you can join the conversation as a member of FoW.


For some time now, we have been following the latest research and current management practice in inclusion and diversity (I&D). One I&D practice that is widely used in big organisations has struck us as being at odds with the idea of inclusion and boundary spanning: same identity networks. Examples of these networks include women’s groups and LGBT communities that seek membership predominantly (if not exclusively) from the demographic they are trying to support. The question we have been asking ourselves is: when the big challenge is inclusion, why would you want to form groups based on the very lines that define their difference in the first place? We wonder whether these networks are from an earlier phase of I&D management, but live on because they are an easy ‘tick box’ approach to addressing a complex issue? A recent blog post in New York Times by Nancy DiTomaso, echoes our concern that such networks are, in fact, counterproductive. More


During the second half of May we ran the first of a series of three Peer Assist Group Calls as part of our Inclusion & Diversity Research Consortium membership. Members shared their challenges in different areas and sought input and help from each other, and our facilitators, to understand the root causes. The next round of calls will focus on generating creative solutions to these challenges and will take place during the first half of June.

IMPORTANT: Remember to update your diary with details of the webinar on our second theme, Celebrating Diversity, on 26 June at 11 am UK time.

Would your organisation like to join the Inclusion & Diversity Research Consortium? Please contact Tina Schneidermann for more information.


We mentioned last month that Lynda Gratton's latest book, The Shift, has received the Business Book of the Year Award 2013 in Japan. A reader sent us this photo of the book, in Japanese. If you come across covers of The Shift in other languages, do send us a photo! The Shift has now sold more than any other foreign business book in Japan, and there is tremendous interest in Lynda’s work.


Lakshmi Ramarajan is Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in the US and works in the Organisational Behaviour Unit. We came across Lakshmi recently when we were looking for interesting contributors to our second I&D Research Consortium theme (Celebrating Diversity: Bringing Your Whole Self to Work). More

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