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September newsletter: how creative is your environment?

We really do enjoy hearing from members of the Hot Spots Movement, and urge you to keep us updated with developments in your company, and ideas you have – we’d love to discuss them in a future edition of the newsletter!

NEW FEATURE: Creative office environments

Julia has just come back from a trip to Denmark, where she visited Arla Foods and was blown away by their new office building. The whole building is made of glass, so you can see right across every department and level.

Arla’s employees were closely involved in tailoring the design of the interiors and layout of the building. Julia said: “Arla prides itself on the strength of its teams and it is easy to see why – they believe that transparency in thought and space helps breed innovative solutions across the organisation.”

This got us thinking: how important are office surroundings in encouraging teamwork and igniting hot spots of energy? We would love to hear from you – and share photos with the Community – of your working spaces. Email Tina with your thoughts!

Lynda named one of the UK’s most influential HR thinker

Lynda has been named as no.3 in the UK’s most influential thinkers list, and no.2 in the list of HR thinkers of the past five years, in a list published by HR magazine in association with Ceridian.

You can read the full list (UK and international categories) here.

New look, new portal

We have a really exciting new look for the Future of Work Phase 2 portal – Marzia has been hard at work! You can see our new online “home” by clicking here. We have added even more functions to deal with phase 2, which looks set to be even bigger than we had hoped. (There is an update on the Future of Work below). We wanted the portal to be intuitive, and we are looking forward to feedback from the 35+ member organisations.

Building virtual teams through outsourcing

Figures from the UK have announced that 1.15 million people now have second jobs, in an attempt to raise their earning potential as belts are tightened in the economic downturn. One enterprising outsourcing solution has seen its membership grow at 35 per cent a month. Is this the new face of outsourcing, which was previously a way of taking advantage of cheaper labour elsewhere?

The idea of reaching out to your network, and of spanning boundaries to co-produce with new people and teams, is something that really excites us, not least because it combines two of the five global forces we’re examining at the Future of Work – globalisation and technology.

Click here to read more.

Cover star!

There will be a familiar face on the cover of The Economist and FT in a few days – Lynda is pictured on the cover wrap advert for both publications, distributed across the UK, Europe and into the Middle East.

Lynda is featuring as part of a London Business School ad campaign to promote thought leadership.

36 companies signed up for Future of Work Phase 2

We can’t quite believe how many companies have signed up for the Future of Work Research Consortium, Phase 2 – the number is now up to 36, and we can’t squeeze in more than one or two more.

If you would like to take one of the final places, contact Tina as soon as possible, as we launch in a couple of weeks.

Confirmed to participate are:

  • Akzo Nobel
  • Henkel
  • NHS
  • Randstad
  • Save the Children
  • O2 Telefonica
  • Mercy Health
  • Waitrose
  • American Express
  • Generali
  • Sembcorp Marine
  • DBS
  • Arla Foods
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Nomura
  • RBS
  • TCS
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Herman Miller
  • Shell
  • Outotec
  • SATS

Phase 2 of the Future of Work Research Consortium will focus on:

  1. Development of a talent pool and leadership cadre which is ‘future proofed’
  2. What are the means by which organisations can build and support the communities, networks and ecosystems that are so crucial for the future?
  3. What are the implications for those functions and groups tasked with delivering the future of work – in particular the learning, organisational development and human resource functions?
  4. How do we craft the teams and collaborative working in a world that is increasingly virtual?

Updates from the team

At the Hot Spots Movement – and at the Future of Work - we have been seeing that people are looking for meaning and context to their lives. This could be an individual wanting to do some charity work, but it is increasingly a case of individuals wanting to work for organisations that give meaning to the world in which they operate. London Business School has integrated this into part of its MBA programme: as a result, social media strategist Noa Gafni (who is working with us) went to Sierra Leone recently.

Here are some of her thoughts:

I have just returned from three weeks in Freetown working with the adult education institute at Planting Promise, an organisation that helps the people of Sierra Leone develop themselves with linked education and profit-making projects. The crippling effects of poverty are striking: healthcare is dire, and it was common to see people suffering from polio, cataracts, and other preventable ailments. Education is a luxury, and the literacy rate is quoted at around 22 per cent. Unemployment is extremely high; infrastructure such as roads are lacking, and Sierra Leone, like much of Africa, is caught in a vicious cycle of exporting raw materials at a cheap price then importing and consuming the finished goods at a higher price.

And while there exist enormous challenges, there are a number of opportunities available for businesses to make a difference and, in many cases, also make a profit. Planting Promise is based on a social enterprise model that uses a portion of the profits from projects such as agriculture and food processing to build schools. Businesses could provide support to Planting Promise, and other social enterprises in developing countries, by creating synergies that would enable charities/social enterprises/small-time farmers to become profitable. One way to do that would be to create a market for goods that are currently produced ‘uncompetitively’ by small-time producers, such as farming, or even manufacturing enterprises. Businesses could also lend logistical support and encourage their human capital to lend their expertise by providing training, best practices, and even legal and financial expertise.

Organic hot spot - Asia

On the eve of the Singapore Capital Summit, where Lynda was a speaker, she gave an interview on the continued importance of Asia.

Lynda said: “Asia is becoming ever more powerful in terms of both financial muscle and managerial talent. There was a time when many of the best ideas about management practice and innovation came out of Europe and the USA. This is no longer the case.

“Increasingly, companies across Asia are leading the field. It was only natural that we decided to build capability in an organic hot spot such as Singapore to support our following in Asia.”

The interview, which appeared in Business Times, can be read in full here.

Who’s in our network?

We are really excited to read of Transform, the new venture formed when CVL and Digital Public merged. Innovation and change are at the heart of their business, and they specialise in helping clients deliver change in complex, rapidly-changing environments. The team won the Management Consultants Association’s award for Most Innovative Firm in the UK for the second year in a row – have a read of their blog, which has some real food for thought.

Blog watch – websites we like

The TED phenomenon is not a new one, but we are rediscovering just how content-rich the site is. The site – “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world” – covers a whole range of subjects, in a really user-friendly site. You can reconstruct the home page along a number of different search mechanisms, including by topic, or the most emailed stories, or those rated jaw-dropping, for example. Have a watch of what TED’s curator Chris Anderson thinks about how web video powers global innovation here.

Meanwhile, TED spin-off events are springing up all over the world – and it’s really interesting to read how each city and country approaches their event. The TEDx blog has posts from organisers from far and wide.

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