The Rebel Playbook for World Class Employee Engagement

Following reading & commenting on @WildFigSolns    review of this book, @glennelliott    kindly offered to send me a pre-launch copy of his and @debracoreyRebel    new book to read and review.
I wanted to offer a more detailed review of this book after just completing it as I feel, honestly, it is so on point, but at the same time I did not want to give away all of its interest in advance so here goes:
  • This book is to the point, direct and uses helpful language which makes this book deeply engaging in itself and a ‘must read’ for anything interested in future ways of designing engagement/experience strategies

 

  • I do not feel, however, that readers should limit themselves to being in HR. The messages and solutions are applicable for all so anybody in any walk of life can learn a lot and challenge their own thinking/workplace to improve

 

  • As the world becomes more transparent, genuine and authentic, the importance of values and fairness to everything an organisation does, should be high on the leadership agenda and this is a theme that shouts off the page throughout

 

  • A huge takeaway for me personally was the consistent messages and rally cry for more freedom at work which resonates closely with the https://twitter.com/WorldBlu democratic principles of Accountability, Choice, Integrity, Purpose & Vision, Decentralisation, Transparency and Individual & Collective, which came up consistently in the book

https://worldblu.com/democratic-design/principles.php

 

  • I see their ‘engagement bridge’ approach as a modern, supercharged Maslows hierarchy of needs with purpose, with emphasis in each level of the engagement bridge being in the right place I feel

 

  • Much of the theory, ideas and future ways of working discussed is current and on point, ably supported by the diverse nature of the plays from a range of companies of varying sizes and sector, really bringing that theory and future ways of working to life superbly and in a comprehensive, easy to follow way

 

  • I can see elements and reinforcement of many of my favourite business and humanistic thinkers such as Dan Pink, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni (Org Health & 5 Dysfunctions of a team) & Carol Dwecks (Growth) Mindset throughout the book, making this a really diverse and impactful read

 

  • A common theme that I particularly enjoyed, was the regular reference to allowing people to bring “their whole self to work” – this is so important and something I bark on about a lot, yet it is so easily and regularly overlooked

 

  • I love the Iceberg of Ignorance and can see its links to David Marquets intent based leadership

 

  • Looking to accelerate employee growth as this will directly impact org growth is a key theme and one I fully subscribe too – performance through and not in spite of people

 

  • 3/4 of employees are not as effective as they ‘could be’ – this is a criminal statisitic and shows how much of an overhang we have from the more based, command and control org design

 

  • Build in innovation and thinking time into job design ‘as standard’ – this is critical for flexible and agile working going forward

 

  • Make sure jobs are designed around mission and purpose – seeing the recent news of BlackRocks CEO calling for a shift in the investor community to more social purpose is a huge thing and could be a trigger a more widespread push towards B Corps and more focussed efforts towards achieving the global goals
  • I personally took away an awful lot around both the forward view & plays around job design, learning, recognition and pay&reward, with actionable ideas that I will promote to be experimented, especially in those areas that I have had less personal exposure to date
Of particular interest to me in terms of plays were the following (this is a very small selection of the diverse plays contained within the book)
  • MVF play is interesting around sales academy idea (could work for both sales & IPMs as first focus, followed by replicating transferable bits to wider business)
  • based on unpicking “what makes our salespeople great”?
  • 6-step process became foundation of the 3 month sales academy (60% academy / 40% practical application)
  • I LOVE the Venables play around life sized glass boot plus $1000 to spend on others, not themselves at 5 yrs service
  • 7/7 intervention where no non urgent comms occur between 7pm and 7am
  • ‘How to work with me guide’ – like the baseball card of fors and watch out fors, these focus on
  • Basecamp. Transparency in pay and benefits is been as an untapped competitive advantage
In summary, I found this book interesting, positive and challenging of the current world of work (in a good way), but through the use of evidenced plays, solutions and opportunity is offered, something that is rarely so easily accessible, if one is open minded to the possibilities.
This book acts as book number 1 of my #6in6club contribution for H1 2018.
Exponential change will continue, thus the insights offered within this book are very helpful to help keep your organisational culture and team close together as the ride speeds up.

 

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Personal Development Reading List – H2 2017 #6in6club

Following a public question posted by my Egyptian colleague Rafik Zahy https://www.linkedin.com/in/rafik-adel-zahy-160b463a/ on LinkedIn last week, as we near the end of 2017, I was interested to learn from my immediate and extended network / #PLN what books have you read in 2017 and which have had the most impact on you and why?

For me, the following books have been truly inspiring, all read during the second half of 2017 and all of which have helped challenge my thinking, shape my own practice and given me a reinforced sense of direction.

At the same time, I have been blessed to have had the ability to extend my personal network, many of whom I have met either virtually or in person and who make up a fantastic, wide ranging and increasingly diverse network of people that were not in my life in 2016.

To that end I tweeted last weekend about the idea of setting up a virtual book club with the Twitter hashtag #6in6club where anyone can share their top takeaways from books read within the past 6 months with my personal focus being on the future of work and any allied topics – interested?

Following some initial support of this idea, here is a rundown of my main takeaways from my last 6 reads within the past 6 months #6in6club

Transformational HR by Perry Timms –@PerryTimms

Perry is a high energy, highly engaging and inspiring people consultant who has acted informally, as a mentor to myself as I have delved further into the future of work during 2017. Thank you Perry 😊  His personal purpose is “to change the world of work one conversation at a time.”

His approach is anything but traditional when looking at the world of people and organisational development.  I had the pleasure of seeing Perrys book journey evolve into what I can personally and genuinely describe as THE must have book around people development and future ways of working that is out right now.

Although Perrys book is titled Transformational HR, it is much more than a HR book and offers insight and a futuristic view on people structures of the future that any CEO or People Director would do well to read.

Perry, through some engaging storytelling, offers a detailed summary of HRs journey over the past 30 years which makes for an interesting contextual opener.

As he reviews, reflects and challenges, respectfully may I add, many of the current established people practices, Perry offers some detailed, forward-looking, user friendly alternatives to these increasingly out of date practices, namely through his T-HR model and 4-zone transformational model.

The true added value of this book for me, which I have rarely seen before, is that Perry offers input from 18 people from across his network (including me bizarrely! for which I am grateful) and a range of real life case studies where he evidences the move towards ‘pair working’ and more agile ways of designing and collaborating more effectively. Such organisations include Widen, Menlo Innovations and Competo, some of which are WorldBlu freedom at work certified.

At the end of every chapter Perry offers some reflective questions for the reader to work through to help them understand how transformational, or not, they or their organisation are and what they can do to become more transformational.

If you have any interest at all in the future of work and what it could look like, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail @salimismail

Salim who is ex COO of Yahoo and co-founder, I believe, of the Singularity University, gives a deeply insightful and understandable introduction to exponential tech and the impact it is having now, but also how it will impact us all and society at large in the future.

Through reading this book one can see and understand why AirBnB, Uber and Deliveroo have become the tech behemoths that they have, in such a short space of time.

One incredible reflection is that within 23 years, if technology and the sun are harnessed effectively together, the world could run on solar alone!

I have promoted the use of his SCALE/IDEAS ExO model which highlights the key internal and external factors to consider (imagine a supercharged 21st century SWOT analysis) to a few people that I believe could benefit from it including using this to design a crowd-sourced volunteer project called Breaking Bias (work in progress). A critical component of an ExO however underpinning SCALE & IDEAS is its MTP or Massive Transformational Purpose.

If you are interested in the impact of tech in the future, this is a riveting read.

Open Book Management (OBM) by John Case

A recommendation from the OBM activity badge in the WorldBlu Freedom Centred Leadership programme, this book was written in 1996 (yes over two decades ago) yet it offers a range of solutions to some of our biggest 21st century challenges, primarily around designing organisations in such a way that we help move every single colleague into the mind-set of a ‘business owner’ and away from feeling just like a ‘hired hand.’

How?  Agree the 5 ‘essential numbers’ of your business and ensure that everyone, literally everyone regardless of position or role, can understand them and work them out for themselves.

The result? Highly empowered, engaged, motivated human beings that bring their whole self to work and do not need to change who they are when they clock in at 9am, as can be the case in some organisations.  One possible societal result in my view, that was likely unforeseen in 1996, could be the reversal of the worrying trend in diagnosed mental health issues as work becomes more purposeful through OBM.

Do you know, understand and could fully calculate yourself, the 5 key essential numbers within your organisation? Could you communicate these to a new starter in customer service, engineering, HR or reception? I am challenging myself with these questions again right now – 3 for sure but not 5

The Future is Now by Matt O Neill – @mattoneill

I have had the pleasure of being introduced to Matt this year via the ProFinda Workforce of the Future thought leadership group. Another connection made via @PerryTimms

Matt is a very interesting character who is not only a futurist, but also runs his own design and creative agency.  In his book he takes a futuristic look into the societal and macroeconomic shifts that are starting and are expected to continue within the next years.

The focus on sustainable food production and reduction in waste (a major personal frustration of mine) could be that we need to get used to protein rich, insect farms in the future instead of the current reliance on meat, for example. I’m a celebrity becoming commonplace…….?

How about Algae becoming an abundant source of food and energy?

Also how about leadership truly becoming about being a servant to your people rather than dictating/directing from up high/afar?

This is starting to change already, but it is clear that these changes will further accelerate as purpose working and decentralised accountability and transparency becomes more prevalent.

If any of these topics appeal, I fully recommend this book.

Scrum by John Sutherland – @jeffsutherland

Having heard a lot recently about Agile / Scrum working and having attended my first #Hackathons with Lara Plaxton @_Lara_HR at FDM Group led by Perry Timms, I was keen to better understand the origins of Scrum working which started in software development but can now be used in every possible way if the mind is open.

In a nutshell, imagine that you chucked your current meeting regime and team structures (personal and organisational) out of the window and swapped these for focussed ‘sprints’ of activity of say 30 mins, each focussed on a single, essential topic.

Seeing the innovation, creativity and energy of a room full of people without ego, hidden agenda or politics is like nothing I have ever experienced before.  Just by moving meetings and organisations to more of an agile, scrum approach I am confident, as the book states, that we could get 100% more done in half of the time.

Why am I so sure?  I took the lessons from the book and from Perrys leadership of the Hackathons and used this approach (4 x 30 mins ‘sprints’ focussing on one single question/topic each time) when leading my organisations Self Awareness and Assertiveness L&D module which resulted in the delegates from all different areas of the business, co-creating a definition, deeper understanding and application of self-awareness and a range of personal and work based solutions within 4 hours, offering actionable takeaways and insight that colleagues have evidenced to be of value within 7 days of the session.

The results of these Scrum style sessions are as follows:

Garry Turner - Module Leader Feedback - 7th & 19th July 2017

Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes – @LewisHowes

Only recently I met Lewis at his book launch in San Diego alongside and thanks to  https://twitter.com/mirandaash and  https://twitter.com/tracifenton<

Lewis talks about 9 masks that men wear ranging from the Stoic, Athlete and Joker masks through to Invincible, Know-it-all and Sexual mask.

I felt that I did not wear protective masks in general terms, however reading this book made me realise that actually, there are masks that do show up more than I would of liked to admit such as the Stoic and Joker masks.

This is an invaluable read particularly for men, but also for women, around better understanding of our fears, what challenges or possible childhood traumas we are covering up and how that covering up is driving the behaviours that we show to the rest of the world right now.

Being bullied as I was at the age of 12&13 and having my ‘mini meltdown’ mid 2016 have shown up to me, through reading this book, to be key reasons why my Stoic and Jokers masks attach at times.

To be able to connect these dots has not only been helpful, but necessary for me to be able to live my life in the fullest and most engaging way possible which I finally feel that I am doing more in 2017 and thus I have the absolute belief that despite the volatile world we live in, there is a lot of good going on too so the more this amplifies, the more that the tide of negativity and polarity WILL change but we all need to be more truthful with ourselves and those around us to make this happen.

I hope that this summary of my book reading during H2 2017 is of interest to people out there and should anyone wish to have a deeper/wider chat about any of my main takeaways, I am happy to share that openly in case it helps you on your own journey of self discovery.

I look forward to learning about you inspiring reads and takeaways.

PS – If for some unforeseen reason you are not following Perry Timms or WorldBlu, I strongly recommend that you start today as my ability to see deep meaning and opportunity in the future of work has been heavily influenced by them both in 2017.

Freedom at work = freedom in life

My personal reflections following 8 months of immersion into freedom and democracy at work.

Since being introduced to the ways of @WorldBlu by that super connector @PerryTimms earlier in 2017, I have been on nothing short of a personal transformational journey since.

The Power Question

WorldBlus visionary leader is @tracifenton who I had the pleasure to meet at their “The Power Question” workshop in London during April 2017, alongside her colleague and master coach @mirandaash

So what did attendance at the Power Question do for me personally?

  •  It gave me a safe space to better understand what democracy at work actually meant and what difference it could make both to my organisation but most importantly to me personally

      

  • The workshop offered a systemic way to unpick, better understand and move forward from my personal fears whether that be avoidance, ego or anything else.

 One of my biggest “a-ha” moments from this workshop was that the majority of my fears/perceived issues at work were self-inflicted.  They were fears that I was putting on myself by avoiding having the difficult conversations or by ‘assuming’ that what I believed to be true was exactly that.  Lets remember to assume means to make an “ass” of “u” and “me.

  •  Included within my ticket price was two hours of coaching which I had with Traci herself.  By the end of these two hours Traci had helped me put in place the first step in my personal transformation by helping me understand, for the first time in my 41 years on earth, what my personal purpose was which is

“To help humanity live a life of purpose, free from fear and with the opportunity to learn every day.”

Freedom Centred Leadership (FCL) Programme

To further support and amplify this new learning and understanding about a) democracy at work but b) myself I continued to invest in my personal development with WorldBlu as I took part, and continue to take part, in their freedom centred leadership programme.

This gamified platform is, to sum it up, next level.  The programme is made up of 100 activity badges, 10 activity badges make up each of the 10 democratic principle badges, with all completed submissions being peer reviewed (8/10 on average is required to pass the badge)

These 10 democratic principles include accountability, transparency, decentralisation and individual & collective to give you a feel for the importance of these principles in today’s macro-environment within which we currently live.

To become a WorldBlu certified FCL one must successfully complete 5 activity badges for each of the 10 democratic principles with completion of a final FCL activity badge.

FCL

It is very thorough both in terms of depth of learning and the breadth of reading and reflection required which makes for a really high quality, immersive experience.  I am 35 badges in and hope to secure FCL status by the end of 2018.

https://backpack.openbadges.org/share/91c0254eb90c669ebdf6da71859af42a/

Freedom at Work Masterclass

Most recently I paid for myself to attend the WorldBlu freedom at work masterclass that took place at WD-40s global HQ in San Diego.

IMG_0628

This experience was the next transformational piece for me in that:

·        The two-day masterclass was led expertly by Traci who ensured that everyone was able to bring their whole self, safely and openly, to the masterclass which resulted in some fantastic, in-depth discussions and experimental learning

 ·        I learned how to understand, design and implement the freedom at work model in its entirety

 This was fascinating for me as someone that completed my level 7 course in OD last year, in which there was no reference at all to topics such as mind-set, accountability, choice, transparency etc  OD models such as Burke-Litwin, whilst useful, do not proactively support the move from historic command & control structures to structures of more freedom/democracy at work and thus I feel the OD community would do well to better understand systems such as WorldBlus freedom at work model to help facilitate such a shift which is critical to an improved future of work, IMHO

 ·        I shared the experience with some hugely inspirational people from organisations that are already practicing freedom at work and some that are interested, but not yet ready to implement it

 ·        We were lucky enough to have a Q&A session with Garry Ridge, WD-40 CEO who then took us on an extensive tour of their San Diego which was mind-blowing!

 Major takeaways for me from this talk/tour were:

          As a publicly traded company, freedom at work CAN be adopted but it takes strong CEO/senior leadership to manage expectations of the financial investors that this way is a longer term, sustainable investment and not a short term one

          The language that all colleagues of the tribe use is common.  There is no confusion, no mixed messaging.  Just clear, open communication which allows everyone to be able to do their best work with minimal conflict/wasted effort

          Freedom at work leads to every colleague feeling truly part of something special.  WD-40s ‘tribe’ is not a cult.  I have heard of many people challenging well aligned cultures and democracy as cults, but this just is not the case.  For me in a cult I believe that only one person has a voice.  At WD-40 everyone has a voice and evidence of this is that every single member of the WD-40 tribe looks up from their desk when someone walks past, with a genuine smile.  Seem insignificant? It is not.

           Garry leads genuinely with his heart and this is represented in the design of the HQ which represents all of their end markets and includes a very well equipped state of the art gym, communal bikes for use by any employee, wellness rooms, ‘huddle’ rooms which are non-bookable and the list goes in.  WD-40 truly believe that their no 1 focus (I deliberately do not use the word asset) is their people.  They live and breathe the fact that only by their people loving what they do, can they deliver the best performance (and that performance is excellent by the way – check their annual report)

 I feel blessed that I have been shown the door to a more humane, exciting and purposeful way of working in freedom during 2017 and I very much look forward to continuing my own journey, but I also hope to help those around me start theirs as well.  The world needs more democracy at work.

I cannot recommend what WorldBlu are doing and stand for enough so if anyone is interested in learning more about my personal experiences to date, please do contact me directly and I will be happy to share that with you – PS for those that are maybe too afraid to make such a transformational shift towards freedom at work from traditional structures, please see below excerpt from their growth & resilience report – 7X performance vs S&P 500 average over 3 years

7x

“Seeing the wood for the trees”

wood

I felt compelled to write this blog the day after #WorldMentalHealthDay2017 (having had an episode myself last year I wanted to reflect on the stories I read yesterday) and on the day that I shall be interviewed by @CIPD  as to my thoughts as to how effective the apprenticeship levy could be used to help turn the tide of underinvestment in the development of our people.

With so much ‘noise’ in society today, heavily fuelled by the fact that literally everybody now has an unfiltered voice hidden behind social media accounts, makes it very difficult to have what I will call a ‘debate.’  X was right or Y was wrong – no middle ground, which is further reinforced by technology (algorithms) sending what you want to hear directly into your brain and not a lot else.

As of 3 days ago I was really struggling to believe, that we as a global society, could come back from the downward spiral of negativity, infighting, fake news et al.  I could not see the wood for the trees.

Today however I feel resolute. Why?

I have had three very impactful experiences within the past few days that have reinforced my beliefs that there are solutions with much of it being societal led:

1)      The pleasure of being part of one of the most interesting, challenging and forward looking twitter discussions to date, led by @_Future_Leaders around #LeadersHour: Which key competencies should be fostered through learning/ education during primary/ secondary school?

https://storify.com/srjf/leadershour-59dc7dd5308ea84780413cb3 – the summary of this amazing chat can be found within this Storify kindly created by @srjf

2)      Attended Richard Gervers @richardgerver talk on “Clarity” as organised by @LBFEvents

gerver

Richard worked in education for many years, turning around a failing school in Derbyshire previously.  He is an eloquent, engaging speaker with a deep passion and humility for the importance of education and clarity.

Some key quotes and reflections that I felt worth sharing are:

  • “You are not hiring anyone below age of 5 – ~70% of what we learn in our life has happened before we are aged 5” – as such we need to be supporting and developing our children’s widest possible view of life from very early on which links well to the #breakingbias project below
  • “When did you last sit in a field of grass and just think?”
  • we just “keep digging and digging, faster and faster” – our organisations are setting us up to fail by operating with such pace and pressure (reactive), but with little time for reflection and growth (proactive)
  • I feel that we could also frame the above as extreme reactivity = fear based compared with growth mind-set = freedom
  • In education, teachers can say “nobody takes risks” yet they take no risks themselves (lack of role modelling at times) – however how much of that is down to government pressure – reactivity (fear) to hit targets?
  • “The older we get, the more we see the obstacles” – “look out for the buildings in other peoples minds-really key reference here to understanding other peoples fears” – This is a really powerful reflection for me personally and I always think back to my @WorldBlu The Power Question workshop as this process helps us help others be aware of what this buildings may look like
  • “Parkour is not a sport, it is a mindset” – In discussion Richard emphasised that the head of Parkour was adamant that it is not a sport, it is a mindset. Too often we are employed to ‘do a job’ and that the creative mind that we all have is locked in a box and the key thrown away

3)      Seen the power of community coming together with the first virtual meeting of the #breakingbias project team

Following a recent #Hackathon a number of newly found colleagues have developed a project, that is fully crowd sourced, to help combat bias at both new-born and adolescents ages.

This is still very early stage but if anybody is interested to be involved, please do let me know and I will send you a Slack invite.  The initial interest and support offered is totally inspiring – momentum is now the key

Common themes/take-aways

  • The media is out of control, more than ever before, and MUST start balancing its fear-based agenda with stories of positivity, hope and optimism

There is a lot of good in the world as evidenced by some of the above and below xamples – lets celebrate these and show that collaborative humanity is indeed trying to make a comeback

  • That there are a LOT of really inspiring, large scale and grass roots movements going on concurrently right now, few to none of which are making headlines e.g Global Goals, #breakingbias, Enterprise Advisors, Global Citizen, Future Leaders, Collaborate Out Loud, LearnConnectDo, the list goes on and on top we can add the diverse range of other, more traditional volunteering into the mix

Together these movements represent the best of humanity and somehow, we need society at large to be made aware of them all, joining the ones that most align with their own purpose

  • We as citizens can no longer sit on the side-lines waiting for someone else to make our schools, our communities, our society better. WE have to take more affirmative action, take more accountability – truly start making a difference from the grass roots up

We can help others see the wood for the trees and they can help us to do the same.

Together, as a society, we are so much stronger and I urge a call to action that we all start thinking as one, and not as individualistic, disparate parts of an imploding world.

That just cannot be the path we take.  We need to see the wood for the trees.

Rachel Botsman talk “Trust” @rachelbotsman

 

trust

The day had already started well with an excellent catch-up and lunch with @PerryTimms at https://www.barandblock.co.uk/kings-cross

This talk by @rachelbotsman  was set in a beautiful, quite haunting building which was the right atmosphere for the topic under discussion tonight; Trust.

I had the absolute pleasure of watching the talk with Miranda Ash from WorldBlu who kindly introduced me to two lovely people from a @WorldBlu certified organisation Widen, Lucas and @annette_koenig

Rachel started this evening by offering a short presentation with some key takeaways from me as follows, underpinned by the message that “we trust strangers more than we trust our institutions” right now….. (this, whatever your political leaning, in itself would help explain why we have seen such seismic gambles on the worlds livelihoods over the past 12 months)

gt1

This comment was very striking for me personally.  Although I do not fly with Ryanair, I do not have any issue using Uber which is often 30-40% cheaper than Uber as I believe that it is a ‘like for like service’ compared with other private hire/back cabs.  I am prepared to have to help some drivers get me home for a 30-40% reduction in price.

Yes I fully appreciate that Black Cabs learn the knowledge but Uber is basically showing that using tech (GPS) you not ‘need’ the knowledge which is a very difficult thing to accept I appreciate, but that is tech advancement.  Interested in what other people think on this?

gt2

This was a very interesting reflection for me personally as we are used to monopolies existing within sectors where scarcity is common e.g. oil, precious metals etc however this is the first time that I have understood that we have current examples of Exponential Organisations monopolising digital space with a product that is not scarce.  Think about that for a second…… I am really interest in @salimismail view on this.  AirBnB is far from a monopoly, indeed far from it, yet appears to dominate a certain subset of the accommodation market.

gt3

gt4

Both @mirandaash and I were taken aback the revelation that China is using gamification to ensure that every citizen has a #trust score by 2020!  I did find it hilarious, however, that Rachel commented that the Chinese have bought the rights to her book, with few amendments!  Maybe this messaging will not be in it!

gt5

Miranda tweeted a critically important point here.  Yes there is a lot of volatility but one thing that we are missing desperately right now, for me, is social capital.  Everyone has become so myopic with fear and this combined with a general lack of desire to hear anybody else’s point of view is sending society into a tailspin, in my opinion.

This can change and I believe it will change but only when everyone, every single one of us, starts taking more accountability.  Accountability to help our neighbour.  Accountability for our actions, our coarse words or our overly emotional states.  Accountability to help our children learn, to get them away from their iPads and into the open air once in a while to reflect.  There is so much more in life that we can all take more accountability for and the sooner we do that, the healthier society will become.  We do have time, it is what we choose to do with that time to counts.

account

A plea for calm/support

To wrap up this blog, this talk reminded me of some research that was carried out by the @CIPD in March 2012 called “where has all the trust gone,” with the drivers of trust being shown in other Uni of Bath reports also.

trust

I was reflecting on the above and questioning, if we truly trust strangers more than we trust our institutions, through the use of tech, what is it from the above that most upsets us about our institutions currently?

Institutions                                       Technology

Lack of predictability – YES          Uber/AirBnB – rating system, gives predictability

Lack of integrity – YES                   Online platforms ‘appear’ to have integrity through data

Lack of ability – YES                       Exponential Tech is evidencing its ability daily

Lack of benevolence – YES          Do machines really care?  Not yet, but they at least do not                                                            leave us purpose less and lost as James O’Brien                                                             @mrjamesob referenced on @LBC earlier this week

So basically, for me, we have a full house of mistrust being scored by our institutions and until ‘they’ take accountability for this mistrust, I cannot see this macroeconomic situation improving.

In the meantime however on a micro level as passionate, caring, loving citizens of the world, let’s do what we can to bridge the trust gap by starting to constructively debate, listen and support each other rather than having to believe that only our view is the right one.  Fake news is that, FAKE!  You only hear what you want to hear on Facebook, the algorithms are doing their job.

Start questioning more and to coin @simonsinek please, please “start with why.”

If we lead as the masses by example, maybe, just maybe, our trust-less institutions may follow.

 

 

The Workforce of the Future

 

There is an awful lot of messaging around what the future of work could or should look like, but are we doing enough NOW to help bring any future vision to life?  What personal accountability are we all taking today, to try and help move the dial on future ways of work?

I ask this question sincerely as from what I can see there is still far too much silo working, nepotism, fear to challenge the status quo (too much ‘yes’ culture), bullying in the workplace, poor listening, poor self-awareness of leaders and a general lack of care for those in their charge.

I am not being negative here, just pragmatic and honest about where I see things.

No this is not 1817 or even 1917 that I am referring too – it is today, in August 2017

I offer some examples as to “how” I am taking personal accountability below to push towards a more humane, positive looking future of work.

@simonsinek  Golden Circle model from as long ago as 2006 as it is so important and is easy to use.startWhy?  Because it is just and right thing to do.  We enter this earth as equals (unless due to some unfortunate circumstance), with the same access to resources, the same air being breathed and the same world of opportunity before us.  Leaders need to remember and recognise that, keeping egos in check (which in itself is fear-driven)

For anyone that has an interest, society is actually moving towards abundance in so many areas with business and society at large being nowhere near ready for that.  I am currently reading @salimismail  book “Exponential Organisations” which is an incredible read.  If someone talks about the fact that by harnessing technology more effectively that every household could get by on solar energy alone within 23 years you would think this was crazy right?  It isn’t, it is the future and in the same way, our organisations and their leadership need to wake up to transforming their practices around technology and people otherwise they are going to get left behind.

M&A can only take you so far…………….. In fact there is a very interesting book by Perry Timms coming out in October called “Transformational HR,” @Trnsfrmtnl_HR  I have seen some paragraphs and it looks suitably challenging and the right dialogue for this discussion around the future of work

How?  Below are 3 examples of ways that leaders and organisations can get ready for the WOF with some areas of personal interest as follows:

  • WorldBlu Freedom at Work

@WorldBlu vision is to help 1 billion people live free from fear.  In other words, helping 1 billion people live braver, more fulfilling lives.

I attended their Power Question workshop back in April 2017 which was literally life-changing for me, clarifying my personal vision and purpose: http://info.worldblu.com/the-power-question-process?utm_campaign=The%20Power%20Question&utm_content=57836810&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

I am currently working through their freedom-centred leadership programme which is genuinely one of the most thorough, challenging development programmes I have done.  It is peer reviewed which makes it more challenging but also offers a lot of regular learning and feedback.

https://backpack.openbadges.org/share/29657a7e2a8f580267d4b6a9ae7ce93c/

They have in fact released the Purpose & Vision principal badge for anyone that may be interested:

http://info.worldblu.com/purpose-and-vision-leadership-program?utm_campaign=Purpose%20%2B%20Vision&utm_content=58512133&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

  • Profinda Workforce of the Future (WOF)

I have had the pleasure of being recently introduced to the Workforce of the Future (WOF) platform by @PerryTimms , who was one of the platforms founding members

I have been involved for the past 3 weeks and must say I am very impressed with the quality of discussions, debate and open thought collaboration.  Any leader that an interest in the future of work should contact vicky.holdsworth [at] profinda.com  to  learn more about it.  You can find out more at the following link or find Vicky @vicksholdsworth

https://www.workforceofthefutureglobal.com/

  • Corporate Rebels – Open Slack team

@haighclaire shared the following link on Twitter recently to Corporate Rebels Slack team which is one of the most up to date, valuable resources evidencing case studies around open book management, self-organised teams and positive, future looking working practices

 http://corporate-rebels.com/slack-community/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare

What?    The output of leaders taking a more active interest in their people, their welfare and their development is that we will see improved levels of collaboration, ideation and performance.  Cause and effect.

All 3 of the above, by chance but reiterating the point, are heavily tech-based solutions to improving the collaboration around the future of work.

These interventions supported by face to face events such as hackathons, conferences and networking events will help develop a much richer, challenging and interesting dialogue around the future of work.

Why would we be afraid to put people before profits?

I am interested in any challenges or other ideas/knowledge sharing around the future of work/workforce of the future and look forward to learning more as we go.

‘Hackathon’ where have you been all my life??!!…………………

Today I had the absolute pleasure to attend my first Hackathon with the hashtag #EXHack for those that interested to see the stream of awesome tweets that represent todays event. Thank you sincerely Perry @PerryTimms for the invite.

Before the event even got started I had the pleasure to meet probably one of the warmest human beings I have met in a long time (apart from my fiancé 5 years ago – just saying! ) Jo Southwell-Sander @Jo_SSander Jo works in Diversity & Inclusion for FDM and truly espouses the passion and sincere desire to make a difference in her field, which she is clearly doing.

• Could you codify your stakeholder experience? (my words)

Lara @_Lara_HR advised that she and her team/colleagues have been working to codify their stakeholder experience, the result of which has been:

EX x CX = SX

with EX being employee experience, CX= customer experience and SX = Shareholder experience.

What I personally love about this approach is that probably for the first time in my 40 years on this small plant called Earth, I can see a genuinely, fully aligned view of the world that puts people, at the centre (ok to the left for those that may be pedantic ;-)), customers AND shareholders all in the same equation.

How many times have we seen in an annual report “human capital cost of XX” as if people are an opportunity cost to making money or achieving top performance.  Huge congratulations to Lara for this work so far, it could be game changing and I sincerely believe is a big step forward in regaining humanity in the workplace, at just the right time to combine it with the exponential technological developments that will continue to come.

Also “Recognition = Empowerment” advised Lara, “It is not employee of the month”.  This for me was also a very powerful reflection and the more I think about it, the more impactful it becomes.

Also of personal interest to me was to this following slide which is literally as it states, a paradigm shift in ultimately trusting those on the front line who are dealing with customers, suppliers, unions, whatever to do their best work. This has quite some resonance with me when linking this to the Freedom at Work movement of @WorldBlu i.e. helping 1bn people live without fear

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To coin David Marquet “move the decisions to where the information is.” I am very excited at this triangulation of both theory and practice coming together.

Up next was Lesley Giles @LesleyGiles2123 from the work foundation who talked about the importance of developing an employee experience that allows people to do ‘Good Work.’ This is the first time that I have heard this phrase and must say I quite like it. It is humble, considered but far from commonplace in many of our remaining command and control senior leadership structures.

Lesley emphasised that we are not being philanthropists here; we are looking to align the core purpose of work with who we are as humans (my take on the message) Lesley also referenced megatrends briefly and I feel this is a very important point when we are looking at why, how and what (deliberate Simon Sinek reference) we want to improve with regards the human experience, there are global megatrends as outlined by PwC that should also not be far from our minds:

https://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/megatrends.html

Global Megatrends

Then it was the run of your friend and mine, Mr Perry Timms to take us through what a Hackathon is, how the 4 sprints would work and what the ultimate objective was of our time together today:

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So as to not drag on too long in this blog, I offer some photos below of my team and I (Stella Heskey from Addison Lee, Emily of FDM and Sammy of FDM) in action and also some of the other learning takeaways that I took home with me personally after such an impassioned, inspiring and thought provoking morning:

1) Humanity is making a comeback!

It is so inspiring to see that across 6 completely different groups of people, many of whom met for the first time today, that the deep rooted desire to make work more humane comes through loud and clear

2) EX x CX = SX – You will see more of this I am sure

3) Recognition = Empowerment (this will stay with me forever as it is so simple in its understanding, yet so powerful as a reminder)

4) Senior leaders need to truly start doing that more – get out of the way of your peers that are dealing at the coalface.

Support them yes, given them the tools if needed, but get out of the way and allow them to get on with good, value adding work through deep empowerment and a desire to make a difference

5) I have seen more innovation and creativity in 3 hours today than I have seen in the past 12 months in other areas, genuine comment. The power of humanity to come together with an open mind, an open heart and desire to collaborate is so powerful. Margaret Heffernan @M_Heffernan would be super supportive of this Hackathon

6) One group came up with the amazing idea of an L&D initiative called “our shared story” where as a newcomer or during on-boarding, their journey would be added to that of the rest of the organisation.  This could also aid succession planning and steering of different peoples careers.  Super story-telling innovation

7) I have completely chucked my self awareness and assertiveness learning module in the bin that I will deliver at 10am tomorrow Fri 7th July morning !? Why? after talking to the lovely @wearehabit Flick today, I have realised and seen just how ‘preachy’ my session was going to be tomorrow (in the nicest possible way!)

So what will I do!? Have a guess?…………Yup, I am going to ask the 5 delegates to hack their own answers to the learning objectives that they have offered in advance…

I am already more excited about the session tomorrow now it will more active, more engaging and more empowering – they have the answers as well as or maybe more than me thus I will take above advice and ‘get out of the way.’

8) Hakathons are for everyday business hacks as well as software development hacks

Than you to one and all for an incredibly inspiring day.  Lets go hacking (legally!) …..

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Do we live in 2017 or 1917 ? / Learning every day – part 2

My reflections in part 1 – https://makingadifferencesite.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/do-we-live-in-2017-or-1917-learning-every-day-part-1/ – of this 2-part blog series led me to cross reference a range of studies recently around engagement and productivity as below.

Mission, Purpose & Values

Should it matter that only 1 in 5 employees, at best, believe in their organisations mission (row 2 below), the results of which are based on a survey of 7068 respondents by Blessing White in 2013?

blessing 1

To me it does matter.  To me, this states that 4 in 5 people go to into work every morning without aligning their personal and work values, to at least some degree.

In 2017, with the evidence of neuroscience, positive psychology, CIPD research etc proving how important work with purpose is for individuals, with only 1 in 5 employees currently believing in their organisations mission, could this mean:

  • That ethics are sometimes being left at the door? If we look at the financial crisis in 08/09, the lack of purpose outside of the profit motive (result) could be a factor
  • Could this mean that when we see bullying occurring, we turn a blind eye to protect our own position?
  • Could this mean that our workplaces are, at times, fuelled by fear / lack bravery?
  • Could this mean that our organisations are not effectively structured to allow us to learn every day?

There is a lot going on in here but I firmly believe that a lack of organisation purpose, for employees to deeply believe in, is to some extent a factor as to these lower levels of values alignment evidenced above.

To coin @simonsinek ‏and his Golden Circle model, how often do any of us “start with why” when reflecting on any aspect of our work or personal lives?

Shauna O Handley’s https://twitter.com/F3Peep talk was hugely inspirational at the CIPD L&D Show in 2016 when she spoke so eloquently about how she used this very model to shift the culture within her organisation.

start

If I may, lets carry out a small exercise:

  • Why does your organisation exist?
  • Why do you work for your organisation?
  • Do your personal values and beliefs align well with the organisations values and beliefs?

How often indeed, when we are faced with a challenge or a query, do we simple ask that most basic of questions, “why?”  This simple 3 letter word, I feel, is a critical word in supporting continuous improvement and learning every day.  The day we stopping asking why is the day learning stops.

Interestingly @DanielPink recently tweeted the following link which wonderfully reinforces the above messaging around the importance of truly starting with why.https://qz.com/943878/the-single-question-top-entrepreneurs-and-investors-rely-upon-to-solve-their-most-difficult-problems/

Engagement vs Productivity

From here I reflected on the same survey by Blessing White of 7068 respondent’s, which was a global survey across multiple continents, from which we see engagement levels of only 1 in 3 being people fully engaged (orange row below) in their work?

blessing 2

This is not a unique statistic.

Gallup and Towers Watson, both powerhouses within the engagement research arena, have carried out significant studies over the past years which consistently come back with 1 in 3 employees (or thereabouts) being fully engaged.  The most recent examples being a Gallup survey of 320,000 people registering 29% as fully engaged and a Towers Watson survey of 32,000 people registering 35% as fully engaged.  These are huge surveys.

So using these 3 completely separate studies, for every £1 we invest in this so called ‘Human Capital,’ we are deriving only 33p of highly engaged, fully committed productivity.

Conversely, what a huge opportunity to turn the above engagement level and in turn productivity levels around. 

The OECD released its 2016 report on the GDP slowdown of advanced nations (as below), which shows that the UK fares badly.

gdp

Looking at the leader/line manager level, the below recent article in The Telegraph cites ‘bad managers’ as a major challenge to UK productivity.

bad

Depending which article, blog or report you read, between 50% and 60% of employees leave their manager and not the organisation they work for.  Do organisations and line managers ask “why?” that is happening?

In amongst all of this I smile as I had the pleasure of meeting @happyhenry at his most wonderful of offices in London during a recent WorldBlu event.  Henry is one of the most vocal advocates for freedom in the workplace of which he is an approved WorldBlu freedom centred workplace http://www.worldblu.com/awardee-profiles/2017.php?utm_campaign=WorldBlu%20List&utm_content=52442803&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter , which includes allowing people to change their line manager if the relationship stops working.  Sounds a little cuckoo right?  Not if you see the above news article and the consistent statistic that people don’t leave their organisation, they leave their line manager.

Summary and the way forward

Seeing the evidence of poor alignment to organisational mission/purpose (1 in 5 people), only 1 in 3 employees being fully engaged and on-going, sub optimal productivity all says to me, that the time is right for a wholesale change in the way we lead and learn within our organisations and our workplaces.

I personally feel that the two key areas holding many organisations back today in 2017 are:

1)      Too many organisations lack effective leadership (humility and bravery) and organisational structures (not designed to be adaptive) to handle 21st century operation, including technological change

2)      Too many organisations prefer the safety of fixed mindset hierarchies, protecting the power base and those close to them over the growth mindset productivity goldmine that could arise from more openly collaborative, cross functional networking for concurrent individual and organisational growth

If every single individual within every single organisation sought to learn or improve something, every day, could the above trends be reversed?  I think so.

Both of the above points, for me, sit heavily with the overarching purpose and culture of organisations, an area that I am deeply passionate and purposeful to help change, in whatever way I can, going forward.

This means then, to me, that we need to start transforming our organisations and be ready that transformation may become the new normal, as scary as that will be to many.  I have had the pleasure of reflecting on HR and wider societal transformational topics with @PerryTimms over the past weeks and I must say, I am very excited to get hold of his book in Oct when it comes out.  It WILL be game changing.

trans

This is the evolution of the Deliberately Developmental Organisation (DDO) which will become the norm for the highest performing organisations moving the alignment of one’s personal values to that of the organisation, thereby driving improved engagement, motivation and in turn productivity.  These DDOs, importantly, also operate without fear.  They challenge, they have brutally open dialogue (always dealing with the ‘truth’) but never fear.

The middle part is a key personal focus at this time following my WorldBlu experience last week as I reflect on my Power Question every day for 30 days, but I firmly believe that every human being should strive and be allowed to learn every day, no matter how large or small that daily learning is.

This has been evidenced by 3 work colleagues actively showing interest to go through The Power Question Process within the past week, which in itself demonstrates that with an open mind, it is truly possible to learn something every day.

Learning = Growth.  Fact.

“Start with why, be free from fear and strive to learn every day.”

In summary I quote one of the simplest equations ever known to man as follows:

Shared Purpose leads to Higher Engagement leads to Higher Productivity.  The above I feel reinforces that message.

All of which has to be underpinned by learning every day

Any comments or feedback as to your viewpoint are greatly appreciated.  Debate is good and again fuels learning and growth.

Do we live in 2017 or 1917 ? / Learning every day – part 1

This is a genuine question that I currently ponder and have pondered over the past months and it still perplexes me today.

1917

For all of the talk of the UK productivity gap, doing ‘more with less,’ trying to increase the efficiency of what we do, getting a seat at the ‘top table,’ etc I can’t help but feel that human beings as employees in so many organisations, in 2017, are still viewed as assets on a balance sheet (under that lovely term “human capital”) with finite value add potential, focused on solely the short term, rather than being viewed as the human beings that they are; that harness an infinite ability to continually grow, innovate and be creative, for the long term, both for themselves and therefore for the organisations that they work for.

This lead to me reflect on Helen @WildFigSolns request for blog contributions to her #blogcarnival in advance of next month’s @CIPD #cipdldshow.

With regards the question of how do we make every day a learning day I feel that there are a few questions to consider:

  • Why do I want to learn?
  • How do I learn best?
  • What are my targets / objectives through learning? Specific aim or in general?
  • Does my organisation support continuous learning/development of employees? Does it matter to them?
  • How will I be able to evidence that my learning makes a difference to me personally and/or my work organization?
  • Do I reflect enough on any learning?

For me I can answer yes, I do love learning every day but why and how do I do that?

Before I started to use Twitter 3 years ago to develop an effective personal learning network #PLN, of known and unknown contacts, my learning was much more sporadic.  I would read the occasion book, I would attend the odd in house L&D  module but none of this supported my regular, joined up, aligned continuous improvement of myself and in turn my performance for the organisation.  Does this matter?

To me it does.  My knowledge, insight and network has expanded exponentially over the past 36 months, to be 1000%+ larger and more effective and insightful (this is the key point) than it was previously.  There are still too many reports that talk about “training still being done to people” and too much “off the shelf” training being practiced rather than learning needs being identified and learning tailored.

The value to my organisation has been an in-house suite of 16 learning modules, designed and delivered in-house saving the company over £94k in two years with an 8.5/10 feedback rating across 154 attendees with 100% of delegates stating that the experience made them want to attend future modules (effective, good quality learning breeds an interest in further learning).

In addition through my own extended #PLN, a continuous feed of insight, reports, challenges and proposals, tailored to my perceived needs of the organisation and its leadership, was now available.  None of this would have happened 4 years ago, I just did not have the insight, awareness or even passion honestly to want to learn every day back then.

In addition and in combination with social learning, the plethora of (many relatively cheap) workshops, exhibition and conferences makes for an infinite and exponential opportunity to learn as often as one would like.  This is where the CIPD branch network really comes into its own.

Also, here comes the critical point for me and @PubDonna https://pubdonna.com/2017/04/12/back-to-skool/ touched on this in her #blogcarnival post which is that learning is a choice.

At a recent @WorldBlu workshop (a must attend for anybody and everyone that strives to help personal lives and workplaces be free from fear (or be more brave to positively reframe the message as peers have referenced recently) – you will be surprised which fears you actually have – I was!) I was a proud advocate, at this event, as to the effectiveness and value of Twitter as a learning medium.  I regularly cite that 80%+ of my CPD derives from predominantly Twitter, with some via LinkedIn.  This number always shocks people.

Here I thank Helen Amery for her introduction and recommendation to engage with Twitter.  Because of this introduction literally every day IS a learning day for me and that is so inspiring, however small or large.

Additionally through pulling together this blog, in combination with my recent WorldBlu experience, I have truly identified my personal purpose which is:

“Start with why, be free from fear and learn every day” – Learn every day has actually been clarified to me through the writing of this blog, so learning in real time right there!

Deliberately Developmental Organisations (DDOs) such as NextJump, Decurion and Bridgewater come to mind again in the book “An Everyone Culture.”  Seriously a must read for any forward looking human being.

hbr

These DDOs never allow their employees to get comfortable.  As soon as they are close to mastery, they are moved into a new role that ‘stretches’ them.  They are not looking to stress, they are always looking to stretch and this is a critical point to be clear on.

For me I see two very simple comparisons:

  • Stretch + Learning = Personal and in turn performance growth.
  • Stress + ‘no learning’ = Mental health issues and fear which does not support growth of any type

These are not scientific equations, but you get my point.

Finally, the below excerpt from a recent World Economic Forum report (found at wef.ch/2o6Bphm ) highlights what skills students need for 21st century working.

My question and challenge here, however, for those of us that are also working in the 21st century right now, is how many of these skills are we all working on?  Should it only be students working on these 21st century skills – I state categorically no.  Importantly, how are we focussing on learning every day to help ensure we are creating the best versions of ourselves that we can be?

wef

Learning does not stop at 16, 18 or 21, but our societies do not appear to value learning after these ages in the same way as when we are at school.  This is certainly a potential barrier to learning every day and in turn a risk to our national productivity.

If we ALL focus on building the above skills, regularly, we can truly start to help move more of our organisations into 2017 working and away from 1917 working.

Any comments or feedback as to your viewpoint are greatly appreciated.  Debate is good and again fuels learning and growth.  See you, I hope, in part 2.

Learn, Connect, Do – “The Thinking Environment”

Just to put it out there early, today was probably the best CPD experience that I have had the pleasure to experience, EVER!

In advance of todays event Helen asked us to think about our desired learning outcomes and questions that we would like to raise around the wellbeing agenda. My personal reflections in advance were as follows:

Desired learning outcomes

  • Influencing leaders to take wellbeing seriously
  • Most powerful metrics/evidence to support wellbeing agenda
  • Insights from peers as to their challenges and solutions
  • How to better position wellbeing as a value adding topic

Questions that I personally wanted to answer from this event:

  • Who ‘owns’ wellbeing strategy?
  • Can you train improved wellbeing within leadership / management?
  • What if senior leaders are not interested in wellbeing?
  • When an organisation is cash generative/highly profitable, how to make the senior leadership team take wellbeing seriously

Introduction

The sessions today were led through a combination of Helen Amery of Wild Fig (@WildFigSolns), Janice Keyes from Mind over Matter coaching (@janicekeyes) and Andrew Harris (@AndrewFit4Work) from Fit to Work.

The main facilitation technique for today was “The Thinking Environment” by Nancy Kline, a new one on me honestly. A number of delegates today had come across it, some had read it, some had the book but have not read that book as yet, however wherever people were coming from, this technique gripped everyone very quickly.

Helen explained the background to this technique which has 10 key components. She highlighted the most important 4 for the evening due to time limitations as follows:

  • Attention (no interruptions, everyone in the room having a voice and a chance to speak – a great leveller for both introverts and extroverts)
  • Equality (hierarchy, seniority etc are all completely removed in this process. This made me reflect on the value of www.belbin.com team roles as a model for building strong teams based on identified strengths and awareness of weaknesses, removing job roles and hierarchy)
  • Ease (Being present in the situation, giving ones complete focus to the current discussions right now – imagine putting your mobile down, not looking for distractions etc – actually very powerful and exciting in today’s always on society!)
  • Diversity (valuing difference and in fact seeking difference) I personally see huge value in this aspect, actively ensuring that ‘groupthink’ does not take hold

Some of the basic ‘rules of engagement’ for this thinking environment process are:

  • A single, key focus question rather than just metrics (for example) as a review topic for the thinking environment
  • How do we get to XX? Why do we do YY?
  • Everyone gets to speak
  • No jumping in / systematic process
  • Getting all ideas on the table before building a review of any strategy / follow up questions

This last point I especially loved and it was incredible throughout the two sessions to see pretty much ever delegates viewpoint or belief shift to some degree, showing the genuine value of an open mind and desire to listen, and even adopt, someone else’s point of view.

A really moving statement for me was when Helen emphasised that everyone has a “positive psychological choice” to make about whether they choose to believe that everyone is inherently good, capable, creative and able to do great thinking of their own. This would be and I am confident is, a huge challenge for those at senior levels who are not used to allowing themselves to be seen to be vulnerable/have development areas.

Examples of burnout / high pressure at work were reviewed, a key factor adversely impacting wellbeing.  This is an issue close to my heart as I personally  experienced this myself in 2016 when I had what I affectionately call a ‘mini meltdown.’ As such, however organisations decide to view wellbeing, the business and employee case is very real.  Wellbeing, including mental health, is not a soft option.

Fit for Work

Andrew Harris (@AndrewFit4Work) from Fit to Work was very entertaining and engaging in his description of “8 expensive errors in wellbeing strategy” that organisations can make, in no particular level of importance:

  1. Not getting buy in from the top
  2. Not presenting a clear business case
  3. Failing to invest
  4. Telling rather than empowering
  5. Think its all about gyms and free fruit
  6. Too much, too soon
  7. Failure to train and educate line management
  8. Avoid reinventing the wheel
  9. Not using workplace health champions (the bonus error J )

When one looks at the above list of errors, it is easy to see how any of these can easily be applied to pretty much all HR/L&D/OD interventions that we as practitioners endeavour to design, promote and implement.

From recent and personal experience, not getting buy in from the top, too much, too soon and failure to train and educate line management are the three that I see the most often.

One of the funniest moments of the night came from @RhodriStanford  who poignantly tackled the topic of ‘work/life balance.’  He challenged the notion (my interpretation and poetic licence! – please correct me Rhodri if needed) that we are humans outside of work between 5pm and 9am the next day, but when we clock in at 9am for work we somehow die for the next 8 hours before being to return to humanity 8 hours later.

This whilst funny hit a nerve for me.  In reading about Deliberately Development Organisations (DDOs) such as @nextjump recently in the book An Everyone Culture (fully recommend to anyone that cares about workplaces or human beings), there is an awful lot of talk around setting up your organisational and workplace culture to allow colleagues to bring ‘their whole self’ to work.  To not have to waste any time on the ‘2nd job’ of covering backside, saying yes when really you mean no, playing politics etc  This plays strongly into this notion of genuine work/life balance which in summary to me should be rephrased, when working well, as “living,” whether at work or at home.

Learning take-aways / What next?

  • When I reflect on my desired learning outcomes, I was arriving with too many assumptions. That wellbeing was already ‘a thing’ and that it was well understood and that it would be easy to explain. Through my 1-1 thinking environment exchange with Eileen, I ended up right back at the start; really asking the fundamental question of “what does wellbeing even mean?” to myself, my organisation and wider society

 

  • That  organisations  led as if they are still in the 20th century / outdated hierarchical structures etc have become increasingly inhumane. The very notion that wellbeing is deemed to be an area of focus tells us that the health and wellbeing of both organisations and those that work for them, is a problem.

This made me reflect on the following article about Teal organisations.  I see and hear about way too many organisations still operating as Red, Amber or at very best Orange organisations.  Wellbeing, as I learned at this event, could be a differentiator in moving towards Green or Teal.

http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00344

  • Practice the thinking environment facilitation model at work – real value / innovation envisaged within a specific business area where I feel the team members will engage

 

  • The word ‘calm’ was used by a number of delegates at the end of the evening. When did you last spend 3 hours with a bunch of people you did not know at all or at best, only a little, and finish the 3 hr meeting with productive, thought provoking ideas to take away and feel ‘calm’ at the end of it. In addition, all delegates felt a genuine desire to connect and keep in touch as the experience was genuinely moving, certainly for me personally.The extra value I took away from the thinking environment framework of openness, calmness and a genuine desire to listen and be listened to, was amazing to experience and to see.

 

  •  Investigate the link between organisational wellbeing and wider societal wellbeing – are they aligned at all?

 

  •  What do organisations (ours) understand wellbeing to cover/represent? Is there misalignment?

 

  • Review @patricklencioni Organisational Health model in his book “The Advantage” – does it link to wellbeing as we know it?

I look forward to seeing/receiving the flipcharts from @WildFigSolns from the session as it was incredible how pretty much all of the room moved, in some way, from their original thought process to a different, alternative view through the thinking environment process. I reiterate this point again deliberately as it was so powerful to see human beings deeply collaborating, listening and wanting to learn.

 

I am hooked on #LearnConnectDo after only two visits. I see Learn, Connect, Do as not only a desire but a necessary part of my CPD long term.