Hi, It’s Harriet here. So excited you’re joining this to read with me❣️
Thank you for enjoying these updates, which include key topics from previous weeks, new resources, ideas and inputs. I hope you find them helpful, love your feedback as always.
June is one of my favourite months of the year – particularly because of the amazing content that is shared by the LGBT+ community for Pride Month. If you missed the wonderful LinkedIn live events with Anthony Marshall, Ella Slade and Mirek Hazer, you can watch them again, here.
Now the world is slowly starting to re-open and our learnings and readings over the past months are set to help us all build back better. Today, I have some extra special new resources for you, focused on the future of work, the rising tide of employee activism and how we can exit this vortex of change running, with innovation-led growth and exciting new technologies.
The Future of Work
“There are four broad reasons to hold meetings: to influence others, to make decisions, to solve problems, or to strengthen relationships. These are all active processes, so passive participation in meetings doesn’t really work”.
Here’s a useful article on how to get people to actually participate in virtual meetings, particularly for those who are v reluctant to return to the office.
And I thought I would re-share my 4 C’s approach to our new hybrid ways of working – there is, I believe, a role to play in combining both virtual and physical face-to-face workplaces.
- Career Consultations & Coaching
Both of these critical parts of operating in a high-performance team are done much better face-to-face, in a relaxed, constructive environment, with enough time and considered preparation.
Using agile methods of working in small groups to solve v specific problems, particularly around driving innovation-led growth. Individuals learn from and feed off each other and demonstrate a lived experience of creativity.
To bring 200% of ourselves productively and happily to hybrid working we all need to feel we belong, believe and matter to something that has a positive impact.
How are you planning your future ways of working?
It is more important than ever we really think about the deep thoughts of employees as activism is becoming more common.
The Rising Tide of Employee Activism
Something to be mindful of in the future of work is employee activism – I believe it is on the rise. As I work with mentees, particularly the younger cohort who are increasingly aware of social inequality and climate change and how their companies contribute to these ills, I notice how they are often unwilling to turn a blind eye to their employers’ complicity. Climate strikes, calls for unionization, support for Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement are becoming part of the reality in organizations, reinforced by the growing pressure from investors at last targeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aims.
From my business coaching work, it seems that many leaders seem ill-equipped to deal with these real challenges and big missteps are occurring as this excellent article from HBR captures.
The article offers v practical advice as we build back better together including suggestions I have written about extensively about, for example, shadow boards, reverse mentoring and employee networks.
And now, another style of employee rebellion…
“I resent the idea of having to work myself to death just to move up the corporate ladder,”
How many times have we heard this from a frustrated early career professional or a disenchanted colleague before they set off to backpack around the world?
This amazing article on the latest Chinese youth trend… lying down to combat 9-9-6 work culture that encourages people to work 12 hour days, six days a week.
• The movement of the moment in China is “lying flat”, which advocates for lying down instead of working hard.
• More Chinese youth appear to be rejecting a life and work culture of constant competition
• “Only by lying down can humans become the measure of all things,” argues the “lying flat manifesto”
“Lying flat” doesn’t mean lying down all day or being jobless. It means going at your own pace and doing what you like,” said Yubo Li, 31, who works as a freelance designer and digital artist from his rented room in Shanghai.
Li works around four to five hours a day on projects that make enough money to live simply without pushing himself to the point of overwork.
What I found extraordinary about this article is the consequences of becoming the fastest and biggest growing economies in the world and the unbelievable work ethic of millions needed to achieve it.
Are you experiencing any employee activism or rebellion? Please do share your thoughts!
It’s critical that as leaders we understand and manage these situations particularly as we all strive for the nirvana of purpose and innovation-led growth…
Innovation Led Growth and Exiting the Vortex of Change Running
From 30 years of CEO ship, I personally believe that our most important defining work is strategic – what we focus on to win & grow through people, planet and profits and what we don’t do, and will stop doing.
As we begin to exit the vortex of change, I love this insightful piece by Dorie Clark and how we can measure our timelines to see how much we usurp to the ‘here and now’ and neglect strategy!
Dorie says, “The responsibilities placed upon us are unlikely to diminish anytime soon. In fact, as we ascend in our careers — and as global competition further increases — it’s almost certain we’ll be expected to do more and produce more. Without a concerted effort, it’d be easy for strategy — yet again — to slip to the bottom of the to-do list, despite our protestations about its importance.
Strategy couldn’t be more important as we exit the vortex of change – we need to strategise and focus on innovation-led growth.
I totally love this ‘Technology Pioneers’ list from the World Economic Forum that brings together early to growth-stage companies from around the world who are pioneering new technologies and innovations, ranging from cell-based seafood protein to quantum-based cybersecurity, digitization of water rights and the use of satellite imaging to measure carbon captured in forests.
Take a look at these incredible initiatives, here.
And then, of course, my own passions for making a difference.
Solving Another World Challenge – with Mission Beyond
I love this recent post from Mission Beyond Founding Trustee, Cain Ullah, and as the Chair of Trustees, I’m excited about how our MVP Open Doors platform is already developing to connect young people with potential to jobs.
It is 12 months today since we launched Mission Beyond with the brilliant Matthew Syed talking about The Power of Diverse Thinking. A lot has happened since then, not least Mission Beyond being incorporated as an impact startup in its own right and building the start of an incredible leadership team to take us forward including Harriet Green, Manny Amadi, Michelle Kent, John Godfrey, Marie Sigsworth, Honesty (She/Her) Tamarie, Ella Slade (they/them), Catherine Blaikie, Ged Hawes and Celia Moore.
Here is the transcript from my opening statement setting out the context for the journey we were about to embark on and a bit of a call to arms for leaders to get involved. This still rings true one year on and will continue to do so. Have a read:
“Here we are, all convening virtually rather than in person due to, a pandemic that hopefully, we will never see in our lifetimes again. Covid-19 has stretched healthcare systems to their breaking point and economies are due to suffer their worst impact since the great depression. It has also brought to bear huge issues with society that existed pre-Pandemic. People of Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority backgrounds are more at risk of Covid-19 related deaths, access to educational support during lockdown has varied greatly, and it has exacerbated the epidemic of loneliness. And that’s just the UK. In other countries, following simple instructions to wash your hands regularly is not so simple if you do not have easy access to water.
But there is opportunity that arises from this situation. With the reduction of industrial output and human activity, the Earth has had a chance to breathe. People are talking about the “bounce forward” and calling for governments to build back better, to create a socially just and green recovery. Choices made now will help us shape our society, economy and humanity for years to come.
This is why we are here today. We want to bring together business leaders and other actors with brilliant minds and a sense of purpose in their hearts to harness that purpose, together, and use it to contribute to society and the planet. We started developing Mission Beyond prior to the pandemic but the pandemic has heightened its significance. I hope at the end of today, you are inspired and want to get involved.
To find out more about Mission Beyond and the Open Doors platform, visit www.missionbeyond.co.uk
An area of huge importance to us all as leaders of businesses, organisations, units, countries and governments is how to create workplaces for performance, engagement and happiness.
This excellent Forbes article highlights the importance of creating ‘conditions for happiness’ in the workplace, in particular, to support the talent pipeline; another huge challenge created by the pandemic.
The article concludes, ” Happiness matters to an extraordinary extent—from a greater likelihood to reach bigger goals and contribute to company outcomes to better physical health and greater commitment to a company. And great places create the conditions for greater happiness and fulfillment. Your places may or may not have been ideal before the pandemic, but they are critically important now in the talent revolution.
We should never underestimate the power of kindness.
At work, receiving a compliment, words of recognition, and praise can help individuals feel more fulfilled, boost self-esteem, improve self-evaluations, and trigger positive emotions.
Leaders can promote kindness in the remote workplace when they lead by example. They can do so by setting aside time during Zoom meetings for a ‘kindness round’ in which team members are free to acknowledge each other’s work. They can also consider “peer bonus” systems to encourage employees to send gift cards or rewards to show appreciation. Just two ideas.
Following some recent unkind experiences of my own, I loved reading two special pieces which lifted my spirits, from Harvard: https://lnkd.in/gnpCVKy, and from Fox News https://lnkd.in/gPqmZGN – about a wonderful group of children who created a ‘Kindness Club’ where they carry out the simplest and loveliest acts of kindness in their community!
To close this month’s newsletter I invite you all to take some time for self-care, to consider how you can also be kind to others and to embrace the next stages of change in a positive manner.
My inbox is always open for your comments and questions, so please do get in touch.
And for all my book club friends – our next read will be announced tomorrow, so look out for the details!
Thank you so much, Harriet