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Navigating the Future of Work: Reflections from the World Agility Forum

world agility forum

I've recently returned from the World Agility Forum in Portugal where 300 participants and more than 35 thought leaders gathered. It's not just a meeting of minds but it's considered a crucible of agile innovation, setting the stage for the future of work. I was honoured to share the stage as a speaker among the brightest minds in the business including, Jon Kern, Co-Author of the Agile Manifesto, Mirko Kleiner Founder, President at Lean-Agile Procurement Alliance and Pete Behrens, Founder and Leadership Coach at Agile Leadership Journey.

Amidst the forum's bustling exchange of ideas, I also engaged with the Lean Agile Procurement Alliance, which resonates with the agile training principles we advocate through our Lean Agile Procurement Courses at Twenty2 Collective. I wanted to write this piece to share the insights from the forum, the challenges we face in the business and the lessons learned from addressing them.

Adapting to the Remote Work Revolution

Siemens' Innovative Response

The transition to remote work, spurred by the pandemic, was a revolution that caught many by surprise. At the forum, I was intrigued by Siemens' strategic response to this upheaval. They've implemented a flexible work model that empowers employees to choose their work setting—be it remote or in the office. This approach aligns with recent research by Microsoft, which underscores the social aspect of the workplace: a staggering 73% of employees indicated they would frequent the office more if they knew their direct team members would be present, and 74% said the same if it involved their work friends. Siemens' model caters to these preferences, fostering a sense of community and collaboration, which is crucial for maintaining the social fabric of the workplace while embracing the benefits of remote work.

Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

Vodafone's Proactive Measures

The digital skills gap is a critical issue, highlighted by Adobe's research showing that a significant portion of employees are hindered by ineffective digital organisation within their companies. Specifically, 47% of employees feel their company’s digital organisation system is not easy or effective to navigate, and 30% of Gen Z employees have considered leaving their job due to their company’s poor digital organisation. The full Adobe study, which provides extensive insights into these challenges, can be found here. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of employees say poor digital organisation interferes with their ability to work effectively, and over a quarter report that their company never conducts regular digital cleanups. Vodafone has taken a proactive stance by launching comprehensive training programs and forming educational partnerships, directly addressing the digital skills gap and preparing its workforce for the demands of a digital economy.

Embracing Sustainable Practices

Unilever's Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability is no longer an option; it's a necessity. Organisations across Europe face the challenge of integrating sustainable practices into their ways of working while reducing their environmental footprint. New regulations and reporting are coming into play regarding sustainability disclosure and reporting. Unilever's dedication to sustainability is setting a precedent in corporate responsibility. Their ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2039 exemplifies their commitment to a sustainable future and serves as an inspiration for the industry.

Navigating Regulatory Complexities

SAP's Streamlined Solutions

With regard to changing legislation and regulations, SAP's innovative software solutions are simplifying the labyrinth of regulatory compliance, enabling businesses to remain agile and focused on innovation rather than being ensnared by regulatory complexities.

Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity

IKEA's Inclusive Initiatives

I heard about IKEA's approach to inclusivity and diversity goes beyond mere policy—it's about cultivating a rich and varied company culture that values and celebrates every individual's unique contributions. IKEA not only attracts top talent but also celebrates the richness of diverse perspectives.

Embark on Your Agile Journey

Are you ready to infuse agility into your organisational fabric? Book a no-obligation 30-minute agile assessment with me here, and let's craft a strategy that accelerates your business towards a high-performing and happy future.

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