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will never be this slow again.” - Simon Hay, CEO at Dunhumby, June 8 2016


“Today reinforced that collaboration accelerates true transformation.”

We are interested in supporting schools to help their students become creative thinkers, confident communicators and empowered leaders. Burning2Learn attends business, education, technology and entertainment events all year round to learn more about career routes and post-education options on offer to young people in today’s job market. At each event we explore different pathways into a variety of industries and gather personal experiences and advice from top professionals on the core skills needed to flourish within their respective fields. Our aim at this Quora Smartworking Summit was to learn from the key messages and expectations of industry leaders so that they can be transfered into the language of 10-19 year olds. Our experience has proven this to be an authentic, relevant and effective way of preparing young people for life in modern Britain. Alan Dean, Managing Director Burning2Learn Media Team

01322 614000 @burning2learn/

“Finding ‘High Potentials’ should be at the top of every agenda!”

“Why can’t we use snapchat instead of sending emails?”

Creating Today’s Place For Tomorrow’s Talent Is your organisation ready? Today’s young people have more opportunities at their fingertips than any other generation before them. Born into a world on the cusp of a paradigm shift so great that it transcends traditional outlooks, millennials are now stepping into the workplace equipped with new mindsets, evolved expectations and more autonomy than the workplace has ever seen. So get ready to hear more talk of ‘virtual teams’ and ‘mobile meetings‘ - even image messaging mobile app, ‘Snapchat’ is making its way into workplace discussions.

Throughout the summit many speakers made reference to the term ‘silos’, and the damaging impact working in silos can have on a business. The ‘Silo Mentality’ is a mindset present when certain departments/ sectors prefer to work independently in isolation, as appose to sharing useful knowledge and information. We believe that the negative impacts of the silo mentality transcend the business alone, causing a ripple effect across society. This is why sharing and reinforcing the core messages from this summit is imperative, as it will enable a new silo-less mindset to emerge. The key themes discussed at the summit included:

These are just a few examples of the changing needs and expectations of the workforce that were • Developing a shared value culture discussed at the latest Quora Smartworking Summit. • Shifting towards the common greater good Is your organisation prepared for their arrival? • Co-creating Emergence • Acquiring and retaining future talent +44 (1491) 628654

“I found the meeting very inspirational and I felt so lucky to be talking to such important people. Getting to meet the people at the top end of companies, and people that I would never usually get the chance to meet has really showed me what I need to be doing to reach my aspirations. The contacts and information that was available to me on this day is something that will only make me better as a person, this was defiantly an experience I will remember forever!” - Student, 20

“Forget the siloed events - they’re history.” - Quora Consulting

Quora Consulting

Preparing for a different tomorrow

Who is Quora?

What are Smartworking Summits?

Quora enables mid-large size organisations to achieve high performance work practices and workplaces through analytics-driven consultancy. Anayltics are used to gain insights that inform business decisions (e.g. Exploring data to find new patterns and relationships (data mining) and to explain why a certain result occurred). This approach allows Quora to help organisations optimize costs, improve productivity and critically enhance employee engagement.

Now in their 14th year, Quora’s Smartworking Summits are the only event of their kind to offer inputs directly from all board level functions. Participants are also treated to contributions from Group Property and Facilities Management Directors of leading FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 organisations.

For 2016, the summits have moved to a stunning new venue at St Paul’s 200 Aldersgate London, each inviting over 750 attendees to join their signature ‘unplugged’ sessions. This June, Quora welcomed With a recognised aptitude for transforming work 7 executive speakers to present their own personal practices and workplaces around the world, Quora take on the changing nature of work and their most has become a global firm, operating in North America, influential learnings. Sydney and London.

Developing a Winning Culture How better to learn the importance of working in a team than from a Great British Olympian? “The key to a good culture is in the kind of conversations that we have... when we have genuinely honest conversations and encourage others to take risks we grow a level of trust, which ultimately enables that person to deliver.” Olympic rower, Greg Searle, took us through his personal journey as a world-class competitor to look at how culture breeds unity and accelerates transformation. He revealed how scrapping uniforms spawned unity, moving furniture fostered friendship and ditching the sunglasses sparked strength. At each of the four Olympic games that he competed in, Greg learnt more and more about the key to developing a strong, united team. In the 1992 Olympic Games Great Britain went home with one gold medal. Twenty years later Team GB won 28 gold medals in London. How was this achieved? As Greg would have it, it’s a lot to do with culture. He recalled the intimidation he felt during his first games when walking into the canteen full of all the other athletes. Each sports team for Great Britain wore a different uniform, which caused a huge cross-disciplinary divide. Greg would even opt to sit with rowers from other teams over sitting with some of Team GB. In 2012, every single Team GB athlete wore the same uniform, regardless of their sport. The team came together as one and went on to achieve phenomenal success. Those 28 gold medals were won because the whole team stopped being one that was broken into silos with short term goals, and became one connected organisation that brought together a variety of equally important skills and talents. “We recognized the importance of everyone,” Greg states. Next, Greg recalled a period during his training when he and his team mate decided to move the newest addition to their team into the same room as them whenever they traveled. They wanted to make him feel valued and part of the team. “Everyone is of equal value. We put his bed in the room to have a different kind of conversation and to find out more about each other”. Through something as simple as having a conversation, Greg and his team were starting to become more than little silos working alone.

Is there a need for some unlearning? Many organisations are very proud of what they have achieved in the past. The pace of change, however, is growing evermore and, as leaders, we need to be open to the idea that the things we did in the past may hold us back in the future - or as Greg puts it - there may be a need to do a little ‘unlearning’. When he was 28 and competing in his third Olympic Games, a new German coach was assigned to Greg’s team. Having competed in several games already, Greg felt confident in his knowledge and experience about the way the team should work. When his view differed from that of the new coach, Greg was prepared to quietly go against and undermine him. As a team, they hence never really connected properly or had the honest conversations about what really drove them. “I was undermining the culture I was part of.” So when it came down to it on race day, Team GB were overcome when a French coach for the boat next to them screamed the names of the rowers’ children. The coach’s injection of internal motivation pushed his team to overtake Great Britain and win the race. “Shouting the names of their children pushed them to win the medal, ours (coach) simply said ‘pull harder’.” Greg reminds us of the importance of aligning personal motivators (of the athlete/worker) with those of the whole team (workforce). Even something as simple as turning down a sunglasses deal made Greg’s role in the team stronger. Without the thought of an advertising contract weighing into his thoughts, when competing he could really be in the race and focused on what was really important for himself and for his team.

Levels of Communication Framework Greg encouraged participants to work their way through the framework’s levels, illustrating the impacts that open and meaningful conversations can bring, stating that “When these values are lived and embodied our silos can become unified”. How could civil society contribute towards this unification?

“It feels good when we move up these levels, it’s much more engaging and makes a real difference. Every organisation I’ve worked with has some kind of values, but it’s about what you do with them. Whether you live and breath them, ensure that people care about them and that these things aren’t just talked about.”

for itself: it connects silos, As the business world understands and applies this rates the different silos’ enhances cross-disciplinary relationships and integ complementary competencies. tal actors to do the same? Could the next step be to bring together all socie nisation, district and county to Should we integrate stakeholders within every orga le around the globe to do so! work in unity as one? Global Goal #17 invites peop

The Changing Nature of Work Reflecting on some lessons learned and challenges faced, CEO at Dunhumby Simon Hay explores the topic of workplace culture and its role in supporting strategy.

Hoverboards are a metaphor for our time! Up until the spring of 2015 most people didn’t know what a hoverboard looked like, much less what one of them could do. Then viral videos emerged of superstars Mike Tyson, Wiz Khalifa and Justin Bieber mounting them and springboarded the smart scooters into the mainstream. Hoverboards become the ‘must have’ accessory of 2015 overnight, at such extreme heights that popular demand called for a particular city in China to produce half a million hoverboards in just one month! They were at the pinnacle of popularity... until suddenly things went wrong. These ‘must have’ items dipped out of favour when reports of the scooters catching fire began to headline every news feed in sight. They were withdrawn from Amazon and other household retailers, as the products were no longer trusted or safe. Simon believes that the rise and decline of hoverboards mirrors how things seamlessly move in and out of our lives in the 21st century. The swift lifespan of such a promising product illustrates the global domino effect that takes place in every industry. Change can come so quickly, competition even more unexpectedly. How do we cope? How do we build ourselves up for competitive advantages? How do businesses survive?

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein

Simon’s message also ties into Global Goals No. 3, 4,11 & 12

Creating a business that lasts

Truth vs Reality

Three critical elements:

Speaking frankly, Simon delivered his final message of the morning: “Insanity is in every organisation and that’s what you have to change”. According to Simon, organisations seem to reach a point where the truth detaches from reality, and if you’re not courageous enough to talk about it then things will start to go wrong. Unfortunately, Simon added, truth is often the hardest thing for people to talk about and deal with. “When opinions get presented as facts that’s when you get into the dangerous territory!”

• How do you relentlessly deliver, with

efficiency, your busy today? • How do you avoid the traps of history? • How do you enable non-linear innovation? *These must become an ongoing loop as this is what will move us forward*

“It’s easy to think a better version of what you do today is innovation, it’s not.” There is a pattern to becoming dynamic, positive and constructive: it is all Interestingly, Simon went on to speak about the about developing the right culture, of which the CEO precedence of culture over strategy. As heads needs to become the sponsor and ambassador. nodded and the audience murmured in agreement, Simon expressed his view that ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Speaking to all corporate leaders, Simon declared that establishing clear values is the ponsible thing that will determine an outcome; as culture Who are the CEOs in the UK res s, disitie determines how successful your strategy is and how for our culture within commun inesses it materializes on a daily basis. “Culture comes alive tricts and counties? How do bus and politics in your actions,” he said.

Culture vs Strategy


“Strategy is important, but culture is the number one responsibly that I have as CEO.”

address the common culture tod

a betHow can we make this happen for able ter wellbeing in education, sustain y? nom cities and the circular eco

Identify your High Potentials Richard Bandell, CEO of GRG talks about improving productivity through High Potentials.

“How can you get them to have an affinity with your aims if you don’t have one with theirs?”

Unlocking our intrinsic motivators What gets you out of bed on a Monday morning? Have a think... Is it your boss? Your Colleagues? Or is it something else? There are very personal reasons as to why we all go to work, says Richard. Sure, we could use the money, but it’s more than just that alone. And if, as leaders, we do not recognize and encourage people to meet their full potential, we are doing it wrong. Most business leaders have all seen - and shivered at - the stats about employee engagement in the UK. For those of us who haven’t, think about how many people are genuinely engaged in the overall vision of your organisation. Richard imaginatively pointed out that if you compared that to the players on a cricket team, it’s like saying that 3 players are determined to win the game, 4 players aren’t bothered either way and 3 of the team are actively playing for the opposition. It is therefore the responsibility of all leaders to actively recognize, understand and promote the personal aspirations of all individuals. Once they are stimulated to fulfill their highest potential, they will become more synchronized with the organisation’s overall vision.

Lose the hierarchy How can a business smoothly transition from a hierarchical business model to an adhocracy? Richard revealed all as he talked us through his findings. “The first thing we realised was that culture had become very stagnant, it was a hierarchical and clam like organisation.” Richard determined that when there is a hierarchy people are afraid to step outside of the lines, and that their behaviour is quickly corrected on the occasion that they do. In one example he shared, the reaction of leaders to employees who tried something different was even described as a ’drive-by shooting’! These models are counterproductive as far as employee engagement is concerned. So what do you replace a model like this with? How does an adhocracy add value? When people don’t authentically, genuinely believe that leaders value their aspirations, this causes a huge problem, says Richard. Not just in business, but across all areas within society. In concern with a workforce, how can you get them to have an affinity with your aims if you don’t have one with theirs?

It is our task to find them and, in return, High potentials exist in all organisations. rence and transparency. they will solve complex problems, drive cohe address the Global Goals, they will concieve If HPs from all societal stakeholders can ement. simple solutions for us all to develop and impl

As follows, the organisation’s business model was completely disrupted and a very bold new vision and goal were determined: A vision to inspire people to meet their full potential and a goal to hit a huge financial target that was sky high. Both the vision and goal were established to encourage employees to shoot for the stars, even when it seemed beyond the organisation’s, and indeed their own, capabilities.

fuller potentials that were previously being under utilized. Open to all, the new programme was quietly advertised in order to prevent scaring anybody off. Once people had put themselves forward, they were interviewed and a selection of candidates were then invited to attended an assessment day. This included tests, tasks and psychological profiling to explore their personal drivers in more depth.

The new adhocracy model spawned new attitudes, approaches and programmes to really bring the best out of their employees. These included defining behaviours, not values, and introducing a recognition system to boost peer-to-peer awareness, support and value. “Instead of defining a strategy we actually asked people to constantly define the strategy and their own productivity targets... We gave people permission to make mistakes and applauded the effort and bravery that went into doing something different.”

Astonishingly, those 20 individuals are now driving some of the most important change within the company. Richard described the HPs as ‘informal leaders in the business’. The HPs are so pleased for the development opportunity that they are really pushing to meet the company’s new vision and previously ‘unattainable’ goal.

Discovering High Potentials GRG also developed a High Potentials Programme designed to discover self-selecting workers who had

Each of the disruptions that Richard spoke about helped to transform employee engagement and productivity, as well as making the workplace a happier, fun and more interesting place to be! It comes to the high potentials in any business, who have access to altruism, empathy and a holistic understanding, to create cross-disciplinary emergence. Have you identified yours?

Nurturing a balanced culture within the workplace Creating spaces for open conversation

Agile Working

Director of Digital Services for Barclaycard, Cheryl Kennedy dismisses the idea of treating everyone as equals. And she’s right. Cheryl believes that ‘we are all different and should treat people as individuals’. We all have different likes, talents, abilities and roles to play in any team or organisation, and Cheryl encouraged leaders everywhere to get to know their workforce as individuals.

Whilst companies may think that they are cooperating internally, but in practice there isn’t much cross-silo communication about their experiences.

As a leader in business, Cheryl is very passionate about gender equality in the workplace and inspiring more women at work. Getting the gender balance right with recruitment is a tricky task in any organisation, but it shouldn’t be one that goes ignored or unresolved. There is so much potential to be found in ‘head-down’ female workers, says Cheryl. It is the responsibility of the business leaders to unlock that potential when the individuals are unaware of it themselves. If the leader promotes opportunities for growth to these workers, in turn they will become an inspiration to others. Thus encouraging more employees to step out of their comfort-zone and meet a fuller potential. In order to achieve this, leaders must prioritize the creation of spaces for honest conversation across the organisation. There are types of conversation, about gender and workplace diversity in particular, that are typically taboo topics. All employees should feel safe enough to talk openly about any issues, especially when they play such a significant role in the workplace.

Cheryl put forward the development of agile working as one response to this challenge; as it enables all areas of the company to be represented in a project, as appose to waterfall models or working separately. “There isn’t necessarily going to be a silver bullet to fix everything”, Cheryl admits, “but if you can develop a culture of trust and communication people will become naturally more open to trying lots out and experimenting with new ideas”. It’s about linking in a nurturing everybody who makes up the workforce..

It might not be enough to say ‘we have the right balance of male and female workers’, it might be more about the differences in the way we think, make decisions, behave and act. We all have an opportunity to bring about change on some of these topics, as seen in the actions of Global Goals No.s 5,8,9.

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Engaging Future Talent Attendee, Zak, shares his thoughts on the Quora Summit from the perspective of a young manager just starting out in business: “The seminar was a great experience for me as I’m still very young. It was amazing to see all different people’s opinions on business and life in general! it is an experience I will not forget and I know I will be able to use information the speakers gave to me to help me through life. From an Olympic athlete to Directors of huge companies, each person’s opinions are different. I would like to thank everybody for this experience. Zak, 19

Re-engineering to recognise individual motivators Head of Transformation, DWF llp, Richard Copley took us through his fascinating work-life journey from smashing bottles in a factory, to a career in law. Along the way, he explored the meaning behind our motivators as employees, and the role they play in enabling fundamental organisational transformation.

Types of workers and what they mean Many people get great satisfaction from their work and take great pride in it; others view it as a burden, and simply work to survive. Many management theorists and social psychologists have explored the topic of employee motivation. As a result, two fundamental cultures have emerged, Theory X and Theory Y: Theory X refers to employees who are naturally unmotivated, who dislike work and need to be directed. Theory Y relates to those who and are motivated to achieving goals, who seek responsibility and can solve problems imaginatively. Richard referred to both models to illustrate the importance of harnessing employee motivators as an accelerator of transformation.

Disruption is happening now Richard explained that there is a disruption taking place in the law industry, right now, based on motivations. Organisations across the sector are reevaluating their models and strategies in order to determine what’s working, whether the way things are being done is right and where things needs to be changed and improved.

“Often, the way we do work is not the way it should be done. In many cases the wrong person is doing the work... The law industry is changing and reshaping itself”. Whilst many organisations are aware that there might be better ways of doing things, leaders often experience a great deal of reluctancy when it comes to actually changing something. Why is this? The most obvious answer is ‘fear’. However, if through proven practices we can demonstrate the positive impacts of these changes, perhaps this mindset could shift. For instance, leaders in the law industry are now finding that many tasks can be automated, allowing more focus to go into supporting the workforce. Leaders can now take into account the different aspirations and personal goals, to create stronger spaces for collaboration. Additionally, Richard reinforced his belief that there is ‘pride in drudgery’ which ultimately leads to the ‘self-realisation of the workforce’. All work has some drudgery in it. It is down to the individual to develop the resilience to find the greatness in what they are working on and to stay open minded. To just stay where you are is not harnessing all the potential within you. Richard’s experience with the industry reshaping itself is a microcosm for what’s going on in society on the whole. We need to re-engineer the whole system so that people are in the right roles for their capabilities.

“We need to do something if we want to make a world for our children, if we continue doing what we are doing it’ll get worse.”

l that the To unleash intrinsic motivation it is essentia tions, cities, values and purposes of individuals, organisa society are aligned. that would Where are the people, spaces and cultures ion? Do they optimize the unleashing of intrinsic motivat with those t star we if even exist yet? We believe that rs will follow. othe who want to dosomething different, the

Quora trumps lectures and impresses ambitious students!

“Meeting with the company representatives and hearing the inspirational talks from the panel at the Quora conference made me feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity. I feel with my studies and future aspirations this meeting has given me an indispensable experience and something that I hope to strive towards as my life continues. Being able to talk to the company representatives that were there and listen/learn from what they had experience, learnt, path they had walked to reach where they are today, is defiantly something I feel stands me in a better positon in my future career.” - Alex Pollard, 22

Alex and his colleague Zak were amongst a group of students/young adults to attend Quora’s Smartworking Summit with Burning2Learn. To find out more about how you could be sitting in the room at Quora’s next event as part of our Media Team, visit or email the team at

Welcoming the Unexpected Have you ever considered matching jazz with how emergence happens in business? There are no rules, but you know when it’s time to listen, time to talk, time to stay quiet... Educated lawyer and musician Josefin Holmberg is a perfect personification of her views on embracing the unexpected. Borrowing a little knowledge from jazz music, Josefin laid out three core components for operating effectively in business: Foundation, Personalisation and Connection. For the foundation, it’s essential to have a band leader who knows the audience, who fundamentally respect the other musicians and their crafts, and who brings everything back on track. To have personality, the band leader must allow for different people to solo at different times. You need to know when that time is so that you can be there to push that solo forward with positive encouragement. As for the connection, you’re not going

to play on your own - it just doesn’t happen. You need to really listen to and respect others’ contributions, otherwise you’ll end up playing in isolation. Josefin concluded that once the three core components are aligned, we can grow our businesses by tackling more challenges together. “We cannot just function as a collection of lots of different things, we are one business that needs to grow organically.” This model is something which Josefin has implemented as Director of Business Transformation at Thomson Reuters. Josefin revealed that there needs to be a ‘massive investment’ from leaders into what really makes their employees tick. “We started by actually getting out there and talking to people face-to-face. We got into what drives them as people (foundation) and asked them ‘who is the band leader? We spent even longer on the personalisation.”

Adjusting to modern times In 2008 the entire world was changed unhesitatingly. The financial crash catalysed a tipping point in society that ricocheted irreversibly across every industry at every level. As a result of the tumultuous world our prospects were thrown into, our mindsets shifted.

This theme about how you build life and work together will come through evermore moving forward. The most influential element for our cities, organisations and councils to adapt to the changes ahead effectively is going to be in their ability to become holistically human-centred. This cannot be an ‘add-on’, it has to be a core guiding principle.

Director of CRE, BNP Paribas, Johnny Dunford spoke of how in the eight years that followed, expectations have advanced and leapfrog technology has propelled perhaps the most instantaneous mindset shift of modern times. “We want everything now. Delayed gratification is almost gone and it’s all about top quality at the lowest price!” Johnny affirmed. Mindsets and attitudes have a huge effect on productivity and the impact of an organisation on the outside world. He characterized this by conveying several urban myths that govern the way many of us work and manage our employees.

Josefin and her team worked with their employees on being present, on mindfulness and on recognising their impact on others. “We asked them about the shadow they cast and what it means for other people.” Through positive reinforcement, Josefin was able to change leadership competencies and began to encourage the whole organisation to embrace the unexpected. People began to ask more thought-provoking questions and began to think differently about their roles. One 22 year old inquired why she couldn’t use Snapchat instead of sending emails. She asked, “Why do I have to work in a way that I would never live outside of work?” Preparing for the shift: There is a huge generation shifts in the workplace and we have to understand the changing needs in order to avoid any discord. “We’re not going to have workplaces in the same way”, Josefin concluded, “fundamentally we need to know what our foundation is and who the leader is. We need to allow for personality and to be able to connect better both inside and outside of businesses.” the talents and feelings of each personality, and To bring emergence into business, we must respect n goes beyond rules and processes. It is about bond with the natural leaders. The systemic connectio , intellectual and spiritual level. This enables us to being intrinsically connected at a human, emotional estra and the audience, whilst contributing with contribute to the common greater good of the orch our own unique skills and talents.

One urban myth enforces that ‘everyone wants to work from home’. Is this strictly true for everyone? “How do you connect with others?” Johnny mused, “What if you’re on a conference call and the dog won’t stop barking?” Working from home seems to reduce cost so people do it and leaders encourage it - but that doesn’t mean that it is going to work for and suit everybody.

is for their work to be an extension of their home life and to find connections and building relationships.

Looking ahead

Moving forward, facilities will change rapidly as our needs and wants in the workplace continue to evolve. Already we see it in the emergence of The Internet of Things (IoT). IoT allows us to do things remotely; Another urban myth depicts that Charles Darwin’s to deliver - without even thinking about it - the Origin of the Species states it’s about ‘survival of the appropriate environment to be healthier, fitter and fittest’. “It isn’t,” Johnny argued, “It’s about the ability more productive. to adopt change”. He used 88 year old retail company ‘BHS’ to reinforce his view, as he believes that their As we adapt we must embody a mantra that places cease in trading could be partly due to their inability the workforce/individual using the space at the centre to adapt to the change fast enough. of what property groups/Facilities Managers do. “We haven’t been very good at measuring productivity in the past... We need to concentrate on how to be So what is the correct mindset? effective whilst putting the customer at the heart”. Let’s start by looking at what people want. People want to be part of something real, something that In order to achieve this, a fundamental mindset shift engages them in a group and gives them a sense of to become more open-minded, collaborative and fun belonging. “Loyalty is really important,” he adds, “as is required. “Work is what you do and not a place you people like being together.” What people really want go. It is actually a social activity.”

. .. y a s o t d a h s t n a ip ic t What par

NGO collaboration with corporates Attending Quora opened up a whole new world to me. For the last year, I have been fully immersed in the NGO sector, working internationally for a global organization focused on peacebuilding, reconciliation, ethical leadership, human security, and good governance. After being wrapped up in a world where vulnerability, trustbuilding, conflict resolution and understanding diversity is highlighted and practiced, I found myself abruptly frozen by the shock of adjusting to a room full of CEOs, chief operating officers, heads of multinational, multimillion-dollar companies and young start-up business entrepreneurs exchanging credentials, contact cards, and the latest corporate strategies. I had suddenly entered a room full of business buzzwords and luxury lingo where ‘productivity’ and ‘future talent’ dominated the conversation, leaving me dumbfounded in a daze.

I realized the uniqueness of my attendance because I was coming from the perspective of a different sector, and that there is value in engaging in the conversation via a different lens. Instead of having an imposter mentality, I began visualizing the learning’s I could take away, the value added to my sector, and myself as well as, envisioning what I could contribute from my unique background. Eventually I was able to answer the question of ‘why are you here today?’ This comes back to my passion, my desire to see the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) within the business world and corporate sector. The SDG’s are a universal set of 17 goals and an extensive number of targets used by the UN to frame countries strategies and policies over the next fifteen years. Billions of people have no idea what the UN SDG’s are, they don’t know the purpose behind them, nor do they realize their human responsibility to bring awareness and actively partake in moving towards addressing them. Partnership between the NGO and corporate sectors could be massive in this approach, working together collaboratively and innovatively to bring forth new approaches to tackling the SDG’s and remaining accountable to one another in this vision. I think my ‘why’ in attending the Quora conference had to do with breaking out of my comfort zone, bringing the ‘language’ gap between the NGO and corporate sectors, as well as, seeing how young people fit into a world of CEOs, chief operating officers, and businesspeople.

The keynote speaker opened the day by asking, ‘why are you here today?’ I could not answer that questions as I had no idea why I was there – this land was foreign to me, and I felt like an imposter, for several reasons. First, I was one of the youngest participants, second, I was one of the few women in attendance, and third, I was not coming from the same sector and therefore approaching the day from a context, without any business-related experience. However, after my tenth page of continuous note-taking, and my third cup of complimentary coffee, I was awakened to the fact that if I were to find value in my attendance of the conference, I needed to shift my mindset and allow myself to go deeper and engage in the corporate-centric dialogue. Ashley Muller, 26


Hottest topics to hit the boardroom e right direction? Is your organisation thinking in th ng solutions for Have you ever thought about findi these common problems?

• Creating productive workplaces • Corporate Sustainability beyond compliance • Technology innovation surgery • Improving quality of life for tomorrow’s talent • The future of Facilities Management • Engaging and retaining future talent

Each of these topics were discussed as round-table breakout sessions at the Smartworking Summit.

Engaging and Retaining Future Talent Attracting 32 enthusiastic contributors, this session called for the dismissal of out-dated recruitment methods and urged the creation of more attractive and engaging workspaces for new talent. Session leader, Lisa Sarjeant, shared the results of a recent study of graduates where almost half (49%) said they considered themselves under-employed or working in a job that doesn’t require a degree level qualification. This led the round table to debate how organisations position their recruitment and what employers could do to attract and retain all generations and genders across the workplace. Some of the ideas explored included: • Connecting with colleges and universities and offering work experience or apprenticeships – a great way to get a recruitment pool and spot the talent before the competition does. • Changing out-dated recruitment processes to attract talent in a language and with a process that appeals to new hires (e.g. digitally)

• Research suggests that only a small percentage of graduates want to work for a large corporate. So, those organisations will need to adapt to attract and retain talent. This may include replacing outdated appraisal systems, re-thinking the line manager role and by ensuring opportunities for innovation, for example. • Offer wide ranging opportunities for development – it’s expected if you want to keep your talent! • Create a fun environment; most people are motivated by working for a sociable company over a higher salary. The group also talked about the aging population and methods for attracting and retain older workers and knowledge or freelance workers. The group strongly agreed that organisations need a variety of all types of worker. The needs of businesses are changing more rapidly than ever before; the workforce needs to be flexible to resource up and down, just as the work is more flexible e.g. bringing in skills for short bursts as needed for projects and similar.

Improving quality of life for tomorrow’s talent What is quality of life? Just as with the changing nature of work, the dimensions of ‘quality of life’ are evolving at a rapid pace. Current leading edge practice for quality of life considers six dimensions;

• Health and nutrition represents: nutritious and healthy meals, advise on nutrition and lifestyle, access to fitness and athletic programmes whether in a company, a hospital and a university,

• Physical environment concerns everything that contributes to an individual’s comfort and security: optimal temperature in a corporate environment; quality room furniture in a hospital and effective energy and well-monitored environment in universities.

• Recognition includes factors that help an individual to feel truly valued, such as non-financial employee rewards or incentive programmes for companies. • Personal growth refers to everything that helps individuals to learn and progress, for instance: offering first professional experience to students in universities.

• Social interactions refer to factors that help to strengthen bonds among individuals. In a company this could be meal sharing experiences. In a hospital, However, employees are now looking to their work actions could include comfortable visiting areas. In a environments to contribute more to their quality of university, this could mean online student communities. life. Especially amongst knowledge workers, some of the emerging expectations are; Meaningful environments, • Ease and efficiency involves factors that impact an Measures of ‘happiness’, Inspiring, creative and inindividual’s ability to carry out activities smoothly: novative work settings and Far greater choice and flexibility of working hours in a corporate environ- variety of workplace configurations. Organisations ment; reducing waiting time in a hospital; transpor- will need to be increasingly nimble and responsive to tation services in a university setting. adapt to this rapidly evolving work ecosystem.

Creating Productive Workplaces What is productivity and what is it comprised of? In the first session of this round table breakout, the group explored the meaning of productivity to each person around the table. These were their findings: “Light, Noise, Well Being, Collaboration, Personal respect, Happiness, Work settings, Management, Disruption, Clear Communication and Trust.” The delegates then went on to debate how to address “Creating a productive workplace”. The need to measure at an individual level quickly surfaced as a core theme and need. The discussion then continued and reinforced that in order to create a productive workplace there needs to be a clear metric with interpretable parameters to guide employees. A clear need to educate employees - especially at manager and executive level - on these metrics was identified as well. If there is a clear understanding of purpose and how to be productive,

this will enable actions to be acted upon more productively. Additional contributory factors for a productive workplace include: • Creating meaningful environments. • Focus on de-stressing existing workplace configurations. • Including measures of ‘happiness’ in all workplace planning • Providing creative workplace environments • Inspiring genuine innovation • Encouraging collaboration in every form and at every opportunity • Create a sense of quality • Offering the ‘customer’ choice • Encourage ‘genuine’ leadership

Corporate Sustainability beyond compliance Whilst most employers today do express some form of interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as a sector on the whole the business world could - and should - arguably do more. Organisations need to stop viewing CSR as a ‘bolt-on’, and start embedding it into the core business model. In this session, delegates focused on two specialist areas within this topic: Sustainability in the Workplace and Education and Awareness. Below you will find an overview of the key comments and takeaways from each discussion. Sustainability in the Workplace: Sustainability was defined as an opportunity to design company values into the workplace during the roundtable debate. “The office is the modern coalmine,” said one executive. “We spend so much time indoors that the office environment is essential for health, well-being and productivity.” Therefore, we need to put more emphasis on identifying the ingredients of success within our organisations. The ingredients of success, as defined by the group, are: Integrating company values into the design, Thinking strategically and creatively and Support/ sign-off from the CEO.

Furthermore, the group then discussed how these successes can be achieved through the use of the ‘7-stages of grief’ sessions; to confront and communicate the workplace change to people. The group also suggested seeking ‘change champions’ from inside the business rather than external consultants as when you leave they have to carry on the best use of the workspace. Education and Awareness: As the conversation moved onto how organisations can educate new talent and raise awareness about CSR, the following takeaways emerged: • Bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work • UN Sustainable Development Day -A 24-hour global day for children to celebrate their chosen Sustainable Development Goal • Initiatives of Change - Charity working with UN on projects of change around the world, coming together for conversation and peace-building

What is the future of FM? The initial debate for this session considered what services organisations would be looking for when selecting FM providers, how to measure the value of FM to an organisation and what FM means to different stakeholders. The round table also discussed other issues such as leveraging technology and data analytics for FM stakeholders, balancing long term vision with short term requirements and why someone would consider a career in the FM industry today. The group took a deeper dive into these topics and explored methods to address the issues raised: • Opportunity for FM practitioners to engage and shape the ‘big data’ agenda providing a high-level roadmap for information that aligns business needs to growth in analytic sophistication with the underlying technology and processes. • Create checklists and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation to engage and inform stakeholders

about what FM does and outline benefits; create Best Practice Centres. • Engage FM stakeholders to map out where they can add value to an organisation’s customer journey; listen to both employees and clients for insights. • The need to discuss value creation partnerships with FM providers; to share strategic objectives on both sides; possible risk/reward contractual arrangements; avoid race to the bottom around cost. • Raise awareness with key stakeholders, particularly those in HR to the benefits of a career in FM, the qualifications that can be obtained and the successes that have been achieved; utilise industry bodies like RICS and BIFM to help support and promote the message • Use the cross-functional insights that FM have to shape the impact of business transformation

Technology Innovation Surgery Our growing appetite to share almost every aspect of our lives online has undeniably revolutionised the way we connect and maintain relationships with friends and family. However, this increasing inclination to share, or arguably overshare, has started to creep into the workplace and is creating a very real problem for businesses. More and more employees are now sharing sensitive information online or via email without understanding the potential damage to the company if this information gets into the wrong hands. Security breaches and data leaks continue to be problematic for companies, yet many companies still neglect to address security gaps in how information is shared externally. Organisations can easily lose control over the information they tried so hard to protect as soon, as that sensitive content is emailed to a third-party or shared using a consumer file-sharing service. In addition, organisations are increasingly challenged by changing working habits and workplace demands. IT consumerisation, social expectations, coupled with the demands of knowledge workers requiring access to specific information across multiple devices is amplifying complexity.

Safeguarding your business from oversharing employees: This round table explored how can business leaders can know if their organisation is at risk of data leakage by an employee who unwittingly divulges information and what can be done about it? Consider a simple five-question checklist to help to determine how much control you have over your own business’ sensitive data: 1. Do your employees use email as the primary method of sending information back and forth both internally and externally? 2. Do your employees utilise file sharing services such as Dropbox or Box? 3. Do employees have more than one device, often blurring the lines between personal and work devices? 4. Does your business solely rely on firewalls to secure your sensitive data? 5. Do you know what information is being emailed and shared by your employees? Staff need tools that fit their work styles, tools that provide both secure & fast content sharing with anyone with a vested interest in the content.

Fundamental Elements What can society learn from this conference? Each executive speaker put forward credible alternative workpractices that can impact any organisation. This systemic overview accumulates the core elements of each contribution, and further states how they can be applied universally.

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We would like to extend our warmest thanks to John ,Sally, Quora and partners for bringing together the means for unlocking solutions for all.

This report has been co-created by Alan Dean, Maria Peters and Philip Koenig. For more information on other collaborative projects visit Burning2Learn and Praneo.

a r o u Q m o r f s y a w Takea od. ing the common greater go ev hi ac in ay pl to le ro a r We all have re values and mindsets in ou co e es th e liv to us e ag ur co As more leaders en munity or school do to help m co , on ati nis ga or ur yo ll wi day-to-day actions, what ppen? make the transformation ha

Working in unity as one to: - Connect Silos -Enhances cross-disciplinary relationships -Integrate each silos’ competencies. y organisation, district The challenge: To integrate stakeholders within ever and county to work in unity as one? Global Goal #17

Developing an enhanced understanding of people as individuals in order to: - Make better, more informed decisions - Unlock underutilised potential and talents - Understand more about the way people behave and act The challenge: To create spaces in the workplace for open, honest and taboo-less conversation.

Identify the high potentials in every organisation to: - Become independent leaders - Solve complex problems - Drive coherence and transparency - Stimulate cross-departmental emergence eholders The challenge: If HPs from all societal stak , they will can turn their attention to Global concerns lop and concieve simple solutions for us all to deve implement.

Global Goals No.s 5,8,9.

‘I have recently become involved with burning2learn and its efforts to translate messages from the corporate sector to education sector. Within the education sector, we would like to participate in raising awareness of the UN’s Global Goals, providing an oppor tunity for young people ands students to engage with global issues, connect with like minded people, be inspired to see change, and equip them to act.’ - Ashley Muller

To bring emergence into business we must: - Find a band leader who respect the talents and feelings of each soloist - Allow the individual personalities to shine - Bond with and follow the natural leader

able Business is a vital par tner in achieving the Sustain through Development Goals. Companies can contribute impact, set their core activities everywhere to assess their about ambitious goals and communicate transparently eneral) the results. (Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-G

The resposibility of CEOs: e - Living and breading the cultur today - Relentlessly deliver your busy - Avoid the traps of history - Enable non-linear innovation (Global Goals 3,4,11 & 12)

The challenge: iticians to To enable the businesses and pol ture. cul d tre lead and instil a human-cen ities, Propell the impacts into commun sroom sustainable cities and every clas around the world.


In order to adapt to the changes ahead we must: - Think holistically - Become human-centred at the core - Let these two elements come alive in our actions The challenge: This cannot just be another ‘add-on’, it has to be a core guiding principle for all actorsd in society.

The challenge: This systemic connection goes beyond rules and processes; it is about being intrinsically connected at a human, emotional, intellectual and spiritual level. This enables us to contribute to the common greater good, whilst contributing with our own unique skills and talents also.

Unleash intrinsic motivations of individua organisations and cities to align: - Values - Purposes - Drivers

The challenge: Finding the people, spaces and cultures that would optimize the unleashing of intrinsic motivation?

Do they even exist yet? Beginning with t those who want to do something differen may encourage others to follow.

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Become a Global Citizen of the World What do the Global Goals mean to you and your organisation? SDG’s • Pick three goals; one that means the • In what ways can the corporate most to you, one for your family and world impact on the Global Goals? one for the planet. • How could getting a workforce • If you could help support a goal for behind the goals make a difference? somebody on the other side of the world, which would you choose • Which goals should schools be to develop? teaching 10 year olds? Founder of Global Poverty Project • In your opinion, what’s the first step to achieving any of these goals?



Thank you Quora and all Contributors!

“You can’t solve a problem at the level it started.”

Profile for The Acorn Hub

Creating Workplaces For Tomorrow's Talent  

Our aim at this Quora Smartworking Summit was to learn from the key messages and expectations of industry leaders so that they can be tran...

Creating Workplaces For Tomorrow's Talent  

Our aim at this Quora Smartworking Summit was to learn from the key messages and expectations of industry leaders so that they can be tran...


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