Agile, digital, diversity – all hot topics for organisations today. But what really needs to happen to enable us to embrace these concepts?

A fundamental change in our culture is required. Our current working practices are reminiscent of the industrial revolution – needing people to be in a fixed place for a fixed amount of time and to follow fixed instructions. With globalisation and technology this no longer needs to be the case. In many industries, our office can be anywhere and we can often work at times that suit our lifestyle rather than a 9-5 model.

It’s perfectly possible to judge performance by outcomes rather than time and motion and often more effective. But all of this requires organisations to be brave and trust and empower their employees – they need to move outside of their comfort zone.

One way to help organisations do this, is to provide a logical structure to help distil these somewhat abstract concepts into more tangible and structured steps. Agile working does not mean a lack of structure or process just more flexible and relevant ones.

The starting point for this change should be clear and tangible objectives which encapsulate the purpose and outcomes for the organisation. These objectives will be delivered by the business model, but the efficiency and effectiveness of that delivery will rely on the motivation of its people – and that motivation is driven by culture. I believe that this is the part of the jigsaw, that is often missing in today’s attempts to implement agile working.

Culture is difficult to define, implement and measure, but not impossible. The starting point is to articulate and write down what you would like the culture to be. The organisation then needs to articulate how each aspect of it will contribute and support the overall objectives, any gaps can then be analysed and filled accordingly.

The objectives and culture can then need to be translated into the more tangible skills, knowledge and behaviours required. But this is where it gets interesting, our minds need to go beyond our normal boundaries to investigate how these skills and behaviours can be found, developed and nurtured. By embracing diversity and looking outside of the 9-5 working model, a whole new world of talent is opened up. The model then becomes self-fulfilling as a diverse and happy workforce will feed and develop the culture, which will in turn feed and develop the organisation.

So, the moto to this story is, be brave, look beyond the norm and try something a bit different!

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Nik Davis
NIK DAVIS is a business transformation expert and has spent 20 years in the corporate world. Her comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve complex problems. She is also a keen observer of life, a writer and eccentric. Nik has recently returned to the world of work after taking a career break to spend time with her family. Upon her return, she found that her perspective had changed, as had the world she was returning to. Nik decided to carve out a new place in that world and mould some of it to fit her too. Nik sees life from quirky angles, shaped by experiences and the vast amount of knowledge we now have access to. She likes to write about her experiences and observations. To ‘tell it how it is’ and to find a more authentic way to live, whether in our professional or personal lives. Nik often talks about finding ‘The Third Way’. It’s a philosophy about life, having a personal life as well as a career, making money and being socially generous, being logical and sensitive, living by the rules of a society but not being afraid to challenge them, inspiring others to feel good but not for your own ego, giving rather than taking. Nik wants to make a difference to this world by getting people to see things differently, to try new ways of working but most of all, to re-discover our true selves and therefore reach our true potential. Nik also has two other persona’s: nikdavis which is where Nik writes about her deeply personal experiences of life. Nik runs a facebook group alongside this website to create a safe place for people to discuss the topics that are raised in her blog. Nik’s second persona is Lilly Isabella and this is where she shares her passion of fashion and design.
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Larry Tyler

Strong Ink my friend

Nik Davis
Nik Davis

Thank you Larry

Larry Tyler

You are very welcome