I wanted to share some thoughts on flexible working and the relationship I believe that it has in helping to create an organisation, which is able to grow and flourish in this brave new world.

As a management consultant, I specialise in business transformation. This whole area has become a hot topic for organisations with the introduction of the digital age – the Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway. Now what this means is that our old structures and ways of doing things are becoming less and less relevant and a real shift is starting to happen around what the organisation of the future needs to look like. In a nutshell, organisations need to have much more purposeful goals which are capable of evolving over time, they need a culture capable of empowering people and supporting a network of self-managed teams with devolved areas of responsibility and they need to employ ‘all of a person’ not just their professional persona. This last point is critical as their culture is massively different from the command and control hierarchy that we still see so much off. It is based on innovation, creativity, and people really being happy at work. If a person can be who they really are, they are far more creative, productive and engaged with the organisation – which is really transforming into a community based on a common set of goals.

As a side note, if you look at the key success factors for the countries who score highest on the happiness scale you will see that common goals, a sense of community and being a ‘whole’ person are all reoccurring themes so it would seem imminently sensible to try and recreate this in an organisation.

As a side note, if you look at the key success factors for the countries who score highest on the happiness scale you will see that common goals, a sense of community and being a ‘whole’ person are all reoccurring themes so it would seem imminently sensible to try and recreate this in an organisation.

As an individual looking for a ‘Third Way’ (a more authentic approach to life which includes having a career and a life outside of that), this new approach is highly attractive. It has the potential to recognise the full range of skills and creativity that someone like me/you/us can offer and also has the natural infrastructure to actively support flexible and agile working practices. These types of organisations encourage time away from the desk, as that is not generally where great ideas are borne, being honest about your priorities and constraints, working with you to manage them and not penalise you for having them. They measure you on outcomes, not time spent in an office and actively encourage flexible working around your other commitments to reduce your stress and play to your strengths.

If we can marry the organisation of the future with empowered and ‘whole’ people, this is where true transformation can be achieved – for the individual, the organisation, and society as a whole.

If we can marry the organisation of the future with empowered and 'whole' people, this is where true transformation can be achieved - for the individual, the organisation, and society as a whole. Click To Tweet

I believe that the ‘fusion’ of happy individuals, not made to constantly compromise themselves and a purposeful, agile organisation, stripped of archaic command and control practices is the way to make flexible working a reality.

For any of you interested in learning more about the next evolution of management practices, creating a sustainable organisation and the working model of the future, google ‘teal’ management practices, take a look at Corporate Rebels, a company operating in this space, look at ‘CrunchBase’, a database of innovative companies and I also write a lot about it as part of my ‘day job’ on LinkedIn. Last by not least, do take a look at a superb article on the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Joe Kaeser, President, and CE of Siemens AG.

I have attached a hand-drawn diagram to provide a visual representation of what I believe this concept may look like.

I hope you have found this helpful, have a great day x

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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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