After many months of deliberating and planning, The Workplace Conversation is off and running. Our dream is to engage with as many people as possible to make a difference. It’s not just to talk about workplace issues, but to generate real actions as to how to help us all to do our best work in the 21st-century. Maybe we can inspire real outcomes.
People at the recent Workplace Futures 2015 conference expressed concerns that this topic has been on the table for years – it’s the same old messages, debated ad nauseam by the same group of people, with little change emerging. Hopefully, The Workplace Conversation will actually shift the dial because we are interested in finding out what needs to change if we are to move forwards. The way we live and the way we work is changing. For some it’s been dramatic, but for most it is still pretty much the same as it has been for years. Yet there is no denying that something is happening out there. That is what the Workplace Conversation is all about: we want to take a joined up approach to the future of work, the workforce and the workplace.
It is all about how we make sense of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world using the long established format of chatting, but enabled by 21st-century technology which makes the conversation global and in real time.
I have always found that it’s good to chat to build rapport, to understand and to have some banter with a fellow human being. For years we have done this in groups – around dinner tables, in bars, in meeting rooms and in small groups. Today’s technology enables us to take this to a much bigger scale and to harness the power of the crowd. We can apply the age old adage it’s good to talk to a very wide spectrum and move The Workplace Conversation outside of the silos it has languished in for decades. Ideally, The Workplace Conversation will reach out far and wide to find new voices, new points of view and new insights. This will help us frame up an action plan which will really make a difference. It will be timely, based on reality and reflect the views of all.
Getting to this point would not have been possible without the valuable support, based on the insightful leadership, of our two founding partners CIPD and BIFM. However, as both organisations will confirm this is not just about professional bodies and their agendas. This is much wider. So if other bodies or organisations wish to participate they will be most welcome. Plus this conversation is about work in all its guises, whether that work is undertaken in an office block or in a factory in London, Chicago, Sydney or Cape Town. We need the views of everyone who has an interest in making a difference.