aiming for a moving target
Whether it is the rush toward the end of the financial year or the political upheaval that surrounds us, it certainly feels like time to take stock. Across many sectors, our clients report that whilst their vision still remains strong the shifting sands mean that their mission needs to change, or at least they need a rethink about how to achieve goals. For some that’s about adapting to new funding constraints, for others its considering partnership work – of strengthening the work by joining with others. What they have in common is the need to work smarter – to find cost efficiencies but also to work more effectively.
Many organisations, particularly in the public sector have sought to reduce budgets and initial salami slicing has given way to wholesale butchering of cost centres. The pain is palpable – with remaining employees, as well as customers reeling in the wake of services that simply no longer function. And whilst it might sound prematurely optimistic, the phrase ‘adversity is the mother of invention’ is beginning to emerge in offices and meeting places. Increasingly, organisations are recognising that to work (at all) and ideally more effectively, new approaches are going to be needed. A good number are considering how behavioural insights can improve practice leading to more consumer-centric working. Over recent months we have delivered training on some of the simple tools that can make workplaces more engaging to their audiences with the added benefit of enabling staff teams to take greater control of situations that can often feel very out of reach.
But the first step to developing new ways of working is needing to take stock; a vital pause that permits an honest appraisal of the situation and active interrogation of evidence. For many in this post Brexit, alt-new world the precise long term outcome may no longer be clear. Whilst the unsettling situation cannot be underestimated it underlines the need to shift working practices from linear processes to more agile approaches, where questioning why we work in certain ways, what the aim is and critically: are we insight led becomes the norm. As a horrible boss once said, ‘I’d rather be a pirate than join the navy’ – of course, that wasn’t a slur on the armed forces but merely a recognition that sometimes we need to change the rules – to survey the scene, take in the evidence and change course. The joy of working with the diverse clients we have at Social Engine is that we get to help organisations trying to improve the lives and wellbeing of thousands of people. So whilst the future is anything but clear the new working practices are informed by consumer need and responsive to the maelstrom in which we exist.