After working in both the private and public sector in various roles, culminating in an 11-year stint within the civil service before I left nearly a year ago to freelance, I felt that the culture of many organisations was such, that their people were failing to thrive.
While commuting from Ipswich to Westminster, I became fascinated by the wellbeing of strangers, then dismayed. The poor condition of peoples’ health emanated out of them. I didn’t need a medical degree to know that they were potentially shortening their lifespan by at least a decade. The bulging waistlines. The irate red-faced man in the queue for coffee at the station kiosk, berating the person serving for being too slow, reducing her to tears. The stressed staff in the offices I worked, too frightened to take any holiday in case it worked against them when staff cuts were expected. The parents, feeling guilty for leaving the office at 5 pm. The list is endless.
In the workplace, I witnessed a cancerous culture, that had originally manifested in different areas but had metastasized to other parts of the organisation because inertia was the order of the day where the decisions got made. The people who made the successes happen received little to no recognition, and often had the individuality berated out of them, either daily, or during an ineffective performance review process that ensures that there is no progression without criticism.
The Why and The When
I have experienced restructuring, even redundancy, and I believe that now is the time to effect real, healthy, change. A healthy workforce will create a healthy bottom-line. It will reduce sickness, increase productivity, boost staff retention, and attract new people. It will also reduce human suffering - We spend at least 7.5 hours a day at work without travelling. Work is a huge part of the human condition, and it is increasing the severity of human conditions every single day. A healthy workplace reduces NHS costs. I know this is a bold statement and I will stop short of pledging to achieve world peace, but it is a compelling vision.
Please help me achieve it.
Bringing agile methodologies into the workplace, specifically HR and management processes.
Overhauling corporate/organisational wellbeing programmes
Reimagining flexible working and what an office in 2018 should really look like
Utilising current research to take an up-to-date and fresh approach to diversity. Flawed thinking is in the driving seat in a surprisingly high number of organisations, in all sectors.
Conducting and publishing research
Delivering training to support both the individual and the organisation
Providing advocacy services to the individual
Developing a platform, not just for the organisation, but also for the individual, to access support and practical guidance
To look at genuine talent management, at all levels, in a new way, including succession management, to ensure people at all levels do have equality of opportunity and that competition truly is fair and open
How will this be funded?
This pitching competition is the first step. It is not an expensive programme, but time cannot be freely given if solvency is a goal. I am hoping to charge organisations some consulting fees, for some training and events. Sales of the published books and membership subscriptions, will also go towards funding the ongoing costs. This needs to be a service that is available to everyone, even if they have limited means. IT costs can be mitigated by using freelancers, but many of them I can do myself.
Receiving support via Voom 2018, will really enable me to drive things forward at a quicker pace but to also devise and map out a clear timeline, and cost analysis, of the road ahead. I am thrifty, but I am also realistic.
Thank you for taking the time to view my pitch. Let’s stay in touch.