A brave new world what do you want to stand for? Editor's letter, October-December edition

Written by
Mary Appleton

01 Dec 2014

01 Dec 2014 • by Mary Appleton

"Employers must spearhead a revolution to overhaul the education system, helping the new generation of workers build skills for the emerging 'wisdom economy"

There are many seemingly unimportant jobs that allow you to contribute to something worthwhile and greater than yourself. Finding such ‘meaning’ in your work is a fascination for author and philosopher Alain de Botton in our big interview. In his view, it’s the role of employers to reflect back to workers the wider purpose of their role – provide a narrative to help people identify a sense of progression and ultimately discover meaning.
He also calls on employers to spearhead a revolution for an overhaul of the education system to help the new generation of workers build the skills for the emerging ‘wisdom economy’. “UK companies need to join forces to tell the government and education: ‘You are letting us down. We have got a bust workforce,’” he declares. 

Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD, believes HR is operating in a changing context, where the emergence of ‘megatrends’ are defining a new workplace, workforce and work. The function needs to rebuild confidence, he says, so it’s more value adding, less process-driven, and more integrated to business. Read the interview here.


For Lucy Adams, the BBC’s former HR director, future success will be determined by your ability to respond to challenges with strategies that have an inherent disruption at their core, while Dr Alan Watkins believes achieving emotional mastery is the biggest game changer in your ability as a leader. And academics from leading business schools across the globe offer their insights into how you can lead with a global mentality.

Alex Lowe, industry head at Google, urges you to foster a culture where collaboration and innovation are encouraged, while Marc de Leyritz, partner at Egon Zehnder, makes the case for hiring based on potential rather than previous success.

So just how are organisations responding to ensure they are fit for purpose to entice and retain the next generation of workers amid a landscape of continual change and ambiguity? We gather perspectives from HR directors at Microsoft, ActionAid, Starcom MediaVest and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. 

Lisa Robbins, HR director at Starbucks, reveals how the global coffee chain is helping young people become employable, gain confidence and be open minded about careers in hospitality and retail. See full interview here

Heads of resourcing from Citi, G4S and Arcelor Mittal explain how they are reaching out to all corners of the globe to unearth top talent and creating meaningful EVP. 

Finally, to mark Changeboard’s 10th anniversary, the two founders – Porteur Keene and Jim Carrick-Birtwell – discuss the journey over the past 10 years, how they ensure the company’s deep-rooted values are lived throughout the business and their vision for a future where ‘change’ is not just order of the day, but order of the decade. See the full interview here.