How Do We Design Organisations To Be More Human?

Phoebe Tickell
Mar 19 · 5 min read

I’ve arrived in New Zealand and I’m now really excited to be one week away from my upcoming talk and keynote at the WINTalk Project Connect Event Series in Auckland, NZ.

The WINTalk Project Connect Series

The WINTalk Project Connect Event Series is a collaboration between AUT (Auckland University of Technology), Wynyard Innovation Neighbourhood and the US Embassy of New Zealand, bringing together the respective successes of AUT’s Project Connect event programme and Wynyard Innovation Neighbourhood’s WINTalk events.

I’m super honoured to be invited from the UK to give this talk. From the Project Connect website, it says:

“The partnership represents over five years of combined experience, goodwill, market presence, and thought leadership; as well as the ability to attract top, international, subject matter experts to New Zealand for keynote, masterclass and exclusive executive briefings.

Equal parts inspiration and enlightenment, WINTalk Project Connect events offer a rare chance to meet the global change agents that are spearheading the strategic, creative and commercial implementation of digital technologies and business innovation.

At each event, attendees will gain a better understanding of today’s opportunities and tomorrow’s possibilities, as well as crucial insights into new business ideas, models and strategies. They will meet future business partners, collaborators and co-conspirators and be exposed to ideas that will re-invent their approach to… everything.

The topic of my keynote

In my talk, I aim to bring together an outlook on how work could be different, commenting on the trends that we are observing right now and the influences of emerging technologies on the workforce, along with a forecast of how organisations can be preparing for this future by designing themselves to “be more human”.

Instead of focussing on the “future of work” I want to bring the conversation to the present of work and the tools and practices we have at our fingertips right now to create organisations that are not just functional, but amazing — for people, society, and planet. New technologies are catalysing conversations and experiments in new ways of organising, alternative forms of governance, decentralised and bossless organisations and even bringing the existence of organisations into question too.

For the last five years, I have been working at the edge of innovation in learning, human development and new organisational forms and now bring these together to paint a picture of the organisations of tomorrow. Join in if you’re curious about how work and workplaces could be different. Join in if you think organisations could be amazing. Join in if you want to learn about how you could start practicing new ways of working tomorrow — and gain insights to the challenges you may be facing.

Here is the description of my talk as listed on the Project Connect website:

Organisations are generally the place we manifest our potential and action in the world. With roughly 80,000 hours spent in work and a critically challenged planet with 7.7 billion people, we have to re-think the way we think about work.

A new generation is rising up, looking for work that has meaning, purpose, flexibility and agency. An existing workforce is living and working amidst uncertainty and increasing levels of change. The future is de-centralised — and yet we need to stick together more than ever before.

In our technological and networked future, instead of fearing our fate, let’s ask ourselves: What are the things that make it worth being a human for the next 100 years? How can we design organisations that enable humans to thrive, and continue to attract the best talent to have a real and positive impact on the world?

We’re hearing about smart contracts, collective intelligence, self-driving cars and robotic warehouses. As we automate more of what we do, and gain access to tools that unlock new ways of organising, where does this leave the humans?

Here’s the link to book your place — apparently we have sold over two thirds of the spaces, so don’t leave it too late!

Masterclass: Organisations of the Future — Labs for Life-Long Learning

Following the keynote, I will also be offering a public masterclass, with colleagues from the Enspiral Network, on how to create environments in your organisation or business that foster a culture of lifelong learning. We have described it as follows:

How do you design an organisation that learns all the time?

Rapid changes in technology, roles and ways of working require new skills, new adaptability, and re-envisioning what a learning culture looks like to ensure organisations and their talent are future-fit. If it looks like people aren’t learning fast enough to keep up with the new skills and capabilities needed, is it possible to design an organisation where people learn all the time?

Join this masterclass to learn how to implement systems that foster lifelong learning in your organisation, starting at a personal and practical level. This is a practical lab which will give you new perspectives on how people work, learn and grow. We will explore patterns from horizontal leadership, how to foster a culture of experimentation and real practices that can be implemented tomorrow. You will walk away with a first iteration of a real-life learning experience.

The masterclass will be offered by Phoebe Tickell, Sandra Chemin and Sandra Otto, experienced facilitators from Enspiral, a pioneer organisation awarded for their achievements in the Future of Work.

Tickets can be found by following this link.

In the morning of the 26th I’ll also have the chance to speak with some of the top business leaders of the Wynyard Innovation Neighbourhood in a closed-door executive briefing. It’s going to be a chance to go a bit deeper on some of the things I’ll cover in my talk, and focus on real-life organisational challenges in a participatory format to address them.

I’m very happy to be back in Aotearoa New Zealand and I’m honoured to be invited as part of this wonderful opportunity. Thank you to the team at AUT and Project Connect for the invitation and making this happen!

Follow the link to find out more and access the pages for booking your place:

Phoebe Tickell

Written by

Genetic engineer turned decentralized network evangelist. Member at #Enspiral. Fellow at #NewspeakHouse. Cofounder #FutureFarmLab and #TechForHumanity.

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