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About this book

Shows how to unlock the massive efficiency savings and productivity gains by reframing the approach to flexible working by concentrating on workforce agility.

We know that organizations don’t need the same number of workers 9-5, five days a week 52 weeks a year. We know that not all of the best talent will work when and where we want. We know that command and control Taylorism stifles innovation and creativity.

So why do we keep thinking of flexible working as a cost to the organization?

A simple mindset shift is all that is required to grasp the opportunity that smart organizations are already exploiting. Stop thinking about “flexible working” and start thinking about “workforce agility”. By creating win-win working practices you can attract the best talent by offering the flexibility they crave and secure the agile, just-in-time workforce that can get the job done.

The Agile Future Forum, a business-to-business initiative started by 22 founder members – mostly CEOS of big employers including BT, Lloyds Banking Group, Cisco, Tesco, KPMG, HM Treasury and Ford – have conducted case studies and a collated best practice from world class organisations which show that a more agile approach to flexible working not only delivers better performance but can also save between 3 and 13% of personnel costs.

The Agility Mindset blends the insights of scores of CEOs, along with the frontline experience of practising managers to create this very practical guide. Based on rigorous research, but packed with practical diagnostics and frameworks, the book shows you how to create a fit for purpose workplace in a world where only the agile will flourish.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

1. From Flexibility to Agility

Abstract
Most business leaders would probably agree that the environment in which their businesses operate now is quite different in all sorts of ways from the business environment of the mid-nineteenth century, when the modern company with its hierarchy, reporting lines, discipline, and fixed patterns of work first emerged.
Fiona Cannon

2. Understanding the Economic Benefits of an Agile Workforce

Abstract
It is easy to see how traditional flexible working arrangements are of benefit to employees; they give them more scope than conventional patterns of work to design their lives to suit themselves.
Fiona Cannon

3. Agility in Context

Abstract
UK organisations aren’t alone in doubting the relevance of the old model of work—9 to 5, five days a week, at your place of work until you retire at 65. Efforts to increase the agility of organisations in general and their workforces in particular, are being made all over the world. They are adaptations to advances in communications technology and other environmental and competitive pressures that are prominent features of the global business environment.
Fiona Cannon

4. Assessing Agile Value

Abstract
In Chap. 2 the business case was made for “agile working”, which was broadly defined as having four dimensions—when people work, where they work, who works, and the roles they play (see Diagram 2.1). The “sweet spot” where the areas of employee and business benefit from agile working overlap, was also identified.
Fiona Cannon

5. Talent

Abstract
The proposal, in Chap. 2, that organisations should see an agile workforce as contributing directly to the bottom line, rather than merely indirectly through better talent attraction and retention, should not be taken to imply a belief that the latter benefits are insignificant.
Fiona Cannon

6. Understanding and Overcoming Obstacles

Abstract
We have seen in previous chapters that agility in general, and the agile workforce in particular, are becoming increasingly important competitive dimensions for entire economies, and their constituent organisations. We have also seen that in the UK and elsewhere, there’s considerable scope for improving the agility of workforces and organisations.
Fiona Cannon

7. Agile Futures

Abstract
The conceptual step, advocated in this book, from flexible working as an employee benefit to agile workforces as attributes of agile organisations generally, marks a turning point in the evolution of the organisation. Those who take the step are embarking on what is likely to prove a long journey that will change organisations, and their relationships with individuals, profoundly.
Fiona Cannon

Backmatter

Additional information

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