December 12, 2018
At a conference at the WWF’s Living Planet Centre in Woking staged by the office furniture firm Kinnarps, I had an off the cuff chat with James Woudhuysen who had just delivered one of his typically entertaining, erudite and challenging talks on the future of work alongside equally renowned speakers such as Philip Tidd and Namrata Krishna from architecture firm Gensler. James is an academic, writer, commentator and (dread word) futurologist. If there’s one thing you can say about James it is that he is never boring. He never sticks to the staid narratives and so when he is invited to talk about the future of work and especially the potential impact of automation and AI, you can expect to hear something you haven’t heard before or don’t typically hear.
July 4, 2018
In this podcast I talk to Mark Eltringham about British music, which leads to a discussion about bands from the early days of new wave in Liverpool, including Echo & The Bunnymen. The evolution of music serves as a metaphor which leads to a conversation about the history of the workplace where Mark shares his perspective on some of the founding thought leaders in our modern sector. I ask him about today’s places of work and Mark references a recent report from Chris Hood of AWA, Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics and Haworth while also sharing some research provided by Leesman Index. We talk about the blurring of the lines and need for collaboration across departments inside organizations, the relationship between facilities management and workplace as a whole, while also discussing the controversy in the UK about the future of the FM sector.
May 31, 2018
Podcast: a manifesto for change in workplace and facilities management and the question of what is in a name
The latest Workplace Matters podcast features two brand new episodes. Usual host Ian Ellison of 3edges hands over the reins to Simon Iatrou to explore the intentions of the British Institute of Facilities Management to change its name to embrace workplace, and seek chartered status. Simon is joined by members of the BIFM leadership team: Chairman Steve Roots, CEO Linda Hausmanis, and Director of Insight Chris Moriarty. Ian also joins the discussion in his professional capacity as 3edges Director and workplace specialist, to talk about the research work 3edges have been doing over the past year about the future of FM and its relationship to workplace. BIFM’s manifesto for change announcement triggered a lot of industry interest, and inevitable discussion. It seemed clear from the comments that there were topics and issues worth digging deeper into, to give Workplace Matters listeners and BIFM members an opportunity for more context, so 3edges invited the BIFM leadership team to take open questions directly, and come round the table to discuss them.
December 4, 2017
In episode 14 of Workplace Matters, I am joined by Antony Slumbers, history of art graduate-cum-proptech entrepreneur, futurist and digital advocate. In a wide-ranging discussion which includes the inevitable advance of computer processing capability and artificial intelligence, Antony explains why the only option for future business success is to embrace our digital future. Making links to how this will impact upon our workplaces, Antony and I explore many of the points he made in this Work&Place article from earlier this year leading to a bold assertion: the office is dead, so it’s time to think differently.
November 24, 2017
There is currently a great deal of talk about the way people experience the workplace. It is a subject linked to the changing nature of work but also a growing awareness that the old demarcations of time and place are falling, and with them the demarcations between the workplace professions. This subject may be topical but it has been a long term preoccupation for today’s guest on the podcast Debra Ward. Earlier this year Debra joined JLL in the new role of Strategy & Growth Director and one of her first aims has been to focus on the firm’s approach to human experience. This is encapsulated in a major global report on the subject but it’s one that Debra has always championed in here previous roles with MITIE, Macro and Condeco. Debra is forthright, informed, bright and passionate. Everything you need in a podcast in fact.
June 26, 2017
This year’s Think FM conference at the Science Museum may prove to be a watershed moment for the global facilities management and workplace sectors, as its focus was on connectivity, data and the Internet of Things. The event’s keynote speaker was Ben Waber, one of the world’s leading thinkers on the ways in which this unprecedentedly connected era relates to people and the workplace. Ben is the president and CEO of people analytics firm Humanyze, an alumnus of MIT and a visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab.
I was fortunate to be able to sit down with him recently to discuss the characteristics of this new age of connectivity and the changing nature of digital ethics and ask him whether the future of HR, IT and FM is at the mercy of people data analytics, amongst other things. This is becoming a common theme for the Workplace Matters podcast as we see a more widespread realisation that the workplace is no longer a merely physical entity and our attention shifts to people and how they interact with each other and the places they work. Subscribe and listen to this and all episodes on Acast or iTunes, on any mobile device.
Ian Ellison is one of the UK’s foremost commentators on workplace and facilities management issues. He is a Partner of consultancy 3edges (@_3edges) and the host and creator of the Workplace Matters podcast (@wpmpodcast). Prior to that he was a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam the University and had a ten-year career in operational FM in both in-house and outsourced roles. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future episodes – contact him @ianellison or at www.3edges.co.uk.
June 5, 2017
At his recent Harvard commencement ceremony, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue of universal basic income. In his speech he articulated the underlying premise of basic income as a way of redefining our relationship with work and society. “Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg said. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”
May 26, 2017
Workplace Matters Podcast on productivity, professionalism and activity based working with Chris Moriarty
This week sees the return of the Workplace Matters podcast from 3edges, and season 2 kicks off with a cracker. I am in conversation with the inimitable raconteur Chris Moriarty, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Leesman, and formerly of the British Institute of Facilities Management. Expect soap box moments galore as Chris and Ian discuss Leesman, the Workplace Conversation as a precursor to The Stoddart Review, and the role of professional bodies. Chris also offers myth-busting perspectives on activity-based working, millennials, and of course the infamous workplace P word – productivity – based on Leesman dataset insights. It’s essential listening. Expect season 2 to broaden the perspective beyond the physical aspects of workplaces as we continue to join the dots. Conversations coming soon include Bee Heller from The Pioneers, Perry Timms from PTHR, Dr Kerstin Sailer from Brainybirdz, Jacqui Martin from Design_North and Dr Rob Harris from Ramidus. Subscribe and listen to this and all episodes on Acast or iTunes, on any mobile device.
March 14, 2017
The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has published the final report from its Inclusive Growth Commission. The report sets out a series of recommendations which it claims will address the lack of an inclusive approach to the economy. In the context of Brexit, this is one of the underlying drivers of dissatisfaction with the way the UK is run by central and local government, the report claims, and hence a factor in the Brexit vote. Its forward looking proposals include a greater commitment to lifelong learning, a greater focus on place to ensure the UK’s cities and regions get a greater stake in the national economy. As well as the main report, its conclusions and proposals are discussed in a podcast.
December 22, 2016
Insight publisher Mark Eltringham recently took part in a conversation with Ian Ellison of 3edges. The podcast was recorded before the recent publication of The Workplace Advantage from the Stoddart Review but looks at its potential opportunities and challenges. The range of topics also include the growing role of workplace professionals in shaping workplace thinking, the differences between the FM and workplace disciplines, the trouble at the BIFM, the self image of various professions and why it’s unwise to believe that the most interesting examples of workplace design are indicative of how most people work. You can listen to the podcast online on Acast or iTunes. Other editions of the podcast are available here. Image: Sky Central designed by Hassell. Photographer Mark Cocksedge.
September 29, 2016
I recently took part in a podcast hosted by business transformation consultant Rita Trehan. My fellow guest for the CEO Outlook podcast was Hari Kalymnios, author, trainer and Leadership Speaker at The Thought Gym. The episode featured a lively discussion focused primarily on two topical issues. First asking whether bonuses are really needed to motivate staff and what business might do to take a more sophisticated, informed and nuanced approach to motivation. Then secondly, and against my better judgement, in the light of Jeremy Corbyn’s recent spat with Richard Branson, whether CEOs and business leaders should steer well clear of politics and politicians and how they might make judgements about what is appropriate in terms of the topics with which they should engage and how they might disentangle themselves from the wider issues that often result. You can listen to the podcast here.
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