Author: Chris Locke

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The Age of Disruption continues.

2020 saw the surprising combination of the global pandemic and technology advances which resulted in a “decade in days” adoption of digital. As we come to the end of March 2021 we continue to see a normalisation of the disruption.

In 2020 we saw an unprecedented change across all industries experienced at a global scale and at a speed rarely seen in living memory. For example, in the UK alone four in five (81%) nightclub venues closed by Christmas 2020. The travel industry has seen a 70-90% drop in air and intercity travel compared to the previous year leading to a much larger knock-on effect around the world. According to preliminary estimates, Italy alone could lose £6.4bn ($8.3bn) in tourism revenue due to coronavirus. In the US, the restaurant industry lost nearly $120 billion in sales during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic alone.

On the other hand, there are certain industries that have seen a boom.

  • Ten years in 8 weeks for an increase in eCommerce deliveries. Right now online shopping makes up 16.1% of retail sales worldwide, but that figure is estimated to rise to 22% by 2023, according to eMarketer
  • 20x participants on videoconferencing in 3 months. It is expected that 25-30% of the US workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. In the UK, 60% of the adult population worked from home during the Coronavirus lockdown, with 26% planning to continue permanently or occasionally after lockdown.
  • Disney Plus in November 2019 had more than 50 million subscribers, a target that rival Netflix took seven years to reach. 

So how do you take this new reality of massive disruption and adapt your people strategy that aligns to the new strategic needs of the business? The first step is to recognise the need for greater agility across the organisation. Companies need to be able to pivot, maximise opportunity, be driven by customer needs, enable innovation to come from all areas of the business, and create a new framework that prioritises speed of decisions through data-driven evidence that allows you to double down on viable ideas quicker and kill projects faster. Or simply put, working like a startup.  

This advice is different from the old adage of “act like a startup.” There is no faking it until you make it in today’s new normal. Many companies are going to have to make fundamental shifts in their DNA. Between COVID and technology advances, we’ve officially hit a global acute adapt-or-die moment. Few organisations will be able to weather the current conditions without making significant changes. Making the assumption you are one of them could be signing your death warrant.

The second step is to recognise the evolution of key skills within your organisation to address this DNA change. Complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity became the top 3 skills required for survival in the 2020 Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum and these three skills will continue to gain focus. The challenge for all organisations will be around instilling these core competencies at scale to drive speed for resilience and adopt startup creative thinking as a business as usual approach.

Disruption can mean opportunity

A few months into 2021, do the prophecies made in the new year continue to unfold? Yes, organisations that lead the recovery will be focused on these elements:

  • There are no silver bullets but scale remains important. We were reminded in 2020 that there is no such thing as an easy one size fits all solution. But as we look to return to a new normal as vaccines take hold, there are steps that organisations can take to make themselves more flexible to meet the impact of change. Organisations need to think big. You can’t limit agility approaches or test-and-learn cultures to just small parts of the business. When strategic plans can be impacted on a daily basis complex problem solving and creativity need space to counter the disruption. As process-driven jobs continue to be automated and value commoditised, there is no better investment than an organisation can make, in its often largest and most valuable asset, it’s people, than to strengthen its startup thinking skillset at all levels of the organisation to weather the impact of change and create flexibility into strategic and tactical approaches across the business. This means teaching people how to think, create and operate with the skills, tools and mindset of an entrepreneur.

    In a MIT Sloan Management Review article early in the year authors Tucker J. Marion, an associate professor of technological entrepreneurship at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, Sebastian K. Fixson an associate dean of innovation and the Marla M. Capozzi MBA ’96 Term Chair of Design Thinking, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Greg Brown, senior director of Worldwide CAD Business Development at the global software company PTC shared that “For more than 10 years, we’ve been studying the impact of digital design and product development tools on organizations, their people, and their projects. We’ve found that the competencies companies need most are business-oriented rather than technical. That’s true even for brick-and-mortar companies that are trying to become more digital.
  • Always be building ambassadors. Resilience through upskilling, reskilling and considered outskilling for an empowered workforce at scale. As also reported by the World Economic Forum: “The double disruption caused by automation and the pandemic is likely to displace 85 million jobs by 2025. Among those set to remain in their roles, 50% will need reskilling by 2025.” The impact of the pandemic and increased automation is going to continue to rumble through organisations and industries. 2021 continues to be the year you start or double down on empowering and supporting your talent at any stage of their employment journey with you to become innovators and creators of new value. This isn’t just about doing the right thing, this is about good business. By empowering your organisation and employees at all stages of their life cycle, you create more powerful and loyal teams that can grow with the business, stronger communities and local economic strength as well as drive industry innovation. Don’t let employees just go, let them grow.
  • Speed of innovation is critical. Learn to manage risk and be comfortable with failing fast. Again, we can’t say this enough, don’t just get stuck focusing on the technology transformation. What is ultimately more important is the skills and freedom you give your talent to be able to take advantage of the technology transformations that you are doing not be left behind or your business stuck because of them. There is an opportunity for learning from entrepreneurs in high-tech startups, and that’s their ability to be risk-tolerant. It’s time that intrapreneurs, or innovators in established companies, followed in their footsteps, by learning how to not wait for things to be”right”, being able to pivot fast and be much more agile. Being built for speed of innovation opens the door for powerful outcomes from improving the lifecycle and value of your existing products and services lines as well as launch new ones at pace successfully meeting the evolving needs of your customers.

Discover how ASPIRE can help your talent across your business learn and implement startup first approaches, building new critical skills.

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The Future Of Work

Our CEO, Chris Locke, shares his vision for the future of work and why organisations need to think across the employee relationship and build in the opportunity for reskilling, upskilling and purposeful outskilling to enable organisations to become more flexible and agile to manage disruptions while accelerating growth and helping everyone secure jobs for the future.

As reported by the World Economic Forum: “The double disruption caused by automation and the pandemic is likely to displace 85 million jobs by 2025. Among those set to remain in their roles, 50% will need reskilling by 2025.” The impact of the pandemic and increased automation is going to continue to rumble through organisations and industries.

To adjust to the new norm of disruption and automation, organisations must adopt an approach or core strategy of flexibility and agility to be able to pivot, maximise opportunity and address the speed of change. How companies encourage the adoption of this across their business and within the DNA of their talent will be the difference between those that survive and those who face being left behind.

New skill sets and new types of employee structures will need to be instilled across your business. Organisations will also need to think big. You can’t limit agility approaches or test-and-learn cultures to just small parts of the company. When strategic plans can be impacted daily, complex problem solving, and creativity need space across the business to counter the disruption. 

What skills become important

Complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity became the top three skills required for survival in the 2020 Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum. The challenge for all organisations will be around instilling these core competencies at scale to drive speed for resilience and adopt startup creative thinking as a ‘business-as-usual’ approach. These skill sets are integral to startup creative approaches deployed by most if not all, successful startups. Upskilling and reskilling your teams with these fundamental skills along with startup methodologies and approaches will enable businesses to start gaining the benefit immediately. This enables businesses to gain the flexibility and agility to operate at the pace of a startup with the skills to navigate the current climate of disruption. A culture shift for many organisations but one that will separate the companies that survive from those that won’t be able to weather the disruption.

Upskilling and reskilling for strategic innovation and opportunity growth

Industry insight and company knowledge do not need to be, nor should be lost during the transition caused by digital transformations and the speed of technology adoption. By strategically deploying and instilling startup creative skills across the business, you start to open up the opportunity for game-changing innovation opportunities to occur. When incorporating this with more practical upskilling initiatives to move from labour roles into more tech-heavy future-proof positions, you can start to create a powerhouse of change lead by those who truly understand and have a passion for your business. Plus, from a purely business perspective, it can often be more straightforward and cheaper to develop in-demand skills in-house rather than looking to hire them in. Businesses that recognise that their existing talent already possesses much of what is needed can actually find additional urgency to tap into as with new talent you can wait a year or more for them to get up to speed with the inner workings of how a company operates.

Allowing innovation to come from those closest to the inner workings and most likely problems or the customers’ pains will enable you to find unexpected gems of insight. By making startup creative thinking a core competency within your organisation, you start to build in innovation at the velocity of a startup; naturally being able to pivot fast and be much more agile with those opportunities. Being built for speed of innovation opens the door for powerful outcomes from improving the lifecycle and value of your existing products and services lines by allowing you to find new ways to create value to more successful new services or solutions at pace, successfully meeting the evolving needs of your customers or even addressing internal issues that have slowed the pace of opportunity.

Bridging the skills gap with more than just technical skills

As quoted by the corporate philosopher, Chairman of Expothon Worldwide; a ThinkTank on Image Supremacy of Innovative Excellence & Entrepreneurial Leadership, Naseem Javed: “Unlimited, well-designed innovative ideas and global age skills can quadruple enterprise performance.” This combination of skills provides organisations with the core competencies needed to manage through this time of disruption and can turn it into a time of great opportunity.

For large companies, where the sums invested in new product development are in the tens of millions, this means only a fraction of the potential return on investment undertaken is delivered back to shareholders. And for existing successful product lines, value can still be unlocked with the right innovation approaches. Did you know that according to Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched and 95% of them fail? (Harvard Business School)

The key is in combining skills with ideas. Just capturing innovation ideas without the ability to quickly implement on the insight leaves you still stuck.

Organisations that are looking to rapidly empower their teams internally with a combination of startup and technical skills are seeing an immediate impact turning ideas into action and ultimately revenue or competitive advantage. For example, Rambol adopted an internal innovation startup training programme which has resulted in 7 new spin-out ventures from idea to launch in 20 weeks which are now on track to deliver a 29% net new revenue by 2023. By creating new tech-enabled business models, they can serve existing clients needs better and identify new customer segments.

According to a survey done by McKinsey, nearly seven in ten respondents reporting reskilling say the business impact from the programs has been greater than or equal to the investment in them. What’s more, 48% say the programmes are already enhancing bottom-line growth.

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Amazon has invested considerable amounts of money into their outskilling programmes and in return has gained a competitive advantage.

Adding strategic outskilling to the mix

Unfortunately, as we see now, businesses can’t always afford to keep all their employees, or there is a natural progression of departure within the organisation that has a short employee lifecycle. In either case, there is a substantial opportunity to be made to extend startup creative training at all stages of the employee lifecycle. And even more critically, provide an opportunity to those who have been, by no fault of their own, made redundant. In the UK alone according to the ONS redundancies hit a record 370,000. If the study from Direct Line is correct, then over one-third of those 370,000 people will be considering starting a business. There is a moral argument to be made that we must do our best by departing talent to help them make this transition as successfully as possible. But it isn’t just about doing the right thing for your company; there is a broader picture that benefits all. Startups and new business in the wake of large redundancies may be our economy’s way out of the recession. You don’t just help an employee; it helps build local economies and in return, future customers. Additionally, within our connected universe of feedback and reviews, creating a powerhouse of people who are your active ambassadors can also be a game-changer.

Providing startup training, as part of traditional outplacement, can have a significant impact on employee satisfaction and even external consumer brand recognition. The Nokia Bridge programme discovered that they could reduce or counter the traditional 20%+ drop in productivity that surrounds layoff and redundancies. All in all, done right, you can expect a 15% ROI into improving outplacement processes.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For organisations that look to incorporate the full suite of reskilling, upskilling and strategic outskilling, there are substantial potential benefits.

MacDonalds

McDonald’s and Uber have both extended the outskilling practices to become part of the employee cycle even without any redundancy or layoff programmes. McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity programme knows that employees will ultimately leave McDonald’s, but this programme typically increases employees’ tenure at the firm, reducing turnover and hiring costs. Uber’s programme has had mixed reviews, but at its heart, the idea is to enable departing drivers who might in the future be displaced anyway to leave into positive positions to continue as riders and ambassadors. As Uber states: “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and backing business owners, creators and doers regardless of their background is essential to that goal.”

Amazon has invested considerable amounts of money into their outskilling programmes and in return has gained a competitive advantage. By empowering drivers, who they know will depart as there is a well-documented cycle of employment, to start their delivery firms, they have naturally extended their reach as well as ensuring that the external firms they are hiring can meet the expectations of the Amazon brand as they’ve been upskilling in the Amazon work ethics.

Many companies globally have been hit by the pandemic and forced to make unexpected changes. Their outplacement programmes could still become much more strategic through the use of startup outskilling. The mantra being “don’t let staff go, let them grow.” Departure driven by employee desire or a business requirement for redundancy can see organisations losing a tremendous amount of brain trust and insight. We also have seen a considerable reduction in innovation that can be the difference between success and failure for many organisations. By creating startup innovation programmes, you can divert talent from your organisation into startups but keep the opportunity within your sphere of influence.

We know that innovation from within, especially around industry problems can be incredibly difficult or confining to solve from within but by giving departing talent innovation pathways through startup creation, you can see a significant return for a relatively low investment. Nokia ended up investing in 20% of the startups generated during their Bridge redundancy programme enabling new business opportunities.

(Discover more about Nokia Bridge here by watching our recorded webinar with one of the team who lead the programme)

Looking ahead

COVID-19 has increased our speed of change and added to a challenging future for many workforces as more elements become automated, and companies need to re-allocate employees to new business opportunities. What will separate the long-term winners from those that might fall behind? Organisations of all sizes need to:

  • Rapidly instil startup creative training across your business to drive competitive advantage.

By building in the powerhouse of three skills: complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity, with the tools and mindset to operate at speed along with the focus of a startup creates a powerful engine. It enables your talent to drive value out of your existing products and services as well as start the focused space for innovation to develop new and exciting value for your business.

  • Deploying strategic upskilling, reskilling and purposeful outskilling as the tools by which to empower your workforce with startup creative skills at the right stage of their employee lifecycle.

Upskilling and reskilling existing teams can be a much more successful and supportive approach than looking to bring skills in-house which requires a significant time and energy investment in onboarding them into your process and methods. Allowing innovation and agile thinking to come from all areas of the business enables those closest to the problems and opportunities a voice that turns your whole company into an innovative machine for value creation. Purposeful outskilling is an underutilised strategic operation that can lead to huge gains when linking your talent’s lifecycle to opportunity building where both sides can benefit. Again, the mantra of “don’t let your talent go, let them grow” enables you to think differently about how you empower life-long learning with natural evolutions as well as continuing a positive connection that allows strategic growth for everyone.

  • Maximise your current assets and build for the future.

Using startup thinking to sweat your current assets for maximum value while building new products, solutions and services to meet future requirements. Did you know that 9 out of 10 product launches fail? But changing that success rate by 1 by empowering your talent with new skills and new ways of working will significantly impact your bottom line.

This article originally was available in the CEO Today Magazine March 2021 Edition

Discover our reskilling and upskilling programmes: ASPIRE Foundry

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Opinion: Reskill your workforce to navigate the new normal

The following article on reskilling, upskilling and purposeful outskilling for growth was written by our CEO, Chris Locke and was originally published in Business Chief.

By exploring startup thinking and embracing entrepreneurial programmes, businesses can ride the next wave of growth, argues Chris Locke, CEO, ASPIRE.

Business leaders have found staying positive an increasingly challenging exercise whilst COVID-19 rips through our communities and economy fuelling a huge rise in unemployment and redundancy. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, in the UK, more people were made redundant between July and September 2020 than at any point on record as the pandemic laid waste to large parts of the economy. In January, UK unemployment rose to 5%, the highest level in five years. 

The good news is that, recently, there have been signs that the economy will rebound strongly, especially with the vaccine’s continuing rollout. However, even with recovery looking better than expected, we have to acknowledge the hard facts around some of the roles caught up in the redundancy programmes. Many won’t come back. 

The amount of disruption combined with automation, digital transformations, and even changing customer expectations, will be sending some roles to the out-of-date pile. 

So, what can business leaders do to mitigate the impact?

The easy answer is that business leaders need to not just think short term but start reskilling or upskilling their talent with a skill set that is going to be essential. But what exactly does that mean?

Right now, everyone is talking about reskilling or upskilling, but it can be increasingly complicated to understand what this means in practice and where to focus limited resources. Making sure the right choices are taken in this process will make a difference. It can be easy to focus on technical skills but in reality, as automation and the speed of digitalisation continues, other skills are actually becoming much more important. 

The World Economic Forum has highlighted the critical skills for 2025 and beyond. The top five are as follows:

  1. Analytical thinking and innovation
  2. Active learning and learning strategies
  3. Complex problem-solving
  4. Critical thinking and analysis
  5. Creativity, originality and initiative

Internal entrepreneurship as a pathway for success

The fastest way to evolve a corporate to be ready for the future and build in the agility and speed that will help navigate the disruption is to empower teams in all areas of the business with these identified critical skills and the freedom to implement them. The challenge of reskilling and upskilling becomes how to instil these skills into an organisation at scale. 

The answer for many is internal entrepreneurship as a pathway for success. Entrepreneurism has often been considered a bit of a dangerous tool at many businesses. With the standard approach of control, point and direct, this craft’s unexpected nature can often seem at odds with the corporate way of life. 

But what most organisations have learned or are learning the hard way is that today, due to the speed and impact of the disruption and change, it isn’t just about acting like a startup, it’s about operating like a startup. It’s the only way to gain the flexibility and pace needed to succeed in today’s world. And that means embracing entrepreneurship internally and the critical skill set that it builds. 

When looking at how to implement this strategic imperative across your business fast, the most effective way is to tie it back into real life, learn-by-doing opportunity building moments that don’t just share a concept but instil the mindset of startup thinking. Theory is not enough to embed the skills into your organisation. Attaching entrepreneurial startup thinking upskilling and reskilling programmes with your innovation programmes or new initiatives or product lines to build while you learn will give it the buy-in to take hold. 

Product line or solution owners should be jumping at this approach. When 9 out of 10 products fail, internal entrepreneurial programmes are a unique approach that could reduce failure rates. They create space for these new skills to drive creativity and innovation to change the game. The impact can be limitless.

But it’s not just about upskilling or reskilling. We know it’s often cheaper to use upskilling and reskilling rather than release and employing new staff. However, sometimes, as COVID-19 has shown, it becomes inevitable with our current business structures as they are. But what if you could extend how you manage your talent requirements with a startup outskilling programme to build in more flexibility and reduce the risk of forced redundancies? 

Create a startup outskilling programme

Businesses could circumvent redundancies on mass and help their talent manage their careers by strategically moving people who choose into startup outskilling programmes. This approach quite possibly could make an impact on the unemployment figure and on those hardest hit. 

Living your corporate values and acting responsibly, this approach increases the opportunity for success for everyone involved, from a buoyant economy rebound through programmes focused on solving industry issues, you will benefit from or even world problems. Organisations who approach talent management and skilling across the entire lifecycle with entrepreneurship opportunities would become the future beacons for rock start talents to join. Helping you hire not fire the best.

By exploring startup thinking and entrepreneurial programmes internally, organisations as a critical element of your reskilling, upskilling and even outskilling strategies can redefine the relationship between the business and their teams and improve chances for everyone to create value. 

Finding and launching that next wave of profitable growth at pace while managing talent across their lifecycle will be the difference between those that take this time of disruption head-on and survive and those who are taken down by it.

Discover more about ASPIRE LaunchPad our outskilling solution here

The original article can be found here in Business Chief posted on Feb 20th 2021

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How corporate layoffs could kickstart the next wave of startups

From employee to startup founder

STORY BY Chris Locke EO UK and Europe, Rainmaking & Head of ASPIRE — Chris has worked with Rainmaking since 2018, helping corporates develop capabilities, culture and processes to drive successful and scalable innovation

The UK has always been a nation of frustrated would-be entrepreneurs.

A survey conducted in January, before the COVID-19, found that 64% of the UK workforce wants to set up their own business.

We all know that one of the biggest factors that govern startup success is ‘timing’ — and the truth is, there has never been a better time to take a leap.

So, what should you do if you are currently still in work, but you know that your employer will be making cuts and you are likely to be a casualty?

Well, first thing’s first, be assured you aren’t alone. In our recent report ‘Crises calls for Innovation, not hibernation’ nearly a third (29%) of the 300 C-suite we spoke to said they were implementing cost-cutting measures, including redundancy, due to the pressures of COVID-19.

Don’t just take our word for it — look at the daily headlines of corporates making statements on huge layoffs.

The International Labour Organization has warned nearly half of the global workforce are at risk of job losses.

James Reed, the boss of the UK’s largest recruitment firm, has predicted the unemployment rate in the UK could reach 15%, which equates to 5 million people out of work.

Be proactive

The key is not to sit and wait for the inevitable. No one wants to be exited into a jobless market with no plan.

There is an opportunity, which can help both your company and your ambition. Put simply, your company can start a programme as part of its redundancy package where it offers staff its support to build a startup.

It might sound radical, but it is tried and tested.

Ten years ago, Nokia was faced with making over 40,000 job cuts. It opened centres in Europe, India, and the US to help those faced with redundancy to find a new job, either inside or outside the company.

It also formed ‘Bridge,’ an entrepreneurial stream for employees that had an idea for a startup. Since its inception, Bridge has helped over 1000 startups get their beginning. The scheme is credited for fuelling the rise of the Finnish tech ecosystem, which includes success stories like Supercell and Rovio.

It sounds great, but there’s obviously a concern that founding a startup at the start of a global recession is a one-way street to failure. This is actually a misnomer.

It is no coincidence when you look back across history that some of the largest companies started during times of economic downturns. This doesn’t just apply to relatively young companies such as Uber or Airbnb — companies such as MicrosoftDisney and IBM were all founded during deep recessions.

This is because times of rapid disruption provide ample opportunities for startups to take advantage. COVID-19 is reshaping every industry, which lowers barriers to entry and provides huge opportunities for startups to address new consumer demands.

So, where can you start?

Firstly, find some like-minded colleagues who would also be interested in a scheme like this.

Create a proposal that outlines what a programme could involve: do you just want access to unused IP, assets or data? Or could the company invest and use this scheme as a lever for growth?

Of the 1000 startups created by departing talent at Nokia, 18% of them went on to secure commercial deals with Nokia. You could also look at potential partnerships with companies that will help give you the tools and skills to move quickly from ideation to execution and ask your company to cover these costs as part of this new exit pathway.

Once you have the numbers, details and potential solutions then you can present the solution to your HR division. Remember, in matters of persuasion you always need to flip the benefits so that they can see what’s in it for them.

There is huge brand equity for a company that creates this pathway. It shows that the company is actually living its people first values by truly empowering its people and taking a proactive role in helping the local economies in the communities they serve. Plus, when they return to growth, they can use the scheme to help retain existing talent, attract new workers and prevent the usual drop in productivity seen when redundancies are made. 

There is currently a huge opportunity to create your future, by building it yourself and become a force of disruption that drives economic impact and new job creation.

Originally Published August 20, 2020 — 06:30 UTC

Rethinking Redundancies — Create Brighter Futures

I’ve recently had the privileged to run a webinar with Lars Buch, Partner MENA & Russia at Rainmaking. Prior to joining Rainmaking, Lar’s spent more than 10 years working at Nokia, heading Smartphones R&D at Nokia DK. When the company ramped down, Lars headed the incubation program called the Bridge, funding and supporting almost 300 new ex-employee driven companies. This is his story:

Every day we wake up to the sad news of another company announcing massive reductions to its workforce, the OECD expects 80 million people to lose their jobs by the end of the year.

Downsizing is never fun, and it is always conducted as a quick resort for cost reductions. However, while it may have a short-term positive impact on the company’s cash flow, its long term consequences can be catastrophic.

Studies show that companies that made layoffs are twice as likely to file for bankruptcy, a 1% layoff lead to up to 31% voluntary turnover in the next year, and also that firms with layoffs of 10% saw share price plunge by an average of 38%. On the people side, a study has shown that laid-off employees have an 83% higher chance of developing a new health condition in the year after their termination. Surviving employees show 74% in productivity, a 41% decline in job satisfaction and a 36% decline in organizational commitment

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At Nokia, we had one significant value, which is “Very Human.” We believed that our people are our greatest asset and that we have a responsibility as a company towards our employees and our communities. We informed all the employees a year ahead about the downsizing and asked everyone to start thinking about their future plans. Our mindsets were determined to see this as a bright opportunity to create new futures. We wanted to keep our people motivated until the very last day of their jobs and give them something to look forward to after leaving.

The Bridge program had started from day one at Nokia and was developed into 5 tracks, departing employees can choose from when they were laid off. All the tracks aimed to make sure the departing employees have plans for their next step, the minute they leave Nokia. The program tracks included, a “Create your own path,”

“learn something new,” “find a new job within Nokia,” “find a new job outside Nokia,” and “Start New Business AKA The Bridge Incubator.”

For the Bridge incubator program, we tried to provide the employees with something more than the money, so we started creating an entrepreneurial environment. We transformed one of our spaces into an incubator, inviting Startupbootcamp to move in, providing a more vibrant entrepreneurial atmosphere. We had EIRs, investors, and mentors coming over all the time and hosting workshops. We also hired Ex- VCs to help people develop their business plans. We encouraged different employees to come together and develop a new business together, and they could achieve up to a €100K to build the company. We also offered commercial use of any non-core Nokia patents. I am very proud to say that we had around 1000 new businesses coming out of this program, third of them were really high tech growth startups, and Nokia even ended up having commercial deals with some of them.

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The Bridge program’s positive impact was extended to the local community, it supported the thrive of the Finnish entrepreneurial ecosystem, lots of strong startups came out of this program. The Nokia program alumni are still connected up until this day, still working on developing new ideas and helping each other find new jobs, a lot of ex-employees are still meeting once a year.

On the company side, with only a 4% investment from the total redundancy budget invested in the Bridge incubator program, Nokia managed to achieve a significant return on investment. This also helped keep the employees working hard until their last day; we didn’t see the usual drop in productivity following layoffs; on the contrary, employees at the sites that were targeted for downsizing achieved €3.4 billion in new-product revenues, one-third of new-product sales — the same proportion they had brought in before.

My two cents for companies going through massive redundancies now, leaving employees don’t care much if the severance pay is 25% higher or lower, they care more about getting support to create a path to a positive future and knowing their next step. You should think more about how you can help your leaving people to help themselves.

To listen to the webinar please register here

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Now Is the Time to Change Redundancy Strategy

By reducing its size to protect cash flow, a company can irrevocably harm itself.

Chris Locke

July 23, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in layoffs on a scale that the U.S. has never seen before. In just 17 weeks, nearly 51 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance — that’s more than the number of claims filed during the Great Recession. We recently surveyed more than 100 C-suite leaders at large enterprises – over one-third said they were implementing cost-cutting measures, including redundancy, due to the pressures of COVID-19. 

In the United States, companies can conduct layoffs at will, which has created an environment where redundancy and layoff programs have become more commonplace over the years as part of the business strategy for dealing with downturns.  

Suzanne McGee wrote for The Guardian, “Being lean and mean is clearly the way corporate America wants to present itself to the world.” The latest surveys show that even before the current crisis, nearly three in four CEOs were looking to lay off workers in the next three to five years. But what many CFOs and CEOs involved in these decisions don’t always take into account are the impacts redundancy programs have on their businesses. The numbers speak for themselves.   

A Choice of Two Evils

With an economy in freefall and pressure on the P&L as customer demand rapidly shifts, widespread redundancy can feel like the only choice. The company needs to conserve cash and runway. However, by reducing its size to protect cash flow a company can irrevocably harm itself in the process. Deepak Datta’s research found that in the days following, layoffs had a neutral to negative effect on stock prices. Not surprising. But what happens later is what organizations should consider. Following layoffs, a majority of companies suffered declines in profitability, with the drop in profits continuing for three years. Researchers from Auburn University, Baylor University, and the University of Tennessee found that companies that have layoffs are twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as companies that don’t have them.

When faced with a seemingly impossible dilemma, the answer must be to think and act innovatively. Find a third choice. This is exactly what Nokia did 10 years ago, when it was faced with making more than 40,000 job cuts. It opened centers in the U.S., Europe, and India to help those faced with redundancy to find a new job, either inside or outside the company. 

However, it also formed “Bridge,” an entrepreneurial stream for employees that had an idea for a startup. Since its inception, Bridge has helped more than 1,000 start-ups get their beginning. Out of the companies started, nearly 20% entered into commercial agreements with Nokia as they were solving key challenges facing the business. They actually helped accelerate Nokia’s innovation. 

A Lever for Growth 

Adding this additional outplacement pathway can provide the business with a huge array of benefits, as well as help prevent many of the issues that arise from standard layoff programs. The budget is taken from the redundancy package, and the staff member that is being exited is offered an opportunity to take company-sponsored training on how to build their own startup. 

By giving staff access to the tools to develop their idea into a revenue-driving business, the company is taking an active role in driving the local economy and creating future jobs. Many CFOs also consider running an investment program for the most promising startups, which gives the business the opportunity to benefit from future growth and partnership opportunities. 

Reducing Productivity Drop 

Layoff programs don’t just impact those who are made redundant but can have a significant effect on those who stay. Research from Magnus Sverke and Johnny Hellgren of Stockholm University and Katharina Näswall of University of Canterbury showed that those who survived a layoff experienced a 41% decline in job satisfaction, a 36% decline in organizational commitment, and a 20% decline in job performance. The impact of this is an increase in voluntary turnover. Replacing this talent is time–consuming and expensive, not to mention the increased pressure it puts on being able to make sales targets, maintain levels of customer service, and ensure efficient operational delivery. 

Protecting Brand Equity

One of the biggest problems that arise from a redundancy program is a breakdown in brand equity. Where layoffs are perceived to be unfair, and most of them are, it creates critical challenges for a company. The Glassdoor effect, where departing employees leave negative reviews about the company and its leadership, impacts a company’s ability to attract talent when the market returns. According to a study by staffing provider Randstad USA, 57% of job candidates avoid companies with negative online reviews. The negative headlines about the business also weaken brand loyalty with existing customers, which can impact sales.   

Offering a future-focused scheme is a way for the company to clearly demonstrate how it is living its people values by empowering its talent to help them build their own future. It shows it cares by keeping the fundamentals of trust, which is critical for sustainability at a time like this. 

The Startup Opportunity

Many CFOs will be worried that the current economic climate is not conducive for startup success. They couldn’t be more wrong. It is no coincidence when you look back across history some of the largest companies started during times of economic downturns. This is not just the most recent examples of Uber and Airbnb — companies such as Microsoft, Disney, and IBM were all founded during deep recessions. 

Times of rapid disruption provide ample opportunities for startups to take advantage. The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping every industry, lowering barriers to entry and providing huge opportunities for startups to address new consumer demands. This provides an opportunity for companies to work with their departing talent and see if they are able to solve some of these challenges for the company and the wider industry. It also helps the newly formed company secure an anchor client and drive faster innovation in a capital-efficient way. 

How to Get Started

For CFOs that want to pioneer this alternative pathway, there are a number of key factors to make this a success:

1.Collaboration. The best startups are those founded with teams that have complementary skillsets — but in a corporate environment the chances are people who work in tech development don’t know sales colleagues, operations doesn’t know finance, etc., because they work in different locations or for some other reason. This means you need to create a space for employees to meet, make connections and potentially form teams around common problems they want to solve. This can be done virtually during COVID-19 — the key is just to ensure that people correctly identify their skillset and areas of interest. 

2.Involvement. You need to be clear on the degree of your involvement — are you prepared to offer access to unused intellectual property, assets, or data? Are you just offering the opportunity to develop the skills and mindset for ex-staff to create a startup, or are you willing to invest in ideas that could help solve your challenges? Nokia allocated a fund and its program enabled ex-staff to pitch for seed capital. This requires having a system for clear governance and measurement, but it also means that the corporate can reap the reward for startup successes.

3.Partnership. If you are investing in startups you need to make sure that the program is supported with a partnership that will provide the best experience for your people to maximize success. Having an hour’s discussion with a startup coach from an outplacement firm isn’t really going to move the needle. Those wanting to build new startups need access to the right training, coaching, and mentoring to develop the right skillsets. They also need the right introductions, where appropriate, to early-stage venture capitalists and angel investors. 

4.Communications. This is a great initiative and can be used to attract new talent and build stronger relations with the communities and customers. Therefore, you need to have a comms plan to share the impact of this scheme with key internal and external stakeholders, showing that you live the people–first values when an employee leaves the company as much as when they join. 

5.Objectives. Don’t forget, this is not about unicorn building, but empowering your people to create their future. From the Nokia program, a third of the participants were focused on building high–growth startups but two-thirds used it to launch their freelance career or pivot into a new industry altogether. 

They say the most important factor in success is timing. While that might feel counterintuitive right now, COVID-19 is providing the perfect timing. CFOs have the opportunity to play a leading role in reshaping this future, not only through the people the company retains but also in the people it has to let go.  

 Chris Locke, is the CEO, UK and Europe, of Rainmaking and head of ASPIRE.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED HERE

GQ logo

Business-Idee: Ein Experte verrät, wie Sie Ihre Idee in ein reales Unternehmen verwandeln

Von Chris Locke

13. Juli 2020

Sie träumen davon, Ihre Business-Idee endlich in die Realität umzusetzen? Dann sollten Sie sich laut einem Experten zuerst diese neun Fragen stellen!

Viel Geld verdienen und endlich der eigene Boss sein – davon träumen viele Menschen. Doch die meisten zögern, ihre Business-Idee in die Realität umzusetzen. Verständlicherweise, denn ein eigenes Unternehmen zu gründen und aufzubauen bedeutet wenig Freizeit, sehr viel Arbeit und fast übermenschlichen Einsatz – und ob sich die erbrachten Opfer am Ende auszahlen, ist ungewiss. Wenn Sie es ernst meinen, Ihr eigenes Start-up zu gründen, dann sollten Sie sich zuvor neun Fragen stellen, wie Chris Locke, Partner und Head of Global Solutions der Unternehmensberatung “Rainmaking”, weiß. (Lesen Sie auch: Wie Start-ups Talente an sich binden, Teil I: Cold Hard Cash)

Neun Fragen, die Sie sich stellen müssen

Glühbirne

1. Warum jetzt?

Fragen Sie sich, ob sich tatsächlich eine Marktlücke aufgetan hat – etwa durch neue Technologien, neue staatliche Regulierungen oder durch den Abbau von staatlichen Regulierungen – die andere übersehen haben und die Sie mit Ihrer Idee füllen könnten. (Lesen Sie auch: Diesen 3 Start-ups verhalf Instagram zum Erfolg)

2. Wer ist Ihr Kunde?

Wenn der unternehmerische Erfolg Ihrer Business-Idee von der Nachfrage durch Kunden abhängt, müssen Sie sich genau überlegen, wer als Abnehmer für Ihre Services und Produkte in Frage kommt – und wo Sie diese potenziellen Kunden finden und ansprechen können.

3. Wie schlagen Sie Ihre Wettbewerber?

Sie müssen zeigen können, dass Sie mit Ihrer Idee einen klaren Wettbewerbsvorteil haben – entweder, weil Sie mit Ihrem Start-up ein Pionier sind oder weil Sie etwas besser können als Ihre Rivalen auf dem Markt. (Lesenswert: Alles, was Sie wissen müssen, um einen eigenen Podcast zu starten)

4. Stimmen ihre Business-Idee und Ihre Unternehmensstrategie überein?

Ein überaus wichtiger Punkt: Nur durch die richtige Strategie, mit der Sie Ihre Idee umsetzen und Ihr Unternehmen aufbauen, können all die Investments und Ressourcen, die in Ihr Unternehmen brauchen wird, gerechtfertigt werden.

5. Haben Sie noch die Geisteshaltung eines Angestellten?

Verabschieden Sie sich von Ihrer Angestelltenmentalität – als Unternehmer benötigen Sie das richtige Mindset: Sie müssen selbst vorangehen und sich Ihre eigenen Ziele setzen – und diese Ziele dann auch einhalten. (Lesen Sie auch: Diese 7 New-Work-Trends werden unsere Arbeitswelt für immer verändern)

6. Wie werden Sie Geld verdienen?

Machen Sie sich von Anfang an Gedanken darüber, was ein realistischer Preispunkt für Ihre Produkte oder Serviceleistungen ist – und ob Sie glücklich über den damit erzielten Gewinn sein könnten. (Das verdienen die größten CEOs)

7. Lösen Sie ein Problem?

Fragen Sie sich, ob Sie mit Ihrem Start-up einen tatsächlichen Pain Point der Kunden lösen – und ob dieser so gravierend ist, dass Ihre potenziellen Kunden auch gewillt sind, Geld, Zeit und Ressourcen dafür aufzuwenden, dieses Problem zu lösen. (Auch interessant: 7 Tipps für mehr Produktivität)

8. Ist Ihnen die Business-Idee wirklich wichtig?

Horchen Sie tief in sich hinein: Wenn Sie von Ihrer Business-Idee selbst nicht wirklich begeistert sind, wie sollen Ihre potenziellen Kunden es sein? Oder Ihre künftigen Mitarbeiter?

9. Haben Sie mit potenziellen Kunden gesprochen?

Verlassen Sie ihr Büro, gehen Sie raus und sprechen Sie mit 15 potenziellen Kunden über ihre Idee. Nur so können Sie herausfinden, ob Sie wirklich auf der richtigen Spur sind! (Lesenswert: Karrieremotor Attraktivität – Sind schöne Menschen wirklich erfolgreicher im Job?)

Der Artikel “How To Turn Your Great Idea Into A Corporate Reality” von Chris Locke erschien ursprünglich in der Mai/Juni-Ausgabe der Britischen Wired.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED HERE

Making redundancies? It’s time to think startup not just outplacement.

Corporates need to move beyond traditional redundancy approaches and start thinking people first. With one-third of those made redundant wanting to start their own business, we need to teach them how to fish in the land of startup and be successful.

On May 5th Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky of Airbnb shared with everyone his open letter to his employees. Available here.

What makes this letter so impactful wasn’t just the unfortunate news of redundancies as much as it was the level of openness, honesty and respect with which the message was delivered. As we all know we are living through unprecedented times, and how businesses and leaders will conduct themselves will have a fundamental and lasting impact on not just the lives of departing employees or even the economy, but the futures of their industries and their brands.

More than ever, we need and deserve organisations that live the values of people first. That act and treat others with as much common decency as humanly possible. Not just for positive PR or because it sounds good to shareholders but because it’s time for all of us to operate with genuine authenticity and respect.

In a world where the dollar has been the lead driver time and time again, we now have to move the focus instead to how we empower people, put departing teams first, will be a challenging shift for some management teams and even whole industries. Still, it is one of the silver linings that must come out of this epidemic. Taking the lead and treating everyone as being more important than the bank balance and giving them hope and a new potential future is about doing the right thing.

And doing the right thing is always the right thing.

Chesky is making the right steps as he states: “For the remainder of 2020, a significant portion of Airbnb Recruiting will become an Alumni Placement Team. Recruiters that are staying with Airbnb will provide support to departing employees to help them find their next job.” A fantastic approach and one to be applauded, however the challenge we now face as a global community is that it isn’t only Airbnb that are shrinking their workforce. As the announcements continue, there will be more people than roles available for the recruiters to find a placement.

Does this pose the question about what support looks like? Can Organisations start thinking differently about what support could and should look like for employees leaving?

Interestingly prior to Covid-19, Direct Line for Business ran a study announced in Sep 2019 which concluded that:

  • 4m people have started their own business after redundancy.
  • More than a third of workers who have been made redundant used the experience as an opportunity to start working for themselves.
  • Just 44 per cent% of those who have been made redundant want to go back to being an employee.

Further fascinating details from the study can be found here.

mug with the image I “heart” founders
Photo by Shannon Rowies on Unsplash

The opportunity of redundancy

This insight into what exiting employees may want out of their next steps illuminates a whole new path of redundancy support. What if it isn’t just about finding a similar job for departing employees but finding a completely new life plan, or given the opportunity, for realising a long-held dream of starting something new? Or possibly even giving someone the freedom to fix a problem in their existing industry that just can’t be done within existing legacy systems.

In the past, supporting your redundancies in this degree would be unheard of. But now more than ever we must work collectively to see the opportunities wider than just our front door. By reworking redundancy approaches to up-skill and assist that third who wish to become a freelancer, founder or small business owner, we will be creating the environment by which we might successfully bring our economy back quicker and even better, healthier.

We must start thinking broader, operating with authenticity and leveraging resources in a way that have a lasting impact to help get ourselves out of the impending crisis. The old saying has never been more poignant: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

And as cheesy as it may sound, let’s start working differently and for those that wish to fish in the startup waters, let’s start giving them the tools and pathways to success. Starting a business isn’t something we learn in school, it isn’t an obvious path, and the numbers speak for themselves.

If given the right training and support you can see a success rate of over 70% vs those who go it alone with the success rate of just 10%.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If the organisations that are making those tough decisions to let people go could turn that into a moment of opportunity by not just handing money and hoping they eat but giving them the chance to up-skill, have support to find the right path, this could be a positive shift for our entire economy. More startups and business in the local economy equals a boost in employment, more discretionary income in the community, tax income increases for local governments.

And don’t forget, there will be immense benefits for those who follow this new expanded approach. As we try to find points of safety and security, we are looking for more examples of other leaders like Chesky, and for each one we see, we will commit or recommit our emotional brand connection. Let us never lose sight that people buy emotionally and justify with logic. The power of Chesky’s letter rocked positivity and compassion through more than just his staff but anyone who has bought into the Airbnb brand. That will have lasting value beyond this moment in time and will enable Airbnb to emerge from the devastation of the travel industry intact and possibly even with a brighter future. Let’s hope more follow his lead.

HRZone

The new off-boarding pathway: supporting departing staff in startup success

22nd Jun 2020

Forward-thinking organisations are finding ways to help those made redundant to start up their own businesses – and this is a scheme that can help not just the ex-employee, but also the company they are leaving behind. Women putting on store opening soon sign iStock/Rawpixel

The HR profession has faced a number of Covid-19 challenges – executing a remote working model at scale, ensuring staff morale and culture is maintained while staff work in isolation, and developing plans to mitigate workplace issues as we slowly move towards a ‘new normal’. There has also been the unenviable task of making a large-scale redundancies.

There are several forward-thinking companies that are now rolling out schemes to help departing staff start businesses.

Whereas some big brands, such as Microsoft and Zoom have taken on huge numbers of new customers during Covid-19, the vast majority of businesses have seen extreme pressure applied to their bottom line. The International Labour Organization has warned that 430 million enterprises in hard-hit sectors are at risk of ‘serious disruption’ and nearly half of the global workforce are at risk of job losses. The UK’s largest recruitment firm, Reed, predicted the unemployment rate in the UK could reach 15%, which means 5 million people could be out of work.

New career pathway

Making talent redundant is never easy, but at a time when the job market is in free fall, sending great talent into a stagnant market through no fault of their own makes it even harder. Although, many companies aim to do the right thing by offering outplacement to help with CV writing, career advice and interview preparation, the impact of this is somewhat negated if there are no job opportunities on the market.

There’s a huge array of benefits for creating this pathway, but the key advantage is that it gives businesses an opportunity to live their people-first values. 

As Covid-19 is changing all aspects of our lives, it is time to think about an alternative pathway to traditional outplacement that is designed to empower the departing talent to equip themselves with critical future skills and take control of their own destiny by creating it themselves and building their own businesses. Times of rapid disruption, like the one we are experiencing provide ample opportunities for new businesses to take advantage. Consumer needs rapidly changed, which opens up huge new market opportunities.

There are several forward-thinking companies that are now rolling out schemes to help departing staff start businesses, but it was orginally pioneered by Nokia ten years ago, when it was faced with making over 40,000 job cuts. It opened centres in Europe, India and the US to help those faced with redundancy to find a new job, either inside or outside the company. It also formed ‘Bridge,’ an entrepreneurial stream for employees that had an idea for a startup. Since its inception, Bridge has helped over 1000 start-ups. The scheme is credited for fuelling the rise of the Finnish tech ecosystem, which includes success stories like Supercell and Rovio.

coronavirus hub

People-first values

There’s a huge array of benefits for creating this pathway, but the key advantage is that it gives businesses an opportunity to live their people-first values. Creating this new pathway means that business can send a clear message, not just to those departing but also to existing employees, and it can help to attract new talent when the market returns.

Supporting local communities and changing former employees lives for the better brings with it a massive amount of brand equity. It also means that the company can take a proactive role in helping the economy return to growth. To maximise the success of this and get the brand reward, all HR leaders need to do is ensure they deliver a planned and sustained communications campaign. All staff, customers, suppliers, partners and communities need to be aware of the programme.

Tips for success

For HR leaders who haven’t considered this pathway, this new approach can be daunting. It’s important to remember, however, that the HR team will not be responsible for scaling these startups. The key task is to develop and communicate a programme, which can then be handed to experts to develop and run.

If this alternative pathway is something you’d consider pioneering, there are a number of key factors that can help make it a success:

  1. Collaboration: the best start-ups are those founded with teams that have complementary skill sets – but in a corporate environment the chances are people who work in tech development don’t know sales colleagues etc because they work in different locations. This means you need to create a space for employees who are being let go to meet, make connections and potentially form teams around common problems they want to solve. This can be done virtually during Covid-19, as the key is just to ensure that people correctly identify their skill set and areas of interest.
     
  2. Involvement: you need to be clear on the degree of your involvement – does the business just want to offer the opportunity to develop the skills and mindset for ex-staff to create a start-up? Is it willing to offer access to assets such as unused IP or potentially invest in ideas that could help solve some of the company’s key challenges?
     
  3. Partnership: if you are investing in start-ups you need to make sure that the programme is supported with a partnership that will provide the best experience for your people to maximise success. Buying them access to a training course or having an hour’s discussion with a start-up coach from an outplacement firm isn’t really going to move the needle. Those wanting to build new start-ups need training, coaching and mentoring in how to move from ideation to activation and be given the right introductions to future VCs etc.
     
  4. Communicate: this is a great initiative and can be used to attract new talent, build stronger relations with the communities and customers. If you are launching this scheme be sure to make sure that everybody knows about it – your brand will benefit.

THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED HERE

Shifted logo

Corporates — back employee spinouts rather than just cutting jobs

10 years ago, Nokia’s Bridge programme for employees it had made redundant created 300 new startups.

BY CHRIS LOCKE

TUESDAY 16 JUNE 2020

Since March 11, over 430 tech startups have laid 50,000 employees off, with many more furloughed. The cuts have hit nearly every industry — including global tech companies like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb —and the cuts don’t stop there, as Rolls Royce announced 9,000 redundancies last week and the major banks are expected to be next.

These layoffs have meant a huge influx of talent entering the job market, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the dotcom bubble burst. Yet, this talent pool is entering a stagnant market, which — depending on whose analysis you believe — could take between one to four years to recover.

It is puzzling then that many corporates, when forced to make this decision, typically only offer the default outplacement services of career coaching, CV writing, interview techniques and how to use LinkedIn, when there is a fantastic opportunity to provide an alternative path: helping those with an entrepreneurial bent build their own startup.

Forward-thinking companies could be a driving force in creating the next generation of high growth startups, stimulating economic growth in their local communities and changing their former employees lives for the better.

This isn’t wishful thinking. This process is tried and tested.

The Nokia model

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of a corporate that ‘got this right’ is Nokia. Ten years ago, the company was faced with making over 40,000 job cuts. It opened centres in Europe, India and the US to help those faced with redundancy to find a new job, either inside or outside the company. It also formed ‘Bridge’, an entrepreneurial stream for employees that had an idea for a startup.

This programme enabled ex-staff to pitch for seed capital of €25,000, with up to four ex-employees being able to band together in order to access a potential pool of €100,000. It also offered training, tools and guidance for successful growth, alongside exposure to angel investors, venture capitalists and others.

Since its inception, Bridge has helped over 1,000 startups get their beginning. Out of all the teams that came through the programme, a third were tech-focused startups, a third used it to build careers as freelancers and a third used the opportunity to move into a completely different area that they had always wanted to pursue. The scheme is credited for fuelling the rise of the Finnish tech ecosystem, which includes success stories like Supercell and Rovio.

Of course, many will be worried that the current economic climate is not conducive for startup success. They couldn’t be more wrong; times of rapid disruption provide ample opportunities for startups to take advantage; in fact Uber, Airbnb, Disney and Microsoft were started during recessions.

How to make it work

For corporates looking to be the ones pioneering the alternative pathway, there are a number of key factors to make this a success:

  1. Empowering collaboration: let those who are being let go of find a space to meet, make connections and potentially form teams around common problems they want to solve.
  2. Find the right partner to provide the best experience for your people to maximise success — buying a course of Udemy isn’t really going to move the needle.
  3. Be clear on the degree of your involvement. Is it just offering the opportunity to develop the skills and mindset, or do you have IP not being worked on that you can make available for teams to develop, or are you willing to put seed investment into ideas that could help solve your challenges or open up new markets/customer segments.
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is a great initiative and can be used to attract new talent, build stronger relations with the communities and customers companies serve and create something, which is very difficult to do in these times, and build stronger brand equity. It’s not about unicorn building, but empowering your people to create their future
  5. They say the most important factor in success is timing, and while that might feel counterintuitive right now, Covid-19 is reshaping every industry, providing the perfect timing. Corporates have the opportunity to play a leading role in reshaping this future and helping to kickstart the economy.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED HERE

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