WOF morning coffee talks

By Vicky Holdsworth, Founding Partner of WOF and Marketing Director at ProFinda.

We're now into the third in our series of WOF morning coffee talks, and what better way to start the year than with our latest interview. This morning we sat down with WOF founding influencer - Andrew Ford to discuss all things future of work and what he expects from the workforce of the future network.  

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Tell us a bit about yourself?

For the last 20 years I have worked across corporate, private-equity and start-up businesses - including Symantec, Dell, Comlinked, PB software, iadbox, Cyance, HP, BT, WeSwap, Tesco, Booking.com and Red Box software - designing digital strategies and technologies that include machine-learning data-analytics, CRM, social-media and ecommerce. 

I am someone who is curious about the development of humankind in all its guises across work, fun, family and friends, and how 7 billion of us interact across a wonderfully diverse planet. I value any thought, behaviour or technology, which provides a breakthrough to improve any of these important life building blocks. Also, I believe that collaboration is crucial to other like-minded people in terms of building new and exciting brands that come forward with new ways to pull emotional levers. Furthermore, I work across organisations and networks to help to enhance human enjoyment and what they return through engagement with customers and ultimately the delivery of business growth.

Tell me about your general view on networks?

I think networks are the new ‘glocal’ communities, from which passion, wisdom, and deed may spring, and in turn provide the catalyst for positive change. If we could all connect and interact with people around the world to work together on the big and small challenges that people are faced with, just imagine what we could achieve!

What is the WOF network?

People, and the passion, creativity, innovation, and character they bring, are the most important asset for any organisation. Thus far such a people asset has not been sufficiently valued or encouraged to flourish. We now need to unleash this important asset in the world of work and important endeavour. This is the work of the WOF network, which is a group of experienced and passionate people that have come together to forge new paths to higher levels of diverse, productive human output.

How do you envisage the WOF network will impact your work/ your business?

The WOF network will have a profound impact on me personally, and the knock-on will be an improvement in my life overall. The stimulus of collaborating with motivated people around the globe is a marvellous way to generate energy and spirit and will go from strength-to-strength.

What impact do you expect it’ll have on other members?

My fellow WOF members, and indeed those connected through their networks, will have a rich vein of knowledge from which to draw, which will have a significant impact on the quality of the work or avenue of life they lead. It is impossible to think how they would otherwise find and be close to such a seem of insight that stretches to every corner of the globe.


WOF morning coffee talks

By Vicky Holdsworth, Founding Partner of WOF and Marketing Director at ProFinda.

As the second in our series of WOF morning coffee talks, this morning we sat down with WOF influencer - Garry Turner to discuss all things future of work and what he expects from the workforce of the future network.  


1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

Having worked in international sales and product management roles since 2004, firstly for a start-up independent chemical distribution company and then with a now, global €2bn corporation, I have become deeply passionate about the current and future state of work. In my role leading teams and ensuring cross functional knowledge sharing, I had always been passionate about coaching, people development and continuous improvement.

4 years ago, I was given the opportunity with a ‘blank sheet’ to introduce a range of interventions that I felt would add value to our business. Over the years I’d seen too many organisations, across sectors and markets, operate a fear-based 19th/ 20th Century command and control structure. This inspired me to make some changes.

I took to studying first my level 5 certificate in L&D and then my level 7 award in Organisation Design & Development before rolling out our company’s in-house L&D programme covering 16 modules, fully led, tailored and delivered by internal colleagues. Over the last 3 years, the programme has embedded annual staff surveys, improved performance development processes and a range of other high performance work initiatives. 

2. Tell me about your general view on networks?

I feel networks, when used effectively and with a clear desired outcome, are immensely powerful.

If I look at where I obtain 70% + of my personal development, it comes via my networks. Whether that be a virtual Personal Learning Network #PLN such as Twitter, LinkedIn and more recently the WOF network or whether that networking comes from attending events such as FDM Groups Hackathon, CIPD branch events and others, networks offer one of the richest and most diverse learning opportunities that exist.

I also feel that networks exist to help challenge our way of thinking, build new contacts and connections and provide a platform for experimentation and innovation.

3. What is the WOF network?

The Workforce of the Future (WOF) network is focused on bringing together people from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and experience, predominantly on a referral basis, to challenge current ways of working, collaborating and developing improved alternatives for the future. By new network members being referred, the likelihood of regular, insightful, value adding contributions is much improved when compared with a lot of the generic LinkedIn groups for example where the noise and traffic can become overbearing at times.

On 26th September 2017, I attended our first WOF network virtual event 'Make Meaningful Work'. It was such a bonus to see, discuss and debate with other WOF champions face to face - after a couple of months of forum based conversations in the WOF virtual network platform (ProFinda). Since the meeting I have met with a number of the other event attendees, one of which introduced me to a trust who will be working with me on a project I'm running around #breakingbias (a crowd-sourcing project to help educate and balance newborn and adolescent bias).

These intros and help on my project, for me, represent why the WOF is such an awesome, truly powerful and collaborative network.  

4. How do you envisage the WOF network will impact your work/ your business?

The WOF network will be helpful in terms of sense-checking ideas and innovations. A place for the cross pollination of ideas and discussion, I am confident, will offer a deeper and richer context of thought which will add weight to strategy CREATION/promotion.  Finally I truly believe and hope that the network will open itself up to support and reinforce WOF messaging at any organisation that requires such support, especially via virtual means i.e. if I needed thought leadership support around a topic such as diversity & inclusion, someone from the network would be willing to support WOF discussions around this.

5. What impact do you expect it’ll have on other members?

I fully expect and have seen this already, to:

  • have my views and ideas challenged (constructively)
  • to share openly sources of learning and interest
  • participate in impactful conversations that lead to actionable insight
  • to offer event organisation opportunities 



WOF morning coffee talks

By Vicky Holdsworth, Founding Partner of WOF and Marketing Director at ProFinda. 


As the first in our series of WOF morning coffee talks, this morning we sat down with WOF founding partner and influencer - Perry Timms to discuss all things future of work and what he expects from the workforce of the future network.  

Tell us a bit about yourself Perry?

My story goes back to the 90s when I joined the Civil Service in a focused technology role. I followed my tech journey for another ten years - but found myself coming more to life when I was helping people to use technology, rather than working directly on it. It was the training tasks, activities and how you build people’s confidence around tech that appealed to me, so I transitioned into a more learning and development career that led me to change management, organisational design, leadership, culture, values - the list goes on. After some years working in the non-profit sector heading up a team looking at corporate learning - I decided to give the world a shout and set up my own business PTHR in 2012.

Tell me about your general view on networks?

Throughout my career, the one thing I can genuinely refer to is how helpful other people were when put in a space where they could network, link you up with opportunities, share their experiences and things they knew - making you feel like you belonged to a collection of people that helped.

Networks usually have a reputation for being just about collecting names and being part of professional bodies. I think that the advantage of a network is that you have like minded people who help shape your thoughts, help you learn new things and open new opportunities for you. They neither are to do with professional disciplines, nor to do with simply with the collection of thousands of people in the network. It is not about volume; it is the reason you want to connect to people. Today we see an abundance of networks but what marks out these networks is the principles and ethos you share with people not the number of the networks itself.

What is the WOF network?

WOF is a network of thought leaders, influencers and senior professionals from across industries. What marks this network as unique and extraordinary for me is bringing people together who genuinely would like to create a combined force to be as helpful in predicting, shaping and designing the future of work as they can be. The ultimate goal of the network is to create as much insight, as much research, as much commentary as possible so that we can help people to make better strategic decisions about the future of work. And who we are, the people in the WOF network are people who are excited to combine our efforts and energy to try to do as much as we can to influence this changing world of work. I hope we will find ourselves in a position of satisfaction, fulfillment, and usefulness as a result of it.

How do you envisage the WOF network will impact your work/ your business?

Personally, I think WOF will naturally extend my business network and link me up with more people who have a vested interest in the same principles that I do - improving work for people, creating more fulfilling working existences, influencing and educating. Moreover, it will also help me to create a constellation of connections which I have been aspiring to have for a long time. I believe the network can be both support to members’ professional development on a personal level as well as establishing a greater connectivity and creating a more compelling force for the network itself. 

What impact do you expect it’ll have on other members?

If you’re looking to plug into a network that has got energy and insight, then the WOF network is that sort of a place. If you are bothered about the future, this should a place where you should come and join!

WOF will give members a greater sense of self, mobility and will encourage more people to share their experiences, learnings and insights with each other. The network will also give members the opportunity to feel that they belong to a movement that aspires towards a greater good. I suspect, people will also get a playground, some support, friends and a whole host of opportunities.




Why I joined the Workforce Of The Future Network

By Kristin Sauter, Founding Partner at WOF.

You’d probably agree, the future of work is one of the most discussed topics right now with over 260 million hits on Google alone.

My journey in this fascinating field started a little bit over a year ago.

Curious about the changing working world, I wanted to connect and learn from the right people in this space. So, to me, networking is one of the best ways to do so, that also allows for countless opportunities to grow professionally and personally.

The choice here in London is wide and varied.  Ever since, I have been attending many workshops and events on topics like: AI in recruitment, Gig Economy, Employee Experience, Agile HR and the future of work. I’ve made some lasting connections out of some (not all) of these events.

I really enjoy it! It’s one of my favourite ways of learning and getting inspired.

But…there is one drawback.

Whether you are putting on the show or even just attending, the events demand a fair amount of time. Often you may have to sacrifice attending a key event because you simply can’t fit it into your schedule.

So, I have been on the look out for a way to compliment my face-to-face events with a virtual alternative. One that reduces the time needed but still gives me access to connect with smart and interesting people who are also interested in the future of work space.

A couple of months ago I was introduced to the WOF network and have been asked to join as one of the founding partners.

Since being involved in the making and shaping of the network, I had the pleasure to attract a wide range of new people. I’ve met authors, business owners, directors and senior leaders who all share a common interest and passion for this fascinating field.

So, where are we now?

10 months ago, there was a germ of an idea to create this network of influencers and big thinkers on how work will change and how it will impact the workforce in the future.

Today we are thrilled to have more than 100 local and global Influencers and Champions involved, eager to contribute to the network as part of their commitment to shape the future of work.

Our mission is not trivial. We want to work together to change the world of work, as we know it for the good of the present and future workforce. This is why we are building the network and working hard to attract and unite the world’s thought leaders and big thinkers who already look to challenge existing concepts and ideologies about the workforce of the future.

The network covers over 20 themes in the future of work space, which will be led or co-led by our Influencing Partners. Supported by our Champions, each Influencer will drive their chosen topic area(s) and regularly demonstrate their expertise by sharing latest industry news, innovations, research findings and hot trends.

For me, joining WOF was all about joining the right network, making the right connections, in the right field, that allows for loads opportunities to create professional relationships and to be able to support and help one another. I know it’s a place to come to feed my imagination and that inspires me. 

The platform will be (beta) launching in the next couple of weeks and will be open to Champions and Influencers with the aim to launching to the wider community in September.

I’m excited about the launch but moreover about the insights and connections I expect to make along the way.

If you want to find out more about us or better still you want to pitch to become one of our influencers or champions then get in touch today.


Our story.

By Victoria Holdsworth, Founding partner of WOF and Marketing Director at ProFinda

Founded in September 2016, the workforce of the future network was started with the goal of better connecting people more intelligently. 

The idea for the network first came about whilst the CEO of internal talent engine ProFinda - Roger Gorman was faced with the challenge of how he could connect all the amazing people he was meeting on his journey to building the company. After years of extensive research, the need to build a collective network of the brightest and the best thinkers, thought leaders and senior professionals from across industries, markets and borders who are passionate about changing the future of work - became ever more apparent. 

In 2016, the network was established by a small team of people from different companies with the aim to build a collective group of champions who would own and promote the mission, vision and goals. In January 2017 the network had already reached 60 champions in size and continues to grow until we launch later in 2017 (check back on the homepage for details about launch coming shortly...). 

Want to join us? Register your interest today