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.
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