How Nick Kennedy is building strategic workforce planning capability through the Workforce Planning Institute



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Kathryn Hume  01:03

So Nick Kennedy is the chair of the Workforce Planning Institute, an organisation that exists to support collaboration, foster innovation, and develop workforce planning capability across the public, private government and not for profit sectors worldwide. He’s also the managing partner of deliberate edge, a consulting advisory firm specialising in strategic workforce planning. He has a great career story that I’ll leave him to share with you because I want you to hear the passion his suits when he space, Nick, welcome to the reimagined workforce podcast.

Nick Kennedy  01:35

Thanks, Kath. I’m so happy to be here.

Kathryn Hume  01:39

It’s awesome to have you here. So I’d really love you to share that story that you shared with me last week, when we first caught up around the journey that you’ve been on how you’ve arrived at your current position as the chair of the Workforce Planning Institute.

Nick Kennedy  01:54

Absolutely. So I started my professional life as a mechanical engineer. And I worked as one for four years or so before deciding that I wanted to do something that had a lot more human interaction associated with it so much to the dismay of friends and family at the time, I hit the eject button and moved into agency recruitment back in sort of the mid 2000s. And I spent six or seven years in that space. And whilst I eventually came to a natural conclusion, it did give me a lot of those sort of Human Interaction Type skills and opportunities. And it also gave me that sort of foray into the people and culture or HR community through the recruitment process. So I ended up deciding to go and do that internally. So I went to work for Newcrest mining as an internal recruiter, and I was recruiting all sorts of diverse roles, so metallurgist and geotechnical engineers, and geologists, which was fun. And then nuclear risks cottoned on to the fact that I had an engineering background fairly quickly, and decided to take me on a bit of a journey internally. So I spent some time within the business improvement function. So I helped roll out new crests approach to operational excellence and continuous improvement, which was a lot of fun. And once that was done, I was told that I was I was being given an opportunity in workforce planning. And I said, Oh, great, that’s fantastic. I said, What’s that? I said, we don’t know. But we’re hoping you can figure it out along the way. So back then, that meant sort the numbers out. So yeah, as sort of workforce planning did for a lot of organisations at that time. So that’s where I cut my teeth in Microsoft Excel and all things, HR reporting, and people analytics and rebuilt things like dashboards and got a handle on on the numbers and started to do things like classify contractors so that Newcrest could really count the workforce. And once once that was sort of bedded down, then the team that I was looking after started to develop some some really insightful sort of business data and and share it with a business. So things that were able to help the organisations drive change and impact change, and the organisation started to get more and more of a thirst for, for using that people data to help them make better business decisions. So that was fantastic. And it was that point where Newcrest decided it was time for my next move. And I was faced with an option between going into commercial or going into procurement, both of those sort of geared towards a, you know, a stint somewhere above country in remote parts of Australia, on one of the new crest operating wind sites, a young family at the time, even though it wasn’t a great experience. It didn’t suit me and at that point, I felt like I had the analytical HR story to deliver to the local market and opportunities there. So I decided to take a package at new crest and went to work for a small workforce planning advisory firm, which unfortunately no longer exists workforce planning Australia. And once that organisation decided to wind things up, I develop a thirst for strategic workforce planning and I wanted to continue doing so I set up to the bridge at the time and deliberate age was set up with a couple of other partners who have an existing HR advisory firm called deliberate practice. So deliberate practice, operate in that traditional HR recruitment, outplacement, HR advisory leadership sort of space. And we’ve formed deliberate age to really focus on strategic workforce planning. Loved it, love, have always loved working in the space. And I’ve always loved advising in the space through deliberate edge, and sort of Partway into that journey, or really developed a sort of an understanding or identified a, an opportunity where clients really wanted to learn how to do this for themselves. So I developed a number of training courses, but starting with a strategic workforce planning training course, and delivered that and was just overwhelmed by how well received it was. And not only that, I was overwhelmed by the interactions that I had with the participants in those training courses. And I know that some of the larger government departments in Canberra sent people to Melbourne in the early days to attend these courses. And so it sort of it started to tweet that there was opportunity here to help the world to learn how to do that. So that portfolio was expanded to include a workforce Analytics Fundamentals training course, and an enterprise capability mapping course, you know, so those sort of three main parts of the SW process, the the analytics of the front end and the capability mapping as a, as a critical yet sort of standalone pace. And that really became what I was passionate about. So I adore helping organisations create their workforce plan. So I’m really passionate about developing internal capability. And that’s really where the concept of the institute came from. It was about well, what about providing access to content? What about providing networking opportunities? What about providing collaboration opportunities? What about creating a community of professionals who are interested in learning about this one way or another. And what was really prevalent all the way through that process was that there are so many different parts of the Strategic Workforce Planning ecosystem, and so many different sort of stakeholders involved across that, that ecosystem. And different people want to engage with it in different ways. So you’ve got individuals and organisations who just want access to content, want to read a guideline or read a standard, look at a template and learn that way. You’ve got others who, who wants to network and they want to reach out and talk to other organisations who are doing the similar things in similar sectors, and certainly can talk through some of those cases from some of the institute’s organisational members a little later. There are stakeholders who want software, and they want to know, you know, who’s out there as far as strategic workforce planning or related software is concerned, and how do they get access. And then there are organisations who want advisory who really want to be connected to either traditional advisory firms, you know, the likes of the Deloitte and Ey and KPMG and PwC, who have you know, big, as they call them, human capital advisory arms, you know, or some of the smaller sort of more boutique organisations and no approaching that sort of spectrum is our only disease. And it’s about creating that community that says, Well, you know, you can learn, you can train, you can access content, you can have a look at a list of providers in a certain space, you can check out some resources, what books have been written, creating that hub was what I became really, really passionate about. So I connected with a number of professionals across the world and said, Well, why don’t we get together and form some committees, former advisory boards and pull together a body that exists to connects those professionals, help them learn, grow, enable them, you know, and for the greater good of building the overall Bruna world’s capability and strategic workforce planning.

Kathryn Hume  09:51

Because I think that whole if we come together we achieve more as a group than we do alone is really true in this space. And that’s the worry is a little bit similar to how I came into workforce planning. I was initially asked to develop capability for workforce planners at New South Wales Health and a little bit like you, you know, what, what is this thing. And what we found is that the needs vary, and they change over time. And it’s it comes down to the personal preferences, but it also it comes down to role existing capabilities, the need of the organisation. So that variability, it really opens up that need fighting for that community of practice, which is what, which is what we’ve built in New South Wales Health. And actually, we informed the development of a New South Wales Government collaborative as well in this space, which has got hundreds of members now. But it’s just shows that you really need to come together and discuss this. It’s not something that someone can do alone by any stretch.

Nick Kennedy  10:54

Yeah, exactly, exactly. It’s an enterprise wide process. And as you’ve highlighted, there’s no one wrong or right way, there’s lots of really, really good different ways to go about this process. And I think it’s about individuals and organisations taking the best bits of those sorts of ways and approaches and making them their own. And one of the principles that was applied throughout the development of some of the content that sits in the institute library life guideline, and like the standard was that don’t make it so prescriptive, that people feel bad, if they’re not following it, make it useful enough that they can apply the principles but broad enough such that if they’re doing C, D, and F as opposed to a, b, and c, if A and B, then it’s still good, it’s still it’s still valuable. I think that’s that’s really important principle to kind of uphold, when you when you take your NSW

Kathryn Hume  11:57

approach. And I think understanding why you’re following those steps helps, because telling someone to do it horizon, scan, and go and analyse your data, and you can go and grab all that information. But you need to do it at the right time, you need to engage with the right people. So just knowing when to do it while you’re doing it really informs the approach of the individual takes. And it’s also as you would know, it’s not a linear process, you will get to a point where you have to go back to an earlier step in the process, and you need to be able to understand why you’re doing that. So I think it’s great that not only have they got the tools and resources, but they’ve got that network who they can reach out to and say, Hey, what do you think about this? And I’ve found that people in this space are more than willing to share. And I find it’s like, what’s your challenge? And people are really interested about the complexity and really want to get down into the detail around? What can we do that? Because ultimately, we’re solving problems. We’re solving big, complex problems.

Nick Kennedy  12:59

And it’s fun. Absolutely, absolutely.

Kathryn Hume  13:03

All right. So one of the things I asked every guest is what’s your reimagined workforce look like?

Nick Kennedy  13:08

There, I’ve seen my workforce as the entire strategic workforce planning community. So reimagined from where he is today. I am passionate and believe in a future where we have career pathways for strategic workforce planning professionals where strategic workforce planning does appear as a booth that a careers fair where educational institutions are, if not offering it as its own standalone qualification as a heavy component of a number of other qualifications, or even a double degree, where professionals don’t fall into the space as many of us in fact, most of us have done professionals seek a career in the space and are supported. So it’s no longer a transient role. It’s no longer I spent 12 months in workforce planning, it’s what you could graduate and you could sort of stay 10 1215 years in strategic workforce planning because there are enough echelons and enough levels of commercial reality to warrant those sort of different hats that you wear over the evolution of your career. It’s one where the community, my workforce, the workforce has access to content to learn in an appropriate cost effective manner. So if you want to come and train and you want to put that level of investment into your own capability that’s there. If if you don’t have access to that or those funding models, then there’s an option for you. One day in the future if you want to come go and become a Chartered Professional. There’s also an avenue for that. So it’s really about putting SW P on the map as a thing and having it recognised iced, because what what professionals do in this space is amazing, you know, and it’s got the potential to as you highlighted Cath to answer some of the world’s biggest problems. We’re running out of people, we know that we’re running out of people in terms of available workforce, we know that the age concentrations across most established countries are sort of pushing retirement, they’re not in the 20 to sort of 45 year old bracket, they’re north of that. And we’re running out of time in terms of how we traditionally think about supplementing workforce demand. So applying more capability, applying more understanding and more knowledge at those problems, and addressing some of those issues, through sovereign capability, I think is critical for us, for governments, for organisations, for institutions to start to be thinking about.

Kathryn Hume  15:57

Yeah, and I think that’s, that’s why I was really keen to get Alicia Roach on the podcast. So the way I’ve kind of structured the podcast is Alisa court came in, and she talked about the five challenges that we’re seeing in healthcare workforce. So that kind of painted a picture for an audience of why this matters. And then I brought Alicia in to explain how strategic workforce planning solves that. And then we’ve got some content around human centred design in the next episode. And then moving into we’ve got another episode between your this one and the human centred design, one, just around workforce culture, but it’s just showing how complicated even all of the pieces are for us. And I think if an organisation isn’t doing this yet, then I’m really nervous for them. And one of the things I really loved about what Alicia said was, we have to create a plan for the future to ensure that we have one. And I think that’s what you’re really doing for the industry is, yes, we know, we need this, but then it’s the how do we do this, and you’re really meeting that need there.

Nick Kennedy  17:04

Absolutely. And I’m so glad you’ve had Alicia on, I’m looking forward to having her involved at our events I’ve loved sort of engaging with her and Chris as well, so far across the journey, so amazing people and that’s, that’s probably been one of the most enjoyable parts of my journey through the institute is connecting with these global advocates of strategic workforce planning, Alicia, Adam Gibson, you know, a lot of these sorts of people who do great things and, and are amazing, strong positive advocates for what we do, just on your point with regards to the criticality of what we’re doing. And, you know, Alicia, sort of highlighting the fact that there is a, if we’re not, if we’re not planning for the future, we’re not gonna have a future, there are some fundamental shifts in how we think, how we think about us our workforce demand that needs to happen. So we still think in terms of people in that traditional sense, we default to we’ve got a problem, we’ve got stress, we’ve got pressure, we need more people. The reality of it is, is because we’ve talked about, there are no more people. So once we start as a pilot to shift that thinking to, we need more capability, then that opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities in terms of how we supplement that, that workforce demand. So there are a few of those sort of seismic shifts in thinking that underpin how effective what we do is and how effective, you know, us being able to find enough capacity to do the work that we do.

Kathryn Hume  18:44

I’m gonna throw in a question I haven’t planned, but I think it’s important that shift in thinking, I say that as a really huge challenge in organisations, I think that reactive, let’s recruit two roles, and let’s look for the perfect person. I think that’s a mindset shift that we really need to address. And I wonder how you go about that. Yeah, helping people to progress that change in thinking.

Nick Kennedy  19:11

It’s a really important question. And it’s probably got sort of two answers. There’s, there’s the process that I’m really passionate about that underpins it. And then there’s the actual mindset shift. So I’ll start with the process because it’s the easier answer. I love a process called enterprise capability mapping, where we take it the organisation strategy, the department’s strategy or the body strategy. And we say, well, let’s analyse the strategic objectives. And let’s go through a process that identifies six to eight strategically critical capabilities. What are the big ticket items, we need to get into our business to the right level of competency? And if we don’t get them, our strategy is at risk of failure. That process is so important. And most of these are, what people might title business capabilities. So things like critical thinking Collaboration, agility, there’s big ticket items, then it’s about understanding what our gaps are so so mapping and assessing where we sit now in terms of competency levels, and where we need to be in terms of delivering that strategy and creating that visual mountains is we’ve got gaps to bridge here. And then what are our options around bridging those gaps, and sourcing that capability. So things like the, what’s been called the 60s model, or the 80s model, depending on how many B’s you slide in there, you know, coming into play, and closing those gaps becomes a reality. I think though, with capability, the reason it does scare quite a few people is it’s it’s really intangible. It’s less tangible than skills. It’s far less tangible than people and career experiences. And CVS eats scares people, because it’s it’s unknown. That if we think about, say, skills versus capabilities, you know, skills executed repetitively in the same manner, they come to the fall, and we’re in a familiar environment, completing familiar tasks. The thing about capability, it’s the underlying ability to generate an outcome. Regardless of which combination of skills you apply, out of the skills toolbox to that problem. It’s the underlying ability that individuals to achieve that outcome. That’s more useful when we’re in a familiar environment, applying an unfamiliar task. So in terms of tasks from an energy and environment, familiarity, that’s what capabilities really come to the fore. And when we look at navigating a future landscape it by and large, is uncertain. That’s why it’s so important to understand those capabilities, because that’s what you fall back on. Skills are incredibly important, incredibly important to combine to deliver something. I think they sit on the top. So forget that piece, right? We can start to shift the needle on what capabilities come into our organisation, it’s more difficult to genuinely build capability within an individual capabilities are more prone to being ingrained than skills skills are more readily acquired. So to say capabilities can’t be it is more difficult. It’s easier to assess for that. And to assess for those strategically critical capabilities. Is this person agile? Can they apply critical thinking? Do they collaborate? Behavioural based assessment processes? Yeah, they’ve got those capabilities to an advanced level or whatever our scale is, right? They’re the right fit for where we need to be at the moment. So I think that’s a really critical part of navigating that future landscape and actually bridging those capability gaps.

Kathryn Hume  22:43

We come back to the mindset question in a minute. But if we can continue this line of thinking, you’re talking about enterprise capability mapping? I’m wondering if we did that across a lot of organisations if they’d be very, very similar results that you’d see. So my question is, do you think that there might be an opportunity and remember, when we’re in the reimagined workforce here, and when I’m thinking long term, do you think there’s an opportunity to do a kind of economy wide capability map to say, one of the big ticket items that we really need for our workforce intend to 1520 years and think about how we might blend that with the education system?

Nick Kennedy  23:24

Yeah, I think there are, I think there are I think, I think, you know, certainly, you know, where we’re heading as a, as an economy or as a planet, there is a strategy and it’s to, to improve from where we are at the moment, there’s a whole lot of economic and environmental factors that are overlaid to impact or enable our ability to deliver that. So you absolutely could I think that there are some emerging more tech oriented capabilities that most people would say we need. So what’s been called industry 4.0 and will soon be called industry 5.0. Data Analytics, you know, some of these are emerging as, as really important capabilities for most organisations and most individuals to have a handle on. So I think that’s absolutely possible, you could capture a sizable portion of what we really need for our economy to flourish through that process. I do see differences in organisations and I do see differences in fairly similar organisations. So if I look at a number of the local government authorities that I supported over an advisory land late last year, so some of their enterprise capability lists were quite different. Some of them had bespoke capabilities that they customised, which I think is a great thing to do that others didn’t. So it is possible to have a unique set based on your strategy, but I think in the future Yeah, I think there’s there’s a great opportunity to say look, by and large here’s what we feel we need as a as an economy. As a country or as a group or an industry from a capability standpoint, I think actually the calf the the interesting thing is, so industry is setting up industry clusters at the moment. So there are nine industry clusters that have been funded. I really like to see, each of those industry cost is so real, whether it’s health or whether it’s resources or real retail manufacturing, conduct that activity for their own respective industries to say, well, the manufacturing sector needs this set of capabilities versus health needs is said, That’d be a fastener needs assessments for them

Kathryn Hume  25:36

to do. Yeah, I think to, that’s a really good idea. Because I also like the idea that kids coming through school who are really challenged to try and identify what job they want to do, or what they want to be when they grow up, if you like, I think might be able to associate better with an industry rather than I’m going to be an X, like, I know quite a few kids who are struggling to say, I don’t know what I want to do. And it’s really quite challenging for them. And I’ve seen a reduction in effort in education, because they don’t have that motivation. Because I don’t know what the end goal is. Maybe if we did that industry, posturing and then guided people towards an industry rather than an occupation. Maybe that’s part of that solution.

Nick Kennedy  26:21

Yeah, I think it could absolutely, absolutely be an option. You know, there are the mining and resources sector, lots of different occupations, if not most occupations occur in the sector across all those different sort of classes. So yeah, I think I think that’s a that’s an interesting way of thinking, and it definitely has merit.

Kathryn Hume  26:42

Cool. Now, one of the things that we spoke about last week, which I’m really fascinated to delve into a little bit more is your thoughts around partnering with another nation, or continent even to explore how we might be able to achieve mutual benefits. So can you share with us your thoughts on that?

Nick Kennedy  26:59

Yeah, absolutely. So this came about through one of our other global Standards of Conduct Committee, and that that committee, as part of the institute is responsible for providing a global view and subject matter expertise on the content that gets produced. So reviewing standards, guidelines, tools, templates, and yep, have you thought about a, b, c, and d. And that’s just a way of saying, well, we’ve had lots of different cognitive diversity applied to this, and also cultural diversity. And therefore we’re comfortable publishing the content. We have some fascinating meetings, because we sit there and we’ve got Astra, who’s based in Dubai, and we’ve got Dirk in Canada, we’ve got Rob, in the US. We’ve got may in Kenya. We’ve got Jenny in Scotland, we’ve got a really diverse sort of global perspective. And I remember we were sitting there all talking about how, how few people we had across the US, Canada, Europe, Dubai, and Australia. And how many jobs we had now we had a shortage there, and may who’s from Kenya said, we’ve got the opposite. We’ve got a hell of a lot more people than we do have jobs. Now for our I wonder what that profile looks like. So I jumped on to the UN website, it’s just got a really nice looking sort of data profile, I just pitched the heat map across the globe of population concentration across all those different age brackets, and put it into a little PowerPoint presentation and made a video and it’s a 62nd loop that just cycles through the different age brackets and glows dark depending on where the concentration is. And when you get to the 65 plus age concentration, you know, Australia glows dark and Japan’s really dark and America and continental Europe are dark, and Canada is pretty dark as well. But then when you’re cycling through the younger age brackets, Africa’s really and it just shows that that’s where the world’s highest concentration per capita of youth is. So why aren’t we doing more as a as a globe to think about tapping into Africa as an intermediary workforce supplementation source but doing it in a way that gives something back to Africa like AIDS, their skill and capability gaps? And I think if we think about the workforce, especially as one that you’re really close to, and one that I do a lot of work in, whether it’s health aged care, any of those sorts of subsidiaries, it’s that nursing space. Why can’t we fund something with the right setup? The right visa class where we have potential would be nurses travel over from from Africa or even set up something over there, put nurses through training. Give them a certification. support the bidding of those learnings with either a two or four year programme within our local workforce, and then have a programme where they then go back to Africa with with a completely different skill set to add value to a country that really needs. That data is there are shortages of their their needs. They’re everything sort of is sitting there that says something like this needs to happen and represents a great outcome for for, you know, multiple potential countries. So yeah, I’d love to see that. Get up. I’d love to be involved, personally, sure, certainly something that I’ve got on my radar, but

Kathryn Hume  30:39

if anyone’s going to suspect might be Nick Kennedy. What I do like about that, though, is the whole concept of giving back to the economy and developing that economy that needs it. And it’s, it’s that age old, if you’ve gotten abundance of that particular resource, then how do we get them to optimise it and make the greatest benefit from it. The other thing I really like is the concept of short tenure. So I know we have lots of attraction strategies in Australia, where the intention is to bring people to stay. And I think people don’t necessarily do that as much anymore as they might have in times gone by. And our strategies, I think, need to be different to how do you enter the new environment? But then how do you go back to the environment that you came from, you know, what what can put in place to give people that level of comfort that this is a temporary thing will support you while you’re here. But ultimately, the endgame is that you will return to where you came from smarter over experience and able to contribute more back to where your heart and heart needs.

Nick Kennedy  31:47

Absolutely. And that that concept can be applied. So broadly, but it involves breaking the thinking around permanency. So we think about supplementing workforce demand, I say the word the royal. So forgive me, but lots of us think about that as I’m going to go out and recruit a permanent person is going to be one FTA isn’t the base that my site in New Brunswick or wherever. And that’s how I’m going to recruit. It’s like immigration, you know, you’re going to immigrate to Australia, you’re going to be an Australian, you live here forever. What we need is a way to supplement workforce demand and a model that tells that reliability, we don’t need each of those individuals to come and live here permanently. We need the model that says that’s there as and when we need it. And it’s reliable, it’s robust, and it’s got a good pipeline. And that capability is able to be used to serve the environment. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So if we were just to say, well, let’s get them over from Africa and and train them up. And that’s that Africa sentence, every other country on the planet suffers, you know, we’ve had the UK suffer in the past. And I don’t know if this is a taboo topic or not. But there has been a professional tension in the nursing sector in the past is sort of that. So how do we do that? I think these solutions, I’ve seen them come up in training courses where companies were worried about a big government project that was looming, and we’re going to lose all engineers, I thought, Well, why don’t we volunteer to give them to that project for a period of time, and then have them back, more skilled, more capable. Some of these workforce trends are titled, there’s no point swimming against them, the best innovative solutions tend to move with those close ties or those currents and just accept them and go with them, and then adapt and update as part of it, rather than try and pack that trend or or resist the treatment.

Kathryn Hume  33:50

Well, there’s a lot less friction. In that case, it’s just sometimes it’s easier. I think it comes back to that question that around the mindset, though, again, it’s about thinking differently and encouraging people to stop the opposite. We’ve always done it that way. Or you couldn’t do that, because you know, whatever. But what if we could, you know, it’s, and that’s what I think I really like about this whole human centred design process. And for me, it’s that capturing hearts and minds in the first instance. And then I feel like the creative juices just flow a lot more easily when you allow people to say, but what if

Nick Kennedy  34:27

I’m with you, whenever you read a case study, whether it’s in a workshop or a training course, or whenever you share a case study with a group of people, you’ll get two main types. One main topic or that won’t work. And the other is great concepts. What would we change? How would we make that work for us? And the reality of it is that there’s opportunity in all of these studies, if we just shift the thinking if we just say well, give us one good reason why to work as a Close to throwing 10 at me that something wouldn’t. And that’s one of the biggest challenges around what we do when we’re developing strategic workforce plans is, well, that won’t work. Because, okay, maybe that’s challenging. But let’s think about what would need to underpin that server could work, because the concept is fantastic gives us capability on tap or whatever. And I remember one organisation who I didn’t do work with, I was just speaking to him, there was a specific country that they wouldn’t go and get stuff from, because the unions wouldn’t allow it. And I thought, Okay, well, that’s a pretty close store isn’t even going to talk about how we might influence that or change that or work with the unions differently. It was just so that mindset does need to shift in some of this. Like, there’s plenty of us who already think that way. But I think there is a, there is a seismic shift that does need to occur. And it kind of gets back to the question that we didn’t, we didn’t sort of touch on was the two part question and capability is, we are people. And we think in terms of people. And I think that we get worried at times that if we don’t think in terms of people, and we think in terms of capability that automation is going to replace, or were threatened by that different way of thinking that doesn’t always involve an individual in that traditional sort of engagement sense. The reality of it is that that couldn’t be further proof we need people will always need people, we just need to think about how we engage and how we leverage their superpowers differently. If we want to make sure that we’ve got enough capability while we’re doing the work. So that question around how do we find people? It needs to shift to how do we source capability? Yeah,

Kathryn Hume  36:55

I am watching time and time to getting away from us. I was wondering if you could share with us a story of how the Workforce Planning Institute has supported an organisation in a practical sense.

Nick Kennedy  37:09

Yeah, absolutely. So probably the best recent examples are organisations who join who are just embarking on their journey. So we’ve we’re lucky enough to have some really good organisational members across the globe. So businesses, companies, government departments, so one recently is always New Zealand, who are right at the start of their journey, and coming over to the conference during them as members, you know, and we’re doing what we can to sort of support that we’re lucky enough to have John Allen on our global standards and content committee who heads up workforce planning and Police Scotland and has been doing it for quite a few years there. So we’re able to put them in contact. And now they’re sort of speaking freely and sharing ideas and working through different concepts. And it was a similar story with NatWest group in the UK, in financial services, and when they sort of started their journey, we were able to put them in contact with BT. So British telco who were a fair way further down there. So we’re able to talk and share approaches and ideas and updates, as a couple of organisations in the mining space in Australia, who we’re doing that at the moment, which is fantastic. So there’s lots of those sorts of stories, other ones, and probably can’t share details at the moment, because I think there is some still still some commercial outcomes pending. But members who are after software providers is a really big one. And we’ve got some great relationships with the clients and the drops and the physios and the talent and demands of the world. And all of those providers have products that suit different needs and different size and scale and unique requirements. So being able to put a recent member in Australia in contact with a couple of those potential providers and having them provide options for for this organisation. I think that’s that sort of going to board sort of level now, as far as final approvals is concerned is a fantastic story. Because that’s two members into sort of key parts of that ecosystem that really need to connect.

Kathryn Hume  39:16

Yeah, and it’s just so hard to get those connections otherwise. So it’s great that you’re able to link people up.

Nick Kennedy  39:22

Yeah, I think I think there’s a difference between saying to someone who’s got a centralised view and not that we’re professing to be all things to all people by any means, but someone who does have some experience and knows the individuals in the space can sort of say, Okay, well, you know, you need a data centre located here and you’ve got X number of people and your main requirements are this. There’s probably three or four that suit you and here are some direct lines of content to them. Go and speak to Chris it equate and seeing those sort of emails unfold is fantastic or God speak to fill up the nerve or talent on demand and that gives People some comfort, even though I’m sure that if you submitted something online through a website, all of those organisations would come straight back to you, I have no doubt. But there’s just something kind of personal and nice about that sort of made introduction.

Kathryn Hume  40:15

And it’s also filtered for you because you, you understand the need. And so you can link up the right people. And one of the things I really love in the work that I do is when those people that I’ve connected then form their own little groups, and then every now and then they’ll invite me back in and say, Oh, this is what we’ve progressed, and they’ve gone on and done it without us. And I just absolutely love that that whole enabling and sustaining the process going forward. It’s awesome.

Nick Kennedy  40:42

That’s, that’s fantastic, isn’t it? And occasionally, we’ll get someone asked, can do we use your content or your presentation internally? And it’s that that’s their content? Because they’re Institute members? And they’re still really respectful with it. But the answer is, of course, you can, we’d love to see you take those images, take those diagrams, take the ease model, whatever it is that you want to use, to help communicate their message internally, you know, by all means, go for it, there’s nothing more satisfying than taking something that’s been taught or been shared and making it their own and using it and customising it to suit their own needs. And it’s someone from a training course, last week in the training so, so hard, Nick, you know, we refer to this capability is this an on screen, so the change did in the document that we’re working from, and I forgot that that’s fantastic. You know, you’ve used your own customised language, and you’re gonna do that more with regards to that tool for testing.

Kathryn Hume  41:41

It is very generous, though, because it’s intellectual property that’s actually got a lot of value. So that’s Gordon, one of the things I actually wanted to speak to you about was that your I could not be more excited about this conference on the first and second of December. Can you just tell us a little bit more about what people might expect you’re interested in going to that?

Nick Kennedy  41:59

Yeah, absolutely. So it’ll be two days, we are really, really hoping fingers crossed to have an amazing dinner in between all the way there’ll be a social function. And between those two days, we’ve had really, really good interest in a half day masterclass the day prior. So I would imagine that two days will be extended to two and a half. We’ve got speakers across some really good, different industry, verticals, defence, government, we’ve got mining and resources, financial services online. So there’s a little bit in everybody. One of the really important things I want people to sort of take out of this conference is that whilst we have the Alicia roaches of this world, speaking at the event, whilst we’ll have other prominent partners and management consulting firms speaking at this event, we’ll have people who are just embarking on their journey, speaking at this event, we’ll have people that will gladly stick their hand up and say, We don’t have it all figured out. It’s really important for people who might be at that point in their journey to connect and to identify and say, actually, you know, what, they’re big organisation, you know, we would have thought that it would be all figured out, but there’s a disarming honesty about where we’re at and what we’re hoping to achieve. I think one of the most powerful things Catherine, I heard was the Chief Human Capital Officer at NASA, Jane data, say that very thing in a meeting and our session prep we had the other day. So Jane’s coming along with Keith, her head of analytics coming along, they’re presenting online. At the conference, I’m going to do a facilitated fireside chat about their journey. But to hear Jane say that we haven’t got it all figured out. And strategic workforce planning is hard, you know, within my remit, it’s the hardest thing that we do. And I just said to Jane, will you say that? The conference, will you allow the delegates to hear that NASA themselves don’t feel like they’re the complete article? Because it’s really important for everyone’s encouragement, and to enable them to start planning without worrying about whether it’s actually all perfect. Yeah, I think it’s super powerful. So they’ll certainly take that away. And then there’ll be there’ll be lots of other gems across different parts of the process. So we’re building your own capability, Chris and Alicia are going to come and talk to us about skills, you know, understanding things like skills taxonomies, which are major is going to come and talk to us about capability based approaches. So I think Suzy Carson from seeks going to talk about how they identify their own internal capability through a mapping process. And there’s some really, really nice, different aspects to the SW P process that people will be able to get sort of visibility over. Yeah, we’ll have great software vendors and advisory vendors sort of exhibiting at the conference. I think, you know, that there’ll be there’ll be something for people on different sort of parts of their of their journey, all ends of that spectrum.

Kathryn Hume  45:00

Yeah, I think that’s exactly I was thinking there’s something for everybody there. So thank you so much for taking the time out of your day. I really appreciate the generosity of everything that you give to our community. And I think the benefits are going to extend well beyond the organisations that you’re serving. And I think it’s really admirable. And I really enjoy that we’ve had this opportunity to share that with with our audience,

Nick Kennedy  45:23

banks cuff and we love what you’re doing with the reimagined workforce, podcast. I think it aligns to everything that we stand for. So congratulations on getting that off the ground. And we’ll certainly do what we can to, you know, showcase that you know, as a great resource and source of information and knowledge and learning to our followers and members.

Kathryn Hume  45:47

Fantastic. That’s really appreciated. Thank you so much. Have a great day and have a great day.


Thanks for listening to the reimagined workforce podcast. We hope you found some valuable ideas that you can apply to transform your own workforce today and tomorrow. Additional information and links can be found in the show notes for this episode at workforce Please share this podcast with your community and leave us a rating to let us know what we can do better for you

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