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Hudson’s New World of Work Hackathon with Perry Timms

Hudson’s New World of Work Hackathon with Perry Timms
This week Hudson had the privilege of hosting a hackathon with the industry-renowned global speaker, author and HR futurist, Perry Timms.

Pinning down some of the key themes related to the New World of Work, our 20 or so hackathon attendees split up into small groups to look at the key challenges facing organisations, and came up with some innovative solutions to match. 

What is a hackathon? 

In its original setting, a hackathon is where a group of coders get together and hack key problems; in our organisational setting, it is about solving critical business issues or challenges by coming up with potential products or solutions. 

Unlike other learning-based exercises, hackathons are real attempts at solving real problems, and often result in real solutions. 

The process consists of four sprint exercises:
  • The first sprint: What is an ideal solution, situation, or outcome to the problem?
  • The second sprint: Identify all the possible challenges and barriers to implementing a solution
  • The third sprint: ‘Mini hacks’ – start forming solutions or ideas that could improve the situation
  • The fourth sprint: Combine all these ideas into a tangible solution/product by aggregating the group’s thoughts and clustering the ‘mini hacks’ to form a single, actionable solution.

Our theme: The New World of Work 

As the New World of Work concept stretches across an incredibly broad range of topics and ideas, we framed our hacks around five key questions, and as fate would have it, all five teams came up with solutions that touched upon at least one of each:
  1. What type of leaders do we need - now and in the future?
  2. How should organisations be structured? 
  3. What type of employee will we need and how will we differentiate ourselves to attract the right talent?
  4. How will we manage and drive productivity in a changing and unpredictable environment?
  5. How will we drive engagement and retention in an organisation with five generations, each with very different expectations of work?

Innovative solutions that break the mold

At the end of the session, our teams shared their thought-provoking solutions with the wider group in a ‘pitch’ style presentation.

Narrowing in on learning and development, one team came up with a solution that empowers employees to take back control of their career mapping and professional development. This team’s solution centrally captures and combines a wide range of different learning modules into a single platform, but employees are given access to the information in a format that best suits their learning style – be that an online module, video tutorial, classroom or workshop session, or printed out on paper.

Another team came up with a tool that collects and shares employee’s mistakes and challenges with the wider organisation to help remove the stigma associated with ‘failure’, and promote these learnings across the board. This team also pushed for the removal of job titles in favour of three words that reflect your passions.

Using Dan Pontefract’s The Purpose Effect as a launching pad, one team came up with a learning programme that highlights the benefits of operating in the intersection of personal purpose, role purpose and organisational purpose.
Building their solution around the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”, another team explored ways of capturing a better understanding of different groups and generational values and narrow in on what’s important to the individual, as well as how to meet everyone’s wants and needs.

The final team’s idea was to create a platform that was, in essence, a New World of Work guide for dummies, equipping HR practitioners with a wide range of New World of Work resources in a comprehensive and easily-accessible manner.

One of the great things about hackathons is that they create an environment where individuals from all different backgrounds or stages in their career can problem solve together and make a contribution – and, clearly, this collaborative and energetic approach paid off.

And lastly, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Perry Timms for facilitating the session and a huge thank you to all the attendees that came along and made the event such a fantastic hub of innovation.

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