Hacking the workforce of the future

What characteristics does the ideal agile team member possess? How would the needs of the future workforce be addressed if those needs aren’t understood and solved for? My experience of integrating new talent into functioning agile teams has lead me to one, surprising, realisation: Most of the approaches and practices that were used to build organisational teams aren’t working anymore. The tried and tested approaches to team formation and leadership are showing little progress into understanding the mindset of the future workforce. We need radical thinking and action in order to reinvent the way we enable people to communicate, collaborate, and ultimately win as a team. It is up to leaders to mould the culture of organisations to ensure that the future workforce is primed and focused to deliver their best work.

This session focuses on some of the challenges that present themselves when integrating the future workforce into an agile organisation or team. Ultimately, every organisation that is concerned with future proofing their existence must be focused on building teams of motivated individuals that can build the products and services of the future without the constraints we recognise today.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

In this presentation, I will point out a simple, yet undeniable truth: We are ill-equipped to deal with the future people talent base. Scarier still, current leadership needs to change and adapt to fit in with the ‘app-y-fied’ future world… not the other way around. I will point out four important areas that need to be thought through by anyone in a leadership or management position.

Prior to session:

Delegates will be given a single A4 sheet of paper to participate in a game of bingo during the presentation. The speaker will present a list of buzzwords that are found throughout the presentation and discussion. The audience will select 8 words and proceed to listen up and look out for those words throughout the presentation. First person to get 'bingo' will receive a uniquely South African prize.

Proposed breakdown:

00.05 - Speaker introduction and background.
00.10 - Sneak peek of the real South Africa.
00.15 - Bingo explanation and word selection.
00.20 - The 'perfect' person for an agile team - Which traits make someone a good fit for an agile team?
00.30 - Meet the latest recruits (and hear what they have to say) - Show and tell of real-world feedback from graduates entering the workplace with some surprising revelations about their expectations of leadership.
00.40 - Lesson 1 - Creating purpose and opportunity - Is this the soft and fluffy side of the world or is it a vital, often misplaced discussion?
00.45 - Lesson 2 - Win / Lose vs Win / 'No Lose' - Have leadership teams done enough to create safe places for teams to fail and learn?
00.50 - Lesson 3 - Long-formed teams vs fulfilling the purpose of individuals - Dealing with constant change in teams is akin to a circular Tuckman model gone extreme. How can this be used to drive a competitive edge?
01.00 - Lesson 4 - Dealing with IP (intellectual property) migration - Are systems of record or systems of information more valuable? What’s the difference, and how can we gain the benefit of both?
01.10 - Summary and key points
01.15 - Q&A

*timing above represents the end of each section and excludes 12 -15 mins of group-based activities (1 activity per lesson)

This talk was delivered at Agile2018 (San Diego) and received an average feedback rating of 4.3

Learning Outcome

  1. Understand some of the needs emerging for the future of work, in particular, understanding of 'team', 'purpose', 'impact' and 'us'.
  2. Understand how those in leadership have to adapt to new culture, processes, and tools.
  3. Understand what needs to change in agile organisations to support the future workforce.

Target Audience

Leaders, managers, HR, technical teams, non-technical teams, coaches

Prerequisites for Attendees

No Prerequisites



schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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