AFF Introduction


Lloyds Banking Group – former chairman Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman: Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, asked me to consider establishing and chairing a group of Chief Executives and Chairmen from leading employers to consider the issue of workforce agility and how UK business might support the growth of workforce agility across UK plc.

The 22 founder companies of the Agile Future Forum (AFF) differ in terms of sector, size and location. We all share a common view, however, that workforce agility is generating significant and tangible economic benefits for our businesses. We set out to investigate the benefits we already enjoyed from our workforce agility practices, to identify additional potential value, and to understand how we could help other businesses across the economy replicate good practices.

With support from McKinsey & Company, one of our members, we identified substantial value. In the areas we reviewed, we are enjoying benefits equivalent to 3-13% of workforce costs. Our research also suggested potential further value to be had from taking an exciting all-new approach to agile working: we identified opportunities across sectors for potential value equivalent to 3-7% of workforce costs and sales uplift of up to 11%. But the realisation of these benefits requires a different approach.

Historically, workforce agility (or flexibility as it is more commonly known) has largely been positioned as an employee benefit, part of the employee value proposition, rather than a way for companies to meet their strategic business goals in a challenging business environment. That needs to change – this can be about benefits to businesses, as well as employees. Business leaders, rather than simply HR, should lead the development of agility practices, starting with a clear understanding of the needs of the business and their workforce.

We have developed a new approach that enables organisations to consider workforce agility in this way. Our in depth testing of this approach across the AFF founding companies demonstrates that it works across all sectors and size of business.

I hope that the benefits outlined here, along with the tools and golden rules that we have developed to support other organisations, demonstrate that it is possible to develop a way of operating that is valuable for businesses and employees alike and, as a result, to the UK economy. I encourage executives to reflect on what we have developed and see whether it might be of benefit to their businesses.

We would like as many companies as possible to join us: those who are already operating in an agile way to share their learning and experience; and those who have further to go and who might benefit from the work we have begun. So, I encourage you to spend five minutes to, ‘Take the Test’ and see how agile your company is today.

Sir Winfried Bischoff – Chairman, Financial Reporting Council.

The Agility Mindset

The Agility Mindset uniquely presents and defines the business value of workforce agility in the UK for the first time. Written by Fiona Cannon OBE, one of the UK’s most eminent workplace diversity experts, The Agility Mindset presents an unrivalled wealth of unique research, opinions and practical solutions from leading business leaders, supported by case studies from organisations across all sectors. For the first time, The Agility Mindset: presents unique research that demonstrates that, in the areas reviewed by the AFF, agile working practices are currently generating value equivalent to 3 – 13% of workforce cost with the opportunity to generate further value equivalent to 3 -7% of workforce costs brings together case studies of real deployments of agile working practices, contributed by CEOs of various AFF members, including Ford of Britain, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, ITV, BT and Yorkshire Building Society argues that the productivity gains at a company level achieved by AFF members suggest that more widespread use of agile working practices could lead to improvements in the UK’s productivity Presents  tools, developed by and tested on AFF founder members, to assess the value of agile working practices; including an Agile Readiness Index and the Business Value Assessment (BVA) which uniquely starts with the needs of the organisation, and focuses on quantifying organisational benefits Provides practical advice on how to overcome barriers to the implementation of agile working practices – the majority of which are internal to organisations, and can be resolved or avoided with careful planning Hears from the AFF CEOs and chairmen about the future of work in a volatile, uncertain and complex world where... read more

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Agile Future Forum report 2014

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