Updates on THRIVE – SBC’s Future Work ecosystem

By Robert Perry, Manager Thriving People

December 2023 

SBC and founding project partners Meridian, NZ Post, NZ Steel and Future Work Studio have reached an important milestone in the pilot of THRIVE, SBC’s up/reskilling ecosystem to help our members and their workforces adapt and thrive in an increasingly disruptive environment.  

We’re pleased to share we have completed phase one of the pilot, including a review of progress thus far, and we are now using the insights to develop a shared action agenda and shared target and metrics for the next six months. 

Here’s a breakdown of where the pilot is at so far and what participants have achieved: 

  • 127 employees are connecting, collaborating, and sharing resources from across the four participating organisations. 
  • We have seen a 150% growth in activity across the online community over three months. 
  • We have established a growing mentor-mentee programme with 28 mentors now registered and seven mentorships already live. 
  • Communities of practices have also been set for neurodiversity, employee experience, sustainability, and Te Ao Māori. 

Overall, the five top areas of interest have been:  

  1. Coaching and mentoring 
  1. Change management 
  1. Project management 
  1. Health and wellbeing 
  1. Sustainability 

The top five skills/experiences shared across the community of practice have been: 

  1. Change management 
  1. Coaching 
  1. Leadership 
  1. Project management 
  1. Sustainability 

What this tells us is that there is a good match between the skills needed and the collective skills shared and available across the ecosystem. So when someone shares an opportunity for collaboration or someone asks for help or guidance, there’s a good chance someone else with the relevant knowledge, skills or expertise can be found quickly. And that opportunity is being harnessed already, with 80% of the activity across the community being cross-organisational collaboration.  

Next steps – scaling and shared action agenda 

We are starting to scale up the pilot, with up to 1,000 more employees expected to join the ecosystem before the end of year. We are now using phase one learnings and insights to set a shared action agenda focused on the critical needs and opportunities, and we’ll continue working with our partner organisations to deliver greater impact at speed, scale and with confidence. This may include a focus on collaborative upskilling or reskilling, career pathways and pipeline builds, or shared talent pools to reduce recruitment lead time. 

Talent shortages, tech shifts, roles/skills becoming redundant as we move towards net zero, ensuring equality of opportunities so ‘no one is left behind’ as well as self-development through peer learning and connection – many businesses are facing these same massive challenges and it’s difficult to address them in isolation, so let’s not!  

If your organisation is interested in joining the THRIVE pilot, please get in touch with me ([email protected]) to learn more. 

See infographic below for more information about the pilot thus far: 

July 2023

I am excited to share with you the progress that has been made over the first three months of the THRIVE Future Work ecosystem pilot. 

Firstly, I am delighted to welcome Meridian as the latest SBC member to join the pilot, alongside NZ Post and NZ Steel. I look forward to announcing more organisations joining in future updates. 

“Meridian is really excited to be joining THRIVE. We joined to be part of a community and ecosystem where we can share our skills, knowledge and experience with others and learn from them in return. We hope to have up and running a number of mentors and mentees to empower our people to expand their skillset, mindset and knowledge. We’re keen to skill our people up in modern thinking and to learn from others as we go”.  
Lee Millen, Head of People Strategy and OD at Meridian

Representing over 190,000 workers, SBC member businesses have immense potential for transformation. To achieve this, we’re taking deliberate small steps and leveraging insights and learnings. Our initial focus is on utilising the THRIVE platform, enabling participants to engage in mentoring, establish connections, and participate in shared events/communities within the ecosystem. 

This, in turn, supports each organisation’s development priorities, Employer Value Proposition, and builds readiness, connections, and networks to unlock transformation opportunities. These opportunities could include skills pipelines and career pathways within and across participating organizations. 

In less than three months, the momentum of ‘democratising opportunity’ is already building, and I’m excited about it!

Currently, 80 active users are utilising the THRIVE platform, representing a diverse range of executives and frontline workers. Among these participants, 19 have registered as mentors, with seven active mentoring relationships already begun. Additionally, three ‘special interest’ community groups have formed, focusing on Neurodiversity, Te Ao Māori, and IT skills.

These communities and other listings are already helping to improve the visibility and utilisation of people’s skills and knowledge (that go way beyond a person’s job title) as well as connection and networks on topics such as inclusion, accessibility, and implementing Just Transitions in the workforce. It’s important to note that all these activities are voluntary.  

The Future of Work is already here! 

May 2023

Following the recent launch of THRIVE, SBC’s Future Work ecosystem pilot, I have been really encouraged by the high levels of interest we’ve received and the progress already made, so I thought I’d share a quick update.  

Firstly, I am delighted to welcome to the pilot NZ Steel, who join NZ Post and FutureWork Studio as founding partners, with six other members also registering their interest to date. 

Last week as part of our Thriving People, Thriving Voices webinar series, the pilot was brought to life for SBC members. We also shared how the ecosystem will support businesses to take the transformative approach that will be needed to successfully tackle workforce disruption and other challenges posed by the transition to net zero. 

In that webinar, I was joined by two of project’s founding partners: Kim Culpan, Head of Culture and capability at NZ Post, and Vincent Vuillard, Co-Founder and CEO of the Future Works Studio and HIVE (the digital platform that sits behind the collaboration).

Hearing from NZ Post 

Kim talked about how NZ Post’s business is being transformed – notably the exponential growth in parcel delivery, and the investment in automation needed to continue being “the best delivery partner for Aotearoa”. She also touched on how this transformation is changing the make-up and focus of the workforce, a critical challenge which makes collaboration essential and is the reason NZ Post joined the pilot.    

As Kim, said ‘the hardest step is getting started’. It was lovely to hear her talk about how she is starting to see this approach already bearing fruit, even though these are baby steps. In less than two weeks, more than 60 employees signed up to participate in the THRIVE ecosystem and 20 mentors (including executives) signed up as mentors – all employee-led!  

You can check out a clip of what Kim had to say below (4 minutes to watch). 

Visualising the THRIVE ecosystem 

It was great for members to see HIVE, the platform behind the pilot, and its functionality live on- screen. I’ve heard HIVE been called ‘a Spotify for skills capabilities’, often ones that lie hidden and dormant behind job titles. But the tech isn’t the hero, rather how it enables employees to connect, share and learn from each other, so everyone using the platform can easily tap into the skills, knowledge and experience they need to grow and thrive in the flow of work. 

Over 100 organisations have created meaningful community-led ecosystems through Hive, including the Christchurch City Holdings Group (CCHL) made up of 14 organisations and Christchurch City Council. The CCHL Group have been using Hive for more than three years now to change the way their employees collaborate together across multiple teams and business areas. In that time close to 700 projects have been posted, and more than 80 Mentors are active on the platform. Check out the website for more information. 

Check out Vincent and Kim’s demonstration here. 

What’s next? 

Over the next 12 months, the THRIVE pilot will support and enable participating businesses to work together to:   

  • Create cross-organisational visibility of current and future skills;  
  • Improve utilisilation of skills, knowledge and experience by connecting people with broader opportunities.  
  • Build capability and close skills gaps through proactive transition planning to build future ready skills, workforces and ways of working. 

The potential for transformation is huge. To get there, we are deliberatively starting small and building on insights and learnings. The first step is going to be using the THRIVE platform, which gives the participants the ability to activate mentoring, connections and shared events/communities within the ecosystem for agreed employees. In turn, this supports the organisation’s development priorities and Employer Value Proposition. This then starts to build the readiness, connections and networks to unlock opportunities for transformation such as skills pipelines, career pathways and shared talent pooling both within and across the participating organisations. 

How to join the Pilot  

We have had lots of interest from SBC members interested in joining the THRIVE pilot. Please get in touch with me ([email protected]) if your organisation is interested in joining or would like further information. To allow time for the pilot to be effective, we would like to confirm and onboard all participants over the next 4-6 weeks. Please register your interest via email to me by 5pm, Friday 26 May

March 2023

Workforce disruption is a huge, growing challenge to tackle.

From talent shortages to the impacts of hybrid working, and from technology shifts to making sure ‘no one is left behind’ as we transition to net zero. Many businesses are facing the same massive challenges, and it’s difficult to address them in isolation – so let’s not.

Welcome to THRIVE, SBC’s future work ecosystem. This 12-month pilot is a partnership between SBC, NZ Post and FutureWork Studio and aims to ultimately bring SBC members together to work collaboratively and engage, support and equip their workforces to thrive in the changing world of work.

Our shared goal is to build a transformational approach to how we build future ready skills, workforces and ways of working today.  Participants will be delivering on that goal by:

  • enabling cross-organisational visibility of current and future skills
  • improving skills utilisation across workforces by connecting people with broader opportunities
  • closing skills gaps through proactive transition planning. 

Stay tuned to learn more about this collaboration as it develops, as well as how you can get involved down the road. Please note, this collaboration is open to SBC members only.

12 Dec, 2023

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