…in a world where all people can find appropriately paid, meaningful work no matter their background or circumstance. A world where no one’s potential is left unseen. Where a person’s skills and capabilities are visible to businesses, and where businesses and opportunities are visible to those who may wish to see them. Where different backgrounds or educational circumstances do not form a barrier to work for someone if they have the appropriate skills and, or the wherewithal to develop those skills. Where living with past trauma, inequity, internalized assumptions about one’s own worth, or a lack of self-confidence, do not form insurmountable barriers to attaining meaningful work. Where potential is respected and sought out. Where leaders collectively take responsibility for helping enable people to find meaningful work, whilst reducing the impact of external and internal barriers on meaningful careers. Where leaders themselves have access to shared resources and wisdom that can help them in this plight.
People contribute their best selves in life, business, and society when they are seen, heard, and appreciated at work. The focus on skills visibility, developing capabilities, and providing opportunities in a changing world of work is here. Collectively, we need to break down barriers and amplify enablers to co-create an equitable and prosperous future world of work — for people, business, and society!
Increasingly, human capital is understood as the most valuable resource for the majority of organizations, and yet those responsible for aligning skills (people) with work (jobs) have been doing so in spite of, rather than supported by, the technology available to them — until now. The world needs visibility over skills and jobs for talent and business to achieve Zero Wasted Potential.On the talent side, job opportunities must be visible and interest-aligned with a person’s skills and capabilities. On the business side, people’s skills and capabilities need to be visible in intentional ways, so that businesses can overcome any tendency to inherently favor people who traditionally have been advantaged by skewed visibility and opportunity.
...only then can we seek to work towards a world with Zero Wasted Potential, where no one is left behind.
But that’s not all we need…
When a person’s potential is released, it ceases to exist! It has been released into the world as value. Streams of value from unlocked potential flow into the person’s life, into the business where they work, and into society. This value positively impacts the person’s relationships, their finances, family circumstances, and their ability to have even more agency in their own life. It benefits the business, impacting performance at both team and organizational levels through increasing ROI and reducing turnover and recruitment costs, and benefitting culture. And it flows into society too, reducing inequality and exclusion, improving social cohesion, and diversifying the decision-making tables that are responsible for making big calls about some of today’s most pressing global issues.
…unlocking wasted potential at work creates value in the person’s life and the lives of their family. Employment security flows through to greater income, health, and educational stability and security, better self-efficacy, greater confidence, better mental health and wellbeing, and more hope for the future! At work, there is a greater sense of meaning, belonging, engagement, and work performance.
People feel when their potential is being unlocked. They can feel seen, heard, appreciated; a feeling that in some way, they matter. It feels good! The value of unlocking wasted potential can differ between people depending on their needs and priorities, but it is real and it is immense.
For some people for whom visibility is especially low and barriers are especially high, the number one need might be ‘security’ and earning a living that adequately supports their family. For some people who are already adequately recompensed, the focus may be on job alignment with purpose. In each case, unlocking wasted potential is about increasing their value contribution, to themselves and their families, their business, and society.
…wasted potential in people may represent one of the largest reservoirs of untapped value creation; and the bigger the business the more potential there is to unlock.
Working towards ZWP can promote:
i) higher internal mobility, lower turnover, higher engagement and performance at individual, team, and organisational levels, resulting in a happier workforce and a more fully optimised organisation;
(ii) diverse teams who can reap the benefits of their portfolio of skills and capabilities; and
(iii) the development of a modern mix of diverse decision makers with the voices, skills, and agency to advocate for and effect change in their communities along social and environmental lines.
Longer term, workers can feel more seen by, connected with, loyal to, and motivated to protect and serve the business. This flows into the business and brand reputation both amongst employees, prospective hires, customers, shareholders and beyond. The North Star for business of ZWP is high, long-term business performance financially and culturally.
Businesses who have moved their mindset and have incorporated their ZWP plan into their strategy around financial, people and culture, and ESG targets, will enjoy long-term compounding value creation. Which is why ZWP is a responsibility that ladders directly to the board as well.. Whether a director’s gaze is set on tomorrow, or out beyond the horizon, a ZWP mindset allows boards to prioritise cultural and financial value creation that underpins long-term business growth, shareholder return, and stakeholder interests. In 2022, integrating ZWP into your broader ESPG board targets is an impactful addition to your forward strategy.
Planning for ZWP in the world of work involves the whole organization — from the chair and board to the executives, leaders, managers, and team members. To achieve a sustainable ‘win-win-win’ across people, business, and society, and in keeping with stakeholder capitalism, we need to start with action from all.
Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that they are actively building the skills and capabilities in their people that the world needs for the future. In larger businesses, from a data perspective, this is now possible thanks to workforce intelligence technology that provides two-way visibility at scale between people skills, and the jobs requiring them. But a leader has a double responsibility here; first, adherence to modern data techniques that enable two-way visibility at scale, and two, continual cultivation of learnings that underpin being able to offer people the support they need to develop and grow.
We co-founded Reejig with a clear vision in mind. To build technology that helps makes a world of Zero Wasted Potential possible; for people, business, and society.
ZWP is now gathering steam as an organic movement, thanks to the energy and passion of leaders everywhere to share their wisdom and learnings, and a collective commitment to unlocking wasted potential in people at work.
ZWP is about bringing together the ‘wisdom of the crowd’. There is so much we can learn from each other on our journey to unlock wasted potential.
ZWP resources are co-created with people from around the world; business and people leaders (past, present, and future), board directors, thought leaders, psychologists, and academics.
From written content to podcasts and videos, ZWP content is practical and open source, with ample credit to co-creators and contributors so you know where you can go to learn more. There are workshops and in-person and online opportunities where you can come together and talk about how to plan toward achieving Zero Wasted Potential.
At heart, all of our activities are based on one simple, shared premise — we can and have to do more to reduce wasted potential in people in the world of work — for people, business, and society.
Today’s competitive advantage becomes tomorrow’s financial and cultural imperative. ZWP is no different. If we focus for a moment on workforce intelligence technology; the businesses that don’t adopt workforce intelligence today may fail to benefit from the almost immediate competitive advantages of financial savings and additional revenue generation. Longer-term, it will emerge that by not adopting modern workforce intelligence methods to aid two-way, skills-based workforce visibility, businesses will suffer self-inflicted, materially significant financial and cultural wounds. Wounds that result from sticking to outdated talent practices until it was too late.
A ZWP mindset in large companies needs workforce intelligence, whilst smaller organizations may need visibility in other forms. In both cases, leaders must resource themselves with tools and strategies that help unlock wasted potential in people.
Without governments and big businesses adopting workforce intelligence technologies and adopting a Zero Wasted Potential mindset, we will continue to have the same sort of decision-makers at the decision making table. And that table will not have the diversity, the lived experience, or the skills mix to make the positive difference we need right now.
Business and people leaders, this is your moment!
This is your opportunity to be one of the early adopters to join the collective journey and bring to the world a Zero Wasted Potential mindset.
The world is spinning too fast to wait for effective strategies to find the light; we will seek them out and get them to you! Join us to adopt a Zero Wasted Potential mindset, and take actions to reduce wasted potential in your business and in your life from today onwards.
We actively welcome collaboration and insights from people leaders on what is (and is not) working; we believe that learning from each other is imperative to move fast enough in this world of work.
This moment is bigger than any one of us; it is truly a collective movement for us all. It is our responsibility to see, hear, and appreciate all people in the world of work, because every journey matters.
Together, we can create a world of Zero Wasted Potential.
Sign up and gain access to practical, action-oriented content and resources, co-created with business leaders, psychologists, and academics, to help you activate #ZWP in your world!