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People are the world’s most important resource.

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We believe

…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!

Why do we believe in #ZWP?

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.

We believe when there is: 

  1. equality of job visibility for all people no matter their background or circumstance;
  2. equality of skills visibility for businesses no matter the background or circumstance of the person with the skills; and
  3. a reduction of barriers so that their impact does not bias against traditionally marginalized groups from genuine inclusion.

...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…

Ingredients for a ZWP world

  • Focus on people’s skills and capabilities (undeveloped skills) rather than role experience and degree-based educational achievements;
  • Support for people to use what skills they have and grow what skills they could have;
  • Make work opportunities more visible to people, and people more visible for work opportunities;
  • Help people and businesses reduce the impact of internal barriers (e.g., self-confidence, assumptions) and external barriers (e.g., biases, prejudices) on unlocking wasted potential;
  • Acknowledge that hearts and minds work best when they are aligned, therefore understanding that a person’s unique interests are important when considering which of their skills they may wish to develop.
  • Support for leaders to freely share and develop practical skills about how they can reduce barriers, enhance enablers, and unlock wasted potential in themselves and their people.

Behind every business and institution are people (our greatest resource!). Actions in the world, both big and small, including those that impact issues like climate change, social prosperity, and equity, can be traced back to human decision making, and to groups of individual people, like you and me. In supporting more people to not just survive but thrive, together we can create a world with zero wasted potential for people, business, and society.

A ZWP world benefits us all!

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.

For people

…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.

For business 

…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.

For society

…unlocking wasted potential in people creates extraordinary value streams! Access to good jobs — jobs that are meaningful and properly paid — is known to contribute to social cohesion, where people from different backgrounds understand they face shared challenges and feel that in spite of differences, they belong to the same community. 

Zero Wasted Potential promotes upward mobility by actively reducing barriers and increasing visibility. Other benefits include better physical and mental health on a population level, lower levels of family violence, and higher levels of community safety. Unlocking wasted potential in people and aligning their opportunities more effectively with their skills and capabilities promotes economic growth and contributes to total factor productivity, compared to a world with the same unemployment rate but a lower alignment of people with their favored skills and capabilities.

The magic beans given to a society that adopts a ZWP approach are the positive impacts for vulnerable, marginalized, and excluded groups;increased civic participation,social and economic development, and the increase of meaningful, properly paid jobs.

Taking a ZWP approach means leaving no one behind and intentionally acknowledging that everyone, no matter their background or circumstance, has potential that is equally worth respecting and unlocking.

Time for action

Who is responsible for #ZWP?

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.

#ZWP: A movement in the making!

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. 

What does the #ZWP movement bring?

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.

#ZWP is imperative, commercially and socially

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. 

Wasted potential is rife 

It will take big business to embrace what’s technologically possible so that millions of hearts and minds can find meaningful work aligned with their skills and capabilities, unencumbered by barriers of inequitable access or personal circumstance. 

This means first making visible the skills and capabilities of people from vulnerable, marginalized, and excluded communities including First Nations peoples, those with English as a second language, recent arrivals, and refugees. It also means making visible the skills and capabilities of volunteers who would seek to put their skills towards impactful communities and initiatives.

A world of Zero Wasted Potential is an aspirational target that reflects how the world should be; a world where equality and equity, inclusion, and diversity are prioritized for the value created, and in recognition that the world has never been smaller, and its position never more precious or precarious. But a world of ZWP is also a necessary target we believe can be achieved! The journey to ZWP must start today because human decision making — who makes the decisions and what agency they have to action them — will determine the trajectory of social and environmental outcomes. 

This is your moment! 

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.


Siobhan Savage, Mike Reed & Dr. Shujia Zhang

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