This week’s curator, Livio Hughes, takes a more in-depth look at the background to this week’s big Shift*Base news, shares some related guides from Shift*Base, and picks 5 links for further reading.

We’re on a mission to change how we work

Our biggest news by far this week was the announcement that former Forrester Research executive, Christine Overby, has joined us to lead Shift*Base as its new CEO. We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Christine, who will be responsible for strategy, offerings and go-to-market, with a remit to build on Shift*Base’s research, networks and IP to scale the business as an insights company, with a very practical focus on delivering actionable intelligence, tools & analysis that can quickly help firms adapt to the Future of Work.

Very early on we recognised that, while there is a very real and widely-felt need for executives to access practical advice that can help them transition their companies from bureaucratic systems to more fluid and connected organisations, most of what is currently available to them are very high-level, aspirational articles on why Digital Transformation matters. What is missing is clear, evidence-based, practical advice on how to solve the many difficult issues that stand in the way of change, from a practitioner perspective.

As Christine said yesterday, “Today’s analyst firms focus on strategy and technology decisions. But it’s the people making and supporting these who have the biggest influence on outcomes. Shift*Base is the first insights company to dive into the ‘how’ of transitioning to new ways of working. Our goal is to help reform organisations for the betterment of business and society.”

As a first step, Christine will be interviewing Heads of Digital and HR for research on the practical challenges they face in Digital Transformation initiatives, and what barriers they think are holding back new ways of working. To participate and receive a complimentary copy of the analysis, please contact

Shift*Base Guides

The Shift*Base Guide on how our behaviour at work can be more human is a good introduction to techniques such a Working Out Loud, Internal Groundswell and Theory U, all of which can be applied to varying degrees in the right context. Similarly our Guide on how organisational cultures can make room for humans is a great starting point for exploring Circle of Safety, Culture Code Deck, Company-Wide Q&A, and other related techniques.

Weekly Linklog

  • Shift*Base’s CEO’s initial article on Shift*Base discusses her deeply-held ambition to change our work environments to raise our performance and purpose, and systematically address what we believe is wrong with the world of work today. Why I’m Joining Shift*Base: To Reimagine The Workplace | Shift*Base
  • Catherine Bailey and Adrian Madden’s Sloan Management Review article on what gives work meaning and some common management mistakes that can leave employees feeling that their work is meaningless. What Makes Work Meaningful — Or Meaningless
  • Douglas Rushkoff’s article is a timely reminder of some of the implications of a digital future where “Instead of depending on centralized institutions for sustenance, we begin to depend on one another.” An excellent read on some of the wider societal implications of #FoW. The Future of Work: Rebooting Work — Programming the Economy for People — Pacific Standard
  • This great post looks at the role that middle managers need to play in digital transformation and contains some astute observations about digital being stuck between execs and employees, with managers charged with execution needing to reinvent their roles and functions without a clear roadmap – highly recommended. Digital Transformation and the key role of middle managers
  • Despite being a couple of years old, this HuffPost piece by Doug Kirkpatrick on the promise – and challenges – implied by the rise of the self-managed organisation is well worth revisiting as a backdrop to the evolution of more human and connected #waysofworking. The Age of the Self-Managed Organization


Shift*Groups Updates

Our (free) invitation-only community for change agents and internal practitioners of social business, collaboration and digital transformation remains open for new members, whilst we conduct a review of the site and look at how to improve its user experience and utility and consult on how we can better support the community.

Interested in what we do?

The field of people and groups working at a practical level to transform organisations and build better business structures for the Twenty-First Century is small but growing fast. If you would like to work with us, for us (or against us!), please say hello 🙂