The Work Forward Movement You Didn’t Know Existed

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Like a fish to water

When a fish is swimming around, it has everything it needs to survive. Yet, it is unaware that the very thing that makes its survival possible is the water.

As humans, we exist in a similar environment that we call work. We are so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we don’t often step back to consider what work means. We just do it.

Work is simply applying our talents and skills to something to create value. It doesn’t matter if that value is material, like a product or service, or intangible, like a feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment. Value is value.

The problem is that we live in a world where the concept of work has become removed from its true meaning. We think of work as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

When we start thinking deeply about the way we work and how we can improve the way we do it to help the organizations we represent, we are able to transition into a higher state of awareness.

Work Forward – A New Perspective

Work Forward is a movement founded around the simple idea that work can be better. People and resources around the world drive this concept focused on the improvement of work.

With this perspective, it is very important to fully see that work requires a multi-dimensional perspective. It is not an attempt to arrive at a ’future of work‘ fix, and that’s why we acknowledge that it is intentional, designed, and always evolving. Work Forward strives to share, explore, and experiment, as well as identify tools and practices to improve work.

The Fundamental Question

Work Forward seeks to answer only one question: How can the business of work be better today?

This has become a concern across all companies, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic started, where the very definition of work has been challenged with outcomes that we never imagined, such as volume attrition, the struggle to meet employee expectations, the need for business to stay afloat and the need to become relevant and sustainable in the market. The pandemic brought about these trials, and we find ourselves in a state of uncertainty. The models of how work has been organized — that we believed were enduring —can no longer move us forward.

The Human-Centric Approach

Work Forward places a lot of importance on the humanity of work. The human-centric approach allows us to address whatever isn’t working; it also helps us to discover other paths that can be adapted and developed further in the work environment. When we bring suitable work principles, fundamental capabilities, and relationship dynamics together, this will lead to best practices that can help organizations reach their goals.

The Work Forward Summits and the Continuing Conversation

Since the first Work Forward Summit in 2019 when a group of professionals and top resource people in the business sphere met, the conversation has continued, aimed at answering the fundamental question: How can the business of work be made better?

As each company or consultancy dives deep to understand how work can be improved, and the future of work is more clearly defined, it is tempting to seek a singular path to success.

The Work Forward approach maintains that starting off with a broader perspective will make a company see itself in the picture and ultimately result in a Work Forward strategy that is unique to any given company’s journey.

In recent Work Forward summits, more people have continued to bring ideas to the table, with the aim of making work better. The conversation continues today, and we invite you to chime in and be a part of making the business of work better for everyone.

Join the Movement


Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.


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