5🌟 satisfied listeners

It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to produce some new episodes of our podcast, Workplace Matters. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating, because there are so many workplace-relevant perspectives to explore. Our client work forever seems to take priority (which is a nice problem to have!) but listeners regularly ask when new episodes are going to be out, explaining the podcast insights are more relevant and thought-provoking than ever. Perhaps the glowing reviews on Apple Podcasts is great evidence for why.

In media terms, podcasts are still a relatively new kid on the block. But their popularity is rising fast, with some now world-famous podcasts and hosts. We launched Workplace Matters back in 2016 to explore workplace issues differently, beyond the crowds fighting for attention on LinkedIn and Twitter. We were one of the first in the workplace arena.

We aimed to create an antidote to the over-simplified conference presentations we all experience, that say things we’ve probably known for years, but often change very little. Workplace is important and complex (although it doesn’t have to be complicated!) We felt that longer format conversations would reveal the really special stuff. Good things usually come to those with a little patience and investment, after all.

Making podcasts well is a labour of love - from engaging guests with something interesting worth exploring, to crafting episodes worth listening to. Some of the best have a full staff of hosts, writers, fact-checkers, sound editors and producers. At 3edges we wear all those hats, in-between the day job.

Listening to podcasts is a doddle. They’re effortless learning, and they’re free. Reading takes time and focused attention. But you can ponder along to podcasts on your commute, while making dinner, baking cakes, washing the car, hoovering, or event cutting the grass! (top #lifehack tip - try bluetooth headphones under ear defenders)

You can find Workplace Matters wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re new to podcasting you’ll find some useful links under the image below. Please leave us a review, and get in touch with any feedback. Enjoy!



You're invited! A celebration of Workplace Leadership successes and opportunities

Join us on July 10 for a great opportunity to meet past and future Workplace Leadership Programme attendees at Skyscanner’s fantastic London office.

Last year IWFM and 3edges launched the Workplace Leadership Programme, designed to promote workplace understanding, organisational capability, empower workplace practitioners and establish a community of learning and support. Since then:

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more and hear about the impact of the Programme:

  • Skyscanner case study - a workplace designed around the culture and performance of an agile technology organisation

  • Mini-sessions from Programme attendees - sharing their impact and learning

  • Course and workplace qualification news, overviews and discussion

  • Great networking opportunities in an amazing workplace!

Free tickets are available here, but please only book if you can definitely make it.

With thanks to Bureau and Skyscanner for their generous support of this event.

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We say wellbeing, you say...

We recently joined the IWFM Insight team and supremely talented illustrator Simon Heath at the Facilities Show to launch a new piece of research. Keen to start exploring the topic as widely as possible, we chatted with ExCeL London attendees, Simon doodled, and Ian recorded interviews focusing on:

  • What does 'wellbeing' mean to you, and why?

  • What are the main wellbeing issues in the workplace?

  • Whose responsibility is wellbeing in organisations?

  • How do you think FM can contribute to the wider wellbeing agenda?

Some forty conversations, nine interviews and one amazing mega-doodle later, we have some early themes! If you’d like to know more about the research, would like to comment, or would like to take part in this emergent study, please get in touch.

The Duke of Doodling himself…

The Duke of Doodling himself…

Ian in discussion with Nextbike UK’s Sam Coldham

Ian in discussion with Nextbike UK’s Sam Coldham

New IWFM insight report on the culture of FM

Last week the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) became the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), in what will be a momentous change for the profession as it seeks to raise its voice and its game.

The change from BIFM to IWFM was marked by a launch event in London on 12 November. Our very own Ian Ellison was at the launch event and chaired a debate with leaders from the world of workplace and FM. 

To coincide with the name change, the IWFM has launched the third in our series of insight reports, which explores the culture of the FM profession and includes contributions from Bee Heller at The Pioneers.

‘Culture’ is a term that’s used frequently in the world of workplace and FM, but what is ‘culture’ and how can a better understanding of culture help FM practitioners be more effective at what they do? We explore both of these questions in the report.

Using culture as ‘lens’, the report looks at the FM profession in an attempt to make sense of where it is now, where it wants to be in the future and what it needs to do to get there – based on what FM practitioners themselves have told us.

The report also includes models and thinking tools that can help workplace and FM practitioners to reflect on their own work situation and consider how they may address the challenges they face in their work.

Download a copy of the report here

We'd love to hear what you think of the report. Please get in touch to let us know.

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Workplace Leadership Programme - first course a fantastic success!

We’ve just finished delivering the first Workplace Leadership Programme course, our new executive development partnership with BIFM. Essentials of Workplace Leadership is the first of a suite of courses which will grow during 2019 to enable and develop workplace leadership performance. Described as “fast paced and inspirational”, here are some comments from the first group:

“The whole experience surpassed my expectations and it’s been one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve been on”

“Provides thought-provoking insights alongside useable knowledge, the course leaders masterfully balance delivering these deep-thinking topics whilst helping individuals shape their understanding and requirements for methods of action and delivery”

“Packed with oodles of sound evidenced-based learning in an interactive and challenging forum, highly recommend this super relevant course to all FMs and associates in workplace”

There are limited spaces left for our November/December Essentials course, and we also offer in-house delivery tailored to your organisational needs. For more information and to book click here, or contact us to discuss further.

Happy learners from diverse roles and backgrounds following a challenging and rewarding final day!

Happy learners from diverse roles and backgrounds following a challenging and rewarding final day!

Yorkshire 3 Peaks charity challenge for Samaritans

This Friday 14th September James, Ian and honorary 3edgers Gareth Chaplin (Unite) and Conor Moss (Sheffield Hallam University) are attempting our first 3edges annual charity challenge.

This year it’s the Yorkshire 3 Peaks - with a twist. Most aim to complete the 24 mile, 5200 feet of ascent challenge in 12 hours. The record is under 3! Our target is under 8 hours, and rain is forecast for the whole day so it’s going to be a tough one…

We’re raising money for Samaritans, a life-changing listening service close to our hearts. Samaritans is under more demand now than it has ever been. Our fundraising goal is £5,000. Please give generously (and add Gift Aid if you can) to help this incredibly valuable and worthwhile cause.

Thank you so much for generous donations already received.

People talk to Samaritans anytime they like, in their own way, about whatever’s getting to them. You don’t have to be suicidal. Whatever you’re going through, call Samaritans free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

Ian, Gareth and Conor training for the challenge at the Round Sheffield Run in June

Ian, Gareth and Conor training for the challenge at the Round Sheffield Run in June

Free workplace leadership webinar - 12:00 (BST) Wednesday 20 June

Ian will be delivering a live webinar introducing workplace leadership at 12:00 (BST) on Wednesday 20 June, on behalf of the British Institute for Facilities Management. This interactive session will include a short taught session introducing key concepts, then provide an opportunity for questions.

Register to attend this free webinar here. This will also allow you to access the content at a later date. We look forward to you joining us help to spread the workplace leadership word!

#WorkplaceMatters #WpLeadershipManifesto

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BIFM manifesto for change discussion on Workplace Matters - available now!

Workplace Matters podcast today features two brand new special episodes. Regular host Ian hands over the interview reins to Simon Iatrou of Magenta Associates, to explore the British Institute of Facilities Management’s intentions to change their name to embrace workplace, and seek chartered status.

Simon is joined by key members of the BIFM leadership team: Chairman Steve Roots, CEO Linda Hausmanis, and Director of Insight Chris Moriarty. Ian also joins the discussion in his professional capacity as 3edges Director and workplace insight specialist, to talk about the research work 3edges have been doing for the BIFM over the past year about the future of FM and its relationship to workplace.

The institute's manifesto for change announcement triggered a lot of industry interest and inevitable discussion on social media. It seemed clear from the comments that there were topics and issues worth digging deeper into, to give Workplace Matters listeners and BIFM members an opportunity for much richer context, so we invited the BIFM leadership team to take open questions directly, and come round the table to discuss them on Workplace Matters.

This is essential listening if you have an interest in the future of FM, the role of professional bodies, and especially if you are a BIFM member. The proposed name change is currently open for qualifying member vote on the run-up to and at BIFM's AGM on July 5 in Manchester.

If you’re enjoying the show please leave a positive review on Apple Podcasts. It really does help us spread the Workplace Matters word.

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Sheffield Hallam University and 3edges preview engage! - a toolkit for inclusive place design

On May 17, Sinead O’Toole, Future Spaces manager at Sheffield Hallam University, and Ian Ellison from 3edges previewed their new collaborative project at the Workplace Trends Learning Environments conference. engage! is a toolkit for inclusive place design for the higher and further education sectors and beyond. It focuses on learning and working environments, participatory design, and the student experience.

The toolkit was developed to help engage and consult with stakeholders when creating new learning and workplaces. A common challenge, and one Hallam were keen to address directly, is how to ensure that staff are consulted in a meaningful way, feel valued and engage actively from the outset. The toolkit encourages early consultation through consideration of place rather than space.

3edges and the University worked to co-create an innovative, scalable toolkit to use during the early stages of any project to achieve a solid design brief, where project aims reflect strategic goals, and staff remain engaged throughout the project. The toolkit considers a pre-stage to RIBA's Plan of Work entitled ‘strategic visioning’; encouraging the key stakeholders to consider the vision and needs of the building project before thinking about the physical spaces required.

engage! workshops are already in use around the University to support the delivery of Hallam's campus plan; with very positive feedback from Sheffield Business School’s PVC and Faculty Leadership Team.

Hallam and 3edges are keen to share this invaluable tool and are currently exploring ways to fund the commercialisation of the toolkit. You can register your interest to learn more about the developing initative here.

Daniel Ladbury, Director of Estates said, “We want to create an exceptional environment in which to learn and work; this is an exciting opportunity for us to explore ways to deliver a modern, diverse and flexible learning environment that supports Sheffield Hallam to achieve its ambition of becoming the world’s leading applied university but that also attracts, engages and retains its students and staff.”

Ian Ellison, Co-founder and Director of 3edges said, “We were incredibly privileged to be able to work with Sinead, and are delighted with the new opportunities that this emergent commission has created. Our shared knowledge of Hallam helped unlock creative insights together, and we’re really excited to invite other HE sector institutes to embrace this democratising toolkit to create a community of place-making learning together.”

Are you ready to unlock your workplace advantage with 'Essentials of Workplace Leadership'?

Some of the world’s most influential and successful companies use workplace as a tool for competitive advantage. But in many organisations workplace continues to be misunderstood, ignored and mismanaged. The British Institute of Facilities Management has announced plans to embrace workplace as a key differentiator for its members. We're working in partnership with them to enable you to do the same.

Essentials of Workplace Leadership is the first course of our executive Workplace Leadership Programme. It will:

  • Challenge your preconceptions of what workplace is and why it’s important
  • Help you develop a better understanding of how workplace impacts on individual and organisational performance
  • Provide you with the knowledge, skills and tools to make more informed decisions about workplace
  • Enable you to assume a leadership role in workplace change initiatives
  • Equip you with the practical tools and methods to evaluate the impact of workplace change

This small-group interactive course will comprise two initial workshop days, interim practical ‘discovery missions’, then a final action-focused review day. Attendance will also entitle you to become part of the executive Workplace Leadership Programme learning community to share ideas and best practice.

Two course options are currently available for 2018:

  • 18/19 July and 6 September in London. For more information and to book click here
  • 7/8 November and 6 December in London. For more information and to book click here

Essentials of Workplace Leadership can also be delivered ‘in-house’ and tailored to your specific business needs. To discuss this option please contact us directly.

We’re running two free taster sessions to provide more information and answer queries:

  • 22 May in Manchester. To attend this free event click here
  • 24 May in London. To attend this free event click here

As Neil Usher says in The Elemental Workplace, "Everyone deserves a fantastic workplace". Let's turn this aspiration into reality together. Unlock your workplace advantage.


FM + tech: new BIFM knowledge report out now

We've been working the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) as insight partners, following the research we did for them last year to explore the future of the FM profession.

Technology has always played a big role in shaping the way we work, and it is likely to be one of the most significant influences on the facilities management profession in the future. The opportunity that technology presents to change the way FM works is huge, but is FM tooled up for what's coming?

Our latest insight report, Embracing Technology to Move FM Forward, examines the role emerging digital technology will play in the future of FM, for better or for worse. What technology is FM already comfortable with? What about the risk of disruption?

Our research points to four possible scenarios for the FM profession: a digital upgrade, a digital downgrade, a digital displacement or a digital reinvention. But which do FMs see as the likeliest scenario? We draw some provocative conclusions.

We'd love to hear what you think of the report. Please get in touch to let us know.

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New podcast episode - exploring future work scenarios

Jeff Saunders, Director at the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, joins Ian for part 2 of our Workplace Matters Danish workplace mini-feature. CIFS, who have been around since the 60s, recently completed a seven-year six book collaboration with facilities services giant ISS with the publication of their ‘Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace’ capstone white book.

In a world where every other LinkedIn post seems to be about future this, that or the other, this was a rare privilege to spend some time with a seasoned expert representing an organisation that has been helping firms of all shapes, sizes and types think strategically - in the true sense of the word - for half a century. Well worth a listen...



Latest podcast with Peter Ankerstjerne - out now!

Peter Ankerstjerne, former long-standing Chief Marketing Officer of global facility services provider ISS, joins Ian for part 1 of our Workplace Matters Danish workplace mini-feature. The discussion goes under the bonnet of the global facility services megacorp that employs almost 500,000 people worldwide to explore ideas about workplace, FM, innovation strategies, digital technology, and - yes, they go there - the future of work!

This episode was recorded at the ISS global headquarters. It’s more than a shop front and a HQ: it’s a living lab for their own ideas about future workplace, which - in a tech-enabled art of the possible way - they bring to life fantastically in a video called 'how Internet of Things technology brings the workplace into the future'. Well worth a watch...

Listen to the episode on loads of platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. All links (and direct streaming) are available here.

Image from ISSworldservicesTV video (2017)

Image from ISSworldservicesTV video (2017)

Workplace Matters BIFM Q&A special

Coming early June we've got a super-important special episode of Workplace Matters for you. The British Institute of Facilities Management's Chairman Stephen Roots, CEO Linda Hausmanis, and Director of Insight Chris Moriarty will be joining Ian for a panel discussion, to be chaired by seasoned FM commentator Simon Iatrou, Content Manager at PR firm Magenta, and until recently editor at industry on-line journal i-FM.

If you could put one question to the panel about BIFM's proposals to change its name to the 'Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management' (IWFM) and pursue chartered body status, or the institute's manifesto for change and 'workplace' more generally, what would it be? Well, now's your chance - please get involved!

Send your questions to communications@bifm.org.uk or post them on Twitter to @BIFM_UK by May 2. We'll be recording the discussion show the following week.


New BIFM knowledge report by 3edges - out now

We've been working the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) as insight partners, following the research we did for them last year to explore the future of the FM profession.

On March 1, BIFM made the landmark announcement that it intended to change its name to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management. This comes at a time where the notion of ‘workplace’ continues to receive increasing business attention. Inspired by exemplars leading the way, organisations are starting to see the opportunity to rethink their working environments to positively influence their organisational performance.

However, because workplace means different things to different people, it can be misunderstood or undervalued. Out latest knowledge report, Embracing workplace to move FM forward, seeks to raise awareness and understanding of workplace amongst practitioners, and to encourage them to think about what workplace means for them. Written for a wide readership, with a mixture of provocative thinking and practical tools, the report explores the workplace opportunity and how we can take advantage of it.

We'd love to hear what you think of the report. Please get in touch to let us know.

Embracing workplace to move FM forward

Embracing workplace to move FM forward

Ian at BIFM learning event, 18 April, Manchester

On April 18 Ian will be joining BIFM's Chairman, Steve Roots, and Herman Miller's Director of Knowledge & Insight, Mark Catchlove, to discuss 'smarter workplaces' at a BIFM Northern Region key learning breakfast event.

These learning events are always tremendously popular, so if you're keen to attend - and can definitely make it - please book your free place on Eventbrite here. Contact Ian @ianellison on the run up to the event with any questions or comments, and be sure to come say hello on the day!  

Thanks to Mark Whittaker for coordinating, and for Autonomous FM for sponsoring this event at Manchester Central.


Neil Usher back on Workplace Matters!

Workplace author, blogger and executive consultant Neil Usher joins 3edges director Ian Ellison again on the day of his ‘The Elemental Workplace’ book launch; also the day the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) announce their proposal to become the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM). Both of these very different, but exciting developments for the workplace discipline are discussed at length, and Neil offers insightful critique as always.

The conversation ends up at one of the new frontiers for workplace - and global society in general - the ethical challenges we face from emerging digital technologies. Further links from the discussion can be found in the show-notes.

Neil was the first ever guest when Workplace Matters launched back in 2016 when he was still Workplace Director at Sky, just before the new Sky Central building, ‘one of the world’s largest, most progressive and amenity-rich agile environments’ started winning awards. Neil left Sky several months later to develop his writing and consultancy aspirations. His initial conversation with Ian is still available as episode 2.

The show is now available on Spotify, as well as Apple Podcasts, Acast, PodBean and CastBox.

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Workplace Matters now on Spotify

We're super-chuffed to have got our Workplace Matters podcast on Spotify. It's still available on Apple Podcasts and Acast, but if you're a Spotify user you've now got the convenience of having our podcast alongside your playlists and favourite tunes! Join those workplace dots and have a binge on great conversations including these with:

  • The Elemental Workplace author and ex Sky Workplace Director Neil Usher
  • Workplace Insight editor Mark Eltringham
  • The Stoddart Review project team leader Polly Plunket
  • BIFM chief insight officer and and ex-Leesman MD Chris Moriarty
  • Chief energy officer of PTHR Perry Timms
  • UCL reader and Brainybirdz co-founder Dr Kerstin Sailer
  • People Analytics author and President & CEO of Humanyze Ben Waber
  • Konnected People MD and ex BIFM chair Julie Kortens
  • Motivational Voice MD Vic O'Farrell
  • Editor of i-FM Simon Iatrou
  • Workplace change agent Will Easton

More episodes coming very soon - be sure to follow/subscribe on your app of choice so you don't miss a thing!

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The workplace pivot: from BIFM to IWFM

It’s going to be a historical 25th year for BIFM. Earlier today, they announced their intent to become the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management through member approval at their AGM on 5th July, and also to actively pursue chartered status. The board and leadership team have worked long and hard on this initiative, informed by research 3edges undertook for them last year. The first public research output is available as a briefing paper called 'FM and the future world of work'. Two further knowledge reports will follow soon, the first exploring the relationship between workplace and FM in more depth, and the second taking a closer look at the impact of emerging technologies on workplace and FM.

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FM's status and tech open to debate

April 10-12 sees the annual Facilities Event at the NEC, Birmingham. It’s a great opportunity to network, take stock of the facilities management (FM) arena, and to learn for free. Ian will be chairing panel debates on April 11 and 12 exploring both FM’s senior contribution and FM’s interrelationship with technology.

PR and communications agency Magenta Associates are busy curating the educational sessions, which also gives us the opportunity for a long overdue conversation with managing director Cathy Hayward about her award winning agency and take on the workplace world, for a future episode of Workplace Matters.

Come and get involved.

If you would like Ian to speak at your corporate event or conference, please get in touch.

You can register for free  here

You can register for free here