1. The SpaceX phenomena that Elon Musk has led with reusable spacecraft and new technology that ushers in the next stage of space exploration and utilisation of our extra-atmosphere.
  2. The sign for multiplication. And the need to think about things as a multiplier, not just an add/subtract binary.
  3. It could indicate a version of something where x replaces an unknown numeric. Like 2.x
  4. It’s become a shorthand for a few things — eXecutive; eXperience, eXecution (as in operationalising an idea).
  5. In my case lately, it is to symbolise the word experiment — and that ‘ex’ sound that I seem to over-emphasise in pronunciation when I say this word (more than others I used like external, extraordinary, exhale). Try it, you might do that too (with the others I go louder, naturally on TER, TRAORD, and HALE).
  • It may have been in continuous use but with necessary adaptations.
  • It may have been mothballed ready to use with some further adjustments planned now ready for June/July occupancy.
  • And in some cases, will never be the same as it was pre-March 2020, so people will have to reorient themselves significantly on their return.
  • In/out.
  • A rota or quota.
  • A random choice/forced diktat.
  • Just “Let’s make the space more collaborative and move some desks out” tactic.
  • “Let’s give it to a Machine Learning algorithm” though increasingly, I think we might see that help us more than we ever imagined it could.
  • Just abandoning the place entirely and all work from home forevermore.

WorkX is a totally different way to look at how work gets done.

It’s like the multiplier X — taking advantage of exponential, multiplying factors to solving climate damage, human health damage and damage to the fairness of opportunity for all. 2x better, 5x better, 100x better.

WorkX is your chance to repair and even more so, regenerate and reinvent work, for a much better outcome for all.

It’s like the version X — so why create Work V1.2 or even 1.8 when you could create V3 and head towards V4 — a more radical and sustainable shift given to you by the hard-stop that has been the pandemic.

WorkX is a once-in-a-decade or even lifetime chance to really make lasting, sustainable change for all aspects of your being as an organisation and as people working within it, around it and impacted by it.

It’s like the shorthand — declaring your intent with a new way to depart from old orthodoxies into new ways.

WorkX is your strategy for now and next. However long you dare look into the future.

And most important for this piece — it’s like the eXperiments you need. No one has the answers to Hybrid working, or all the permutations going through Corporate Real Estate, Finance, HR or Operational leaders’ minds.

WorkX is a series of continuing experiments to design, test, learn, adapt, retest, adapt again as a continuum.

It’s work in Perpetual Beta (HT Harold Jarche), it’s a never finished version. It never was anyway, but we thought it was more stable, replicable and static than it really was (even with our occasional Change Programme launch statement that ‘Change is the Only Constant’ platitude).

It’s one team at a time.

SpaceX hasn’t built a Starship Fleet fit for the Federation — yet. They’re doing it one at a time, Falcon-9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon as variables. And launching, learning and adapting.

  1. Each company of whatever size and scale declares its commitment to WorkX. We need to do things differently come July-December to shape our long term thinking. So with a similar way that we would commit to a Living Wage, an International Standard or a Banking Code, we’re committing to WorkX.
  2. In making this mean something, each team is guided on what WorkX means to them and they are invited to experiment and reveal and share evidence of those experiments. You then create the infrastructure to support these team-based units of experimentation. WorkX has to be alongside the work, and influence and be informed by it. It’s not that detached study by consultants, it’s you shaping things whilst you’re doing them.
  3. Around the end of the year, we’ll have 6 months of experimentation, to match our 12 months of forced lockdown working. A WorkX team of analysts from within are given this to work into the future, long-term way of operating. So WorkX goes from eXperiment to eXecution. You can say that “we’re shifting this way of working/place/who does it as part of our WorkX approach”.
  4. WorkX becomes version control as continued company-wide adaptation, experimentation, diversification and more, becomes part of the way all companies sustain their place in the world. And like magic, you don’t need as many convulsive and ineffective change programmes anymore because you ARE the change. WorkX is ongoing. It’s the sheet that you score different types of music onto. It’s part of your Operating System. Upgraded. And it’s where your constantly upgrading work apps and user interfaces also sit.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past.”

“OK, all good for Elon, but what about right now? That’s what matters to us most surely?”

  • To some, now doesn’t feel better than it was, and they long for a return to the past ironically perhaps as a key part of their future.
  • To others, the future could be so much better by not returning to the past at all and be an extension of now with adaptations. But NOT the past.
  • In both instances, we need the lessons of now and the more recent adapted past to create a superior version (the future).

WorkX is my suggestion for experimenting, teaming, and revealing our way to do better. It can’t be prescriptive, it shouldn’t be owned, it is the adapted principles of a better working world.

It’s not an all-out aberration or an all-in living museum.



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Perry Timms

Perry Timms

CEO PTHR |2x TEDx speaker | Author: Transformational HR + The Energized Workplace | HR Most Influential Thinker 2017–2021 | Soulboy + Northampton Town fan