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Blogs / Alliance for Innovation Regional Director Stories from the Road / Workforce of the Future Forum

Workforce of the Future Forum

Last week, we held an Ambassador Forum in Eagan, MN around the workforce of the future research:  looking at:

  • Building innovative environments
  • Recruitment and organizational branding
  • Employee and Management Engagement
  • Succesion Planning and Talent Management

We opened up with two case study presentations from Richfield and Mankato about the model they use to promote innovation and engagement.  


1. Adopt the Richfield Hub and Spoke model:  innovation steering team but also technology, employee engagement, customer service, social media, and employee recognition ones as well.  Have innovation team members serve on the other teams to guide them and promote connectivity

2.Follow the Mankato Pulse: Have employees develop your organizational values in cross-functional teams so they own them. Include these organizational values in your onboarding and employee recognition programs.

After the presentation, attendees broke into groups to discuss what we should be doing today to prepare for the Workforce of Tomorrow!  

Here are a few takeaways from their conversations:


1 Streamline!

2. Innovation lounge:  create a Target/CaribouCoffee look and feel

3. Bring your own device program

4. Central pool of employees across many cities we can share with each other

5. Use retirees as contractors

6 Fold personal employee passions into job

7. Get rid of email for Yammer, Facebook at work to create a collaborative environment

8.Create self-directed work by develeoping legal ways to encourage an independent contractor mentality


1.Define who we are and what impact we have on the community-tell our story

2. Focus on emerging employees 

3. Build partnerships and education

4. Be aware of technology trends to meet workforce needs

5. Push policy makers for change

6. Be open to change, make it your own and have fun


1.Educate people on their right ability to ask questions

2. Promote change in a positive light, improving not just changing

3. Tell people you want to change the culture

4. Listen to things people don't like and think about ways to help as it provides credability that you want to help solve their problems not yours

5. Embrace/understand different people/groups want different things

6. Frame your questions to get better answers

7. Recognize its a long process-don't get frustrated!

8. Find people's "hidden talents"

9. Don't waste too much time on entrenched unhappiness

10.  Don't force it-lead by example!

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