About + FSG Team + Services             March 2011     
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From Our Blogs


New Series! Flex and the C-Suite: John C. Parry, Solix, Inc.


FSG CEO, Cali Yost, Discusses Strategic Flex  in UN Newsletter 


Question of the Month

What do you want to know about how  

to "Make Flexibility Real" in your organization?


Tell us in the Flex+Strategy LinkedIn Group   

NEW! "Make Flexibility Real" Newsletter 

Welcome! This monthly newsletter is for any leader who recognizes that flexibility in how, when and where work is done is more than just a "nice to have" perk but a core business strategy.  It requires more than a formal flexible work arrangement policy. It goes beyond a toolkit on the portal and manager training.  


To make flexibility real, you have to:


Discover and leverage the organic flexibility that already exists in your organization.


Create readiness and buy-in at all levels to rethink rigid ways of working that hinder personal and business success.


Encourage innovation-focused conversations between managers and employees.  This ongoing dialogue creates win-win flex solutions that meet the unique goals of the business and the work+life fit (not, balance) needs of individuals.


Drive a shared vision of flexibility deeper into the day-to-day operating model by aligning work processes, management structures and rewards.


Link the impact of flexibility directly to the goals of the business and measure impact.


Making flexibility real is a non-linear and often messy process. But we love it. Every month we'll share key "how to" tips in this newsletter, in our LinkedIn group and in our new webinar series.


Click here to have the newsletter delivered monthly via email.     


Again, welcome!  Let's get started...


New!  Make Flexibility Real Webinar Series: "3 Steps to Create an Employee+Employer Flex Strategy Partnership" Friday, May 13th from 12-1 pm EST. Save the date...more information soon!

"Make Flexibility Real" Topic of the Month 


To Make Flexibility Real, You Need All 3 Layers of the Flex "Turducken"--Policy in a Process, in a Strategy   


Yes, that's right.  Flex strategy "turducken."  What?  Here's the backstory: 


It all started during a team discussion about the best way to present our next phase recommendations to a client.  In an attempt to wrap them under a unifying concept, FSG partner, Donna Miller, pointed out, "It's a policy wrapped in a process, wrapped in a strategy.  A veritable flexibility  'turducken' if you will." And, with that, the perfect metaphor for "strategic flexibility" was born. A turducken.    


Just as a butcher creates a turducken by wrapping chicken inside duck, inside turkey, organizations make flexibility real when it wraps policies inside of a process inside of a a plan for implementation that's linked to business objectives:



The Flex Strategy "Turducken"



What does a strategic flexibility "turducken" look like in action?  Although every organization is different, here are some highlights by layer...Click HERE to read the article in its entirety  


May Newsletter Topic Preview--How to create an employee+employer flex strategy partnership.  Tell us what you want to know about this topic and we'll try to cover it in the newsletter.   

"Make Flexibility Real" Case of the Month   
Flexibility to Minimize Layoffs

Eighteen months ago, Jim, as senior leader in a national professional services firm faced a challenge: He needed to reduce his head count by 15% but his clients valued the consistency of the teams dedicated to their accounts.  Plus he knew that when business recovered he'd be forced to overwork the staff that remained as he struggled to hire and train replacements.  There had to be a better way. 

Jim thought about his options and called a meeting of his direct reports to brainstorm.  One idea suggested was, "What if we cut everyone's hours and salary by 15% for the next six months and then reevaluate where we are?"  When the leaders announced the plan, they were surprised by how few people pushed back and how many appreciated the opportunity to keep their jobs and work together to help the business recover. 

Today, business is recovering and Jim believes that his team's strategic, creative use of reduced schedules for six months has positioned his region for success.  Other offices are not only scrambling to hire people, he isn't losing people as the market improves.  "I think they are grateful that we tried to do all we could to minimize job cuts.  And we are seeing the payback today."

Here are the three things Jim did to make flexibility real and minimize layoffs:
  1. He defined the problem.
  2. He involved his team in brainstorming solutions with strategic flexibility as an option, and
  3. He instituted a short-term checkpoint to reevaluate and recalibrate if necessary.    
For another example of a manager who used flexibility to limit layoffs, click here
Connect with the Flex+Strategy Group


We invite you to to any of your friends and colleagues who want to "Make Flexibility Real."  


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