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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

See Halcyon's unique reporting on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you contribute to and/or create value from the SDGs.

Follow Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter, which will feature 52 issues and 52 responses over 52 weeks.


What's Changing? - Talent

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about talent.


June 2015






What's Happening? - Purpose

Alain de Botton wondered out loud what many must feel inwardly, i.e. why, if many or in some cases most of our waking hours are spent at work, do we rarely challenge the basic assumptions that lie behind this time-consuming, life-altering activity?

According to 2017 research by EY, business leaders are significantly overrating how their employees experience their organisation’s purpose. Based on a survey of 1,470 executives globally, “Is your purpose lectured – or lived?” shows that more than one-third of employees feel there’s a disconnect.


What's Happening? - Automation

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Please see below some of the more thoughtful and significant recent headlines about the ongoing and accelerating automation of work (new content in bold).




An associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University, showed that in recent years, many jobs requiring only mathematical skills have been automated. Bank tellers and statistical clerks have suffered. Roles which require predominantly social skills (childcare workers, for example) tend to be poorly paid as the supply of potential workers is very large.



July-August-September 2016

  • Outsourcing is being disrupted by the innovations in robotic process automation, which could cut labour costs and free workers from boring tasks. The implications of this are discussed in a new Raconteur report along with how outsourcing is no longer reserved for big corporations as more start-ups and small business are realising the advantages to be had.
  • In the next few decades, about 56% of all salaried workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam could be displaced by automation and advanced technologies, such as 3D printing. That at least is the conclusion of an extensive series of new studies by the International Labour Organisation.

August 2015


July 2015





What Happened? - Talent

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Please see below pre-2016 recent intelligence about talent. Thiis is a synthesis of major recent developments at competitors, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.


November 2015


  • In Winning the talent war: Critical success factors for consulting firms, Sourceforconsulting interviewed more than 100 job-hunting consultants and found that a huge 70% of them rate firms’ culture as one of the most important factors in choosing their next employer. While it’s not surprising that culture is important people want to like their company and their co-workers - Source was a bit surprised by just how much more important culture is relative to everything else. The second-placed factor - a good career path within the firm- was a top concern for only 55% of candidates, and money was primary factor only 54% of the time.


  • Consulting’s eternal war for talent has only intensified of late, found Sourceforconsulting, as rapid growth in some large markets and a need to recruit for digital skills has left many firms feeling short staffed.But perhaps the more daunting challenge comes from new sources of talent competition: whereas firms previously competed primarily among themselves and with investment banks to win the brightest recruits, they’re now facing a challenge from tech companies and start-ups, which many job seekers consider more exciting and possibly less brutal places to work.


In The Search for Hidden Talent Treasures, strategy+business warned that organisations looking for outside talent pay an extraordinary amount of attention to resumes. HR pores over job descriptions looking for the right words to craft compelling recruitments ads. Applicants fret as they hone their cover letters to reflect what they think the company wants. Hiring managers scour applicants’ CVs for indicators of the right skills and experience, but, too often, this is all forgotten once the hire is made.




What Happened? - Automation

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In the distant future, no one needs to work. Energy is available wherever people can set up a solar panel, windmill, or hydro-turbine. Artificial Intelligence (AI) units, distant descendants of today’s 3D printers, are capable of producing anything a person can program into them. Just by asking, anyone can have anything they want. People trade energy credits or donate energy to projects that interest them.

See for example HBR on "Computers Create Jobs and Inequality at the Same Time".


What Happened? - Automation

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Please see below selected recent intelligence about the ongoing and accelerating automation of work .

June 2016


  • Asking "what’s the future of the workplace?", an MIT professor predicted that new technologies will enable more decentralised decision making and ultimately more freedom in business.