New Work: It all comes down to the right balance


How we work has changed fundamentally in recent years and the younger generation in particular is questioning the meaning and purpose behind it. If businesses want to remain fit for the future, and if they want the workforce of the future to see them as attractive employers, they need to face up to their social responsibilities and establish sustainable business models. The concept of New Work is a useful way of approaching this new reality, but many managers are unsure about what it actually involves.

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New Work in procurement

On the face of it, Robert Kelly was completely in his element. A seasoned professional, the political science professor was giving a video interview to the British television broadcaster BBC on the conflict between North and South Korea. This is Kelly’s field of expertise and he had previously given dozens of interviews on the relationship between the two countries. What he wasn’t expecting on the day in question, however, was for both his children to suddenly burst into his office. Viewers saw Kelly try to keep them at a distance and avoid being distracted – and they saw that he wasn’t entirely successful, particularly when one of them made a beeline for his desk and then knocked over some books.

If the interview had taken place nowadays, nobody would have batted an eyelid; video calls have become the norm and we can work from anywhere. From Teams and Google Meet to Zoom and Skype, a whole host of software programs has been developed to handle calls like this one.

But Robert Kelly actually gave that interview back in March 2017. The video went viral around the world, to the embarrassment of the professor, leading to a follow-up interview with the BBC soon afterwards.

A lot has happened in the intervening five years. A multitude of external events has ensured that an incident like that in a video interview in today’s world would not stand out at all. First we had the COVID-19 pandemic, which exiled many of us to working from home and acted as a catalyst for remote working. Since then, we have faced a succession of crises – supply shortages, energy shortages, inflation, the economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – that have presented procurement with fresh challenges on a daily basis. It is vital for businesses to respond as quickly as possible and remain agile, and that is precisely why we need ways of working that suit the world we live in now.

With all the zeal for new work, it is important not to disregard interpersonal relationships.

Actively shaping Procurement

It is crucial that New Work becomes a part of everyday life and that we improve how we work on an ongoing basis. Learn more about the topics:

  • New Work is More than Simply Remote Working
  • Creating an Equal Footing
  • Managers Need to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone
  • Keep People at the Heart

New Work in Procurement & Consultancy Environment

Having a detailed understanding of your clients’ markets and challenges is crucial for delivering productive consultancy services. If we are to guide our clients properly on transformation issues in particular, it is important that we lead by example. That is why we have also engaged closely with New Work as a concept and asked ourselves how we at INVERTO want to work in the future.

Detailed contents in the magazine

  • The Stereotypical Management Consultant is a Thing of the Past
  • The Foundation for New Work
  • Implementing Specific Actions and Measures
  • Management tasks during the shift to NEW WORK

Learn more about the opportunities that modern working methods can offer for procurement, the benefits that the right balance can bring and receive recommendations for action for NEW WORK as a fundamental change.

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Frank Wierlemann

is a founder and Managing Director at INVERTO. He is an experienced retail expert who advises companies on all issues relating to strategic procurement and supply chain management.

Lina Tilley

is a Principal at INVERTO’s London office. She has extensive procurement experience and advises companies from the industrial goods sector on transformation issues and raw materials procurement. She also has a particular interest in promoting diversity within INVERTO and continuing to develop the team in our UK office.