Going ROWE – an answer to today’s work place Talent ‘engagement’ issues

I have a keen interest in working environments, culture and engagement within them and how we tackle the huge disconnects of modern day living and outdated work system beliefs. The solution I found and subsequently implemented at Xpand was ROWE.

My next few posts will therefore take a look back at this journey of discovery of ROWE just under a year ago. Last May I did an interview on Xpand’s shift to ROWE with Michael Barata, which can be seen here. I told him how I found out about ROWE and explained what I planned to do:

“My interest in ROWE stems from working in a highly progressive and dynamic company well aligned to my own values. We are always looking at how to improve ourselves and the culture is one of collaboration and ideas so it doesn’t surprise me that this has evolved here. Our journey started when I was sent the link of Dan Pink’s talk on today’s work environments and it stemmed from there. I got in touch with Cali & Jody and the more I dug and understood, the more I got excited about the possibilities for Xpand to make that final jump from Results Orientated to ROWE. Even in a liberal and modern businesses like Xpand, as a sales business, consultants are often micro managed on activity and results but are not empowered by trust and freedom unless they are ‘top biller’ or some other such title. I always knew there were limitations involved in the disconnect between micro managed KPIs and motivating staff. That disconnect can never be mended but I realized ROWE would flip things to mean that the staff could connect with their results in a more positive and motivational manner through ROWE.

My ROWE plan was taken after advice from Cali and started with introducing the idea to the rest of the Xpand management team. I then sought and received approval from the CEO of our parent Group to proceed in Singapore as a pilot run. As we are a small, relatively new (3 years) but growing satellite office it seemed the perfect place to start our Xpand ROWE journey. After further advice from Cali I purchased The ROWE Launch Kit. During this time I conducted all the pre-migration work. The team enjoyed it and was super excited. We have had many “Aha!” moments and even in an open, relatively free, results orientated work environment, the step to ROWE is still large and fraught with both emotional and logistical challenges we are overcoming every day as we progress.”

The process is a 5 part series that is both methodical and logical, both highly necessary of any change programmes. Next, I’ll share step 2, our experiences of the ROWE KickOff Session.


About Rob Fanshawe

Currently MD, Asia for Xpand Group, living in Singapore with his wife and dog (golden retriever), his passion in life is simple, “people”. He loves everything to do with meeting and understanding them to helping them and businesses realise their potential through the resulting positive connections.

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