Where Do We Grow from Here?

SFU Public Square is a Simon Fraser University “initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections.” Over the past couple of weeks, SFU Public Square presented ‘Brave New Work,’ their 2018 community summit, which was framed around an increasingly important question: How can we thrive in the changing world of work?

It’s a question we’ve been contemplating at Junxion, as we announce the addition to our team of three inspiring and impressive senior consultants. More on that in a moment; first, some context….

Over about 10 days, the Brave New Work dialogues ranged across topics including work in the 21st century, the ‘poetics of labour,’ the hopes and realities of a guaranteed basic income, and more. A signature event featured Princeton foreign policy expert and former US State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Green Jobs Advisor under President Obama and Dream Corps founder Van Jones. During his remarks, Jones shared a valuable way of framing the differences between working during the agrarian age, the industrial age, and the digital age. (See full video below).

In the agrarian age, time was like a circle. We tracked the rising and setting of the sun, planning our activities in that repeating cycle. Likewise, the waxing and waning of the moon, and the cycle of seasons gave our lives their shape. Tradition, cultural practice, and community were all essential to thriving during the agrarian age.

In the industrial era, time was like a line. We could look and plan ahead, envisioning a future that stretched out before us. The past was behind us. And we could be occupied with the present—the work we were doing now to move toward our goals. Planning and preparation were essential.

In the digital era, time is still like a line, but the future is rushing at us at a pace that’s only accelerating. What’s required is agility, and those that will thrive will be the ones who can remain resilient in the face of unceasing change.

What does it mean to be a strategy consultancy in the digital age?

Strategy today must be a management practice, not an annual intervention!

For the past couple of years, we’ve been evolving the way we work at Junxion to meet the demands of the digital era—the ‘new world of work,’ as Jones’s Brave New Work session was titled. Rather than designing strategy on behalf of our clients, we work in close collaboration with them, aiming to extend their capacity with new skills and approaches. We encourage our clients to think of strategy not as an annual intervention in their work, but as a discipline of management. And we’re writing plans framed not around future milestones, but on building new capabilities that enable our clients’ organizations to respond to rapid change, new demands, and the shifting shape of work.

It’s not just our clients that are behaving differently….

Among many changes we’re making inside Junxion, there’s one that particularly excites us: In February, after co-designing a collaborative working model with a number of advisors, we quietly launched a new Affiliate Program at Junxion. The idea is grounded in our intention to build an agile, highly resilient team, while also creating opportunities for seasoned professionals who share our values and are inspired by our purpose to rethink profit for the common good.

Rather than being purely a consulting firm, we’re exploring what might it be like for us to be a shared platform for independent professionals who, like us, are committed to inspiring conscious leadership and nurturing trusted organizations.

Three amazing senior consultants are the first to explore the answer—stepping on to the platform, and sharing in our exploration of this new approach to working at Junxion:

Aron Bjornson is a strategic marketer, a local food forager, and a dedicated, passionate leader with over 25 years of experience in consumer packaged goods, retail food, content creation and community engagement. He has a collaborative and conscientious approach that focuses on building strong relationships and creating positive social change.

Ali Grovue is a consultant, a problem solver, a project manager, and a naval officer. She helps leaders of global-impact organizations solve complex organizational problems and develop more effective organizations. She integrates strategy, organizational development, and project management in a whole-system approach that helps clients overcome challenges and achieve strategic objectives.

Lindsay Richardson is a public health specialist who believes in the power of research and evaluation to engage communities and turn findings into action. For the past ten years, Lindsay has supported government agencies, non-profit organizations and First Nations communities to develop and conduct community-based research and evaluation projects to inform, influence and assess change.

Each of these experts brings complementary expertise and experience to Junxion, along with a commitment to the generosity of spirit, courage of voice, and lightness of heart that underpin Junxion’s reputation. All are available right away to support Junxion’s work with our amazing clients—and, perhaps, to support the great work you’re doing, as you navigate the dizzying road ahead, on the way to a just and sustainable future.


Mike Rowlands is President & CEO at Junxion.



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