Strategic Human Capital Insights

Disrupt the Irrelevant: Time to Evaluate Your Organizational Structure

If you dislike change, you will enjoy irrelevancy even less! 

Young businessman with big hammer against wallWe are sitting at the crossroads of two different worlds of work.  We all know this intellectually. Everyone talks about it. Then why is it taking us so long to change things?  Our present organizations are often disconnected and misaligned.  This disconnect between the new reality and blind adherence to old operating structures is creating an organization operating chasm that can and will have serious strategic implications. 

Past Organizations 

The old work paradigms of the past focus on:

  • BAU – Business as usual
  • Maintaining the routine
  • Sustainability
  • Planned growth
  • Global expansion – unlimited green fields
  • The emergence of the age of the Knowledge Worker
  • Legacy organizational structures and practices rooted in the past 

Today’s Organizations

Today, however, we are finally recognizing that the world of work has significantly changed and the nature of our workforce has changed with it.  Today, our work environment is defined by:

  • Hyper Change as the norm
  • Technology driving all aspects of work and strategy 
  • The VUCA environment is here to stay - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity
  • Growth based on discontinuous change
  • Increased competition without limitless green fields
  • Evolving organizational roles that have yet to be defined
  • Need for new organizational structures and practices
  • Different workforce

Why Try to Fit a Square Peg into a Round Hole? (And why should you still be trying?)

We are no longer emerging into this new work environment – we are right in the middle of it.  Let’s finally recognize and accept that this new world of work requires a deep, honest and critical evaluation of existing work structures and processes. It is strategically critical to ensure that to stay competitive, our organizations must be aligned and stay aligned. This alignment assessment is not a one-off event but a continual organizational process.  All too often, I see organizations either trying to ignore or deny that they need to reevaluate EVERYTHING.  We are trying to justify legacy organizational structures and process because they are comfortable and familiar.  But are they relevant? 

Thank you, Accenture.  FINALLY!

On July 24, Accenture publicly announced that they were going to abandon their traditional Performance Review process – letting go of 90% of their old practices. Why is this so important? It represents a massive internal revolution from old to new.  They have finally acknowledged what we all have been thinking for years. This is what they are going to let go:

  • Forced rankings
  • Once-a-year evaluations
  • The time, effort and expense relative to anticipated outcomes

Why is this so important?

This shift does not just affect the Performance Review process, in isolation, but has far broader organizational reach. Here are all the other parts of the organization that will be impacted by this robust future-focused shift:

  • Business Strategy - people will be forwardly aligned to business goals
  • Culture - will be developmental and individual focused
  • Assessments - continual, future focused, timely and relevant
  • Human Capital Planning - present to future focused
  • Hiring - done in anticipation versus reactive
  • Role Definition - future focused
  • Competency Benchmarking - relative to the now and future needs

Hot Topics

In this blog series we will explore and question the new world of work and the associated demands.  We will evaluate which legacy structures:

  • Still have the potential to be modified
  • Which structures and processes have to go
  • What are the new structures and processes that need to be defined

Here are some of the topics we will explore:

  • The B.S. Curve (bell-shaped curve) – Is it past its sell-by date?
  • Stop Blaming Everything on the Millennials!
  • Why Do We Love the State of Denial? It’s Not a Good Place!
  • Leadership & Management is Strategically Critical – It’s Time to Invest
  • What is Change Really Doing to Our Organizations?
  • When Does Bad Management Cross the Line to Management Malfeasance?

Since there are many questions and lots of thinking on these topics, we invite you to join our LinkedIn group so we can all participate in the discussion. 

Recent global survey data focuses on the readiness levels of global and domestic corporations for the talent demands of Workfit 2020. How do your preconceived ideas of the workforce compare with this recent data? Test your assumptions and take our complimentary Workfit 2020 Organization Stress Test today.

Take the Workfit 2020 Organizational Stress Test



Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

In 2014, Joanne Flynn founded Phoenix Strategic Performance, a strategic human capital advisory firm. Prior to this, Joanne was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for 10 years responsible for global learning and development. She then led the consulting practice of Phoenix Group International, a consulting firm specializing in global financial service. Joanne is now taking best practices from the people-intensive financial services industry and adapting those best practices to startup and growth businesses. She is a thought leader in the areas of strategic organizational alignment, organizational agility, human capital gap analysis, leadership challenges for the new workplace and transformation leadership.

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