Strategic Human Capital Insights

5 Critical Components to Organizational Development

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Organizational development, or OD for short, refers to the process of improving an organization's overall effectiveness and efficiency through planned interventions. It is a long-term effort aimed at enhancing an organization's capacity to achieve its goals and objectives by fostering a healthy and productive work environment. OD is a complex field that involves various disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics, and management. It is rooted in the belief that an organization's success depends on the performance of its people, systems, and processes. Therefore, OD seeks to improve these elements to enhance an organization's overall effectiveness.

The process of OD involves a range of activities, including data collection, analysis, and feedback. It requires a deep understanding of an organization's culture, values, and goals. The following are five of the critical components of organizational development:

  1. Change Management:
    OD is a process of change that can be challenging for organizations. Change management is a critical component of OD that helps organizations effectively navigate through the process of change. It involves identifying the need for change and assessing the risks and benefits associated with it. Developing a plan for change requires a detailed analysis of the organization's current state, future goals, and available resources. Once a change plan has been developed, it's essential to implement it in a way that minimizes disruption and maximizes the likelihood of success. This may involve training employees, communicating effectively, and providing ongoing support throughout the change process. By effectively managing change, organizations can achieve their goals and improve their overall effectiveness.

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Topics: Change Management, Human Capital, Human Resources, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely + 10 Key Observations

Posted by Joanne Flynn

So, now your employees want to continue to work remotely. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons from both the employee and employer perspective.

In response to COVID-19 and quarantine restrictions, many employees were forced to work remotely. A situation that would have once seemed inconceivable, has now become a reality. As many employees have started to now return to the office, what are the pros and cons of working remotely?

From the Employee Perspective: 

Pros of Working Remotely

  • Working remotely really suits my lifestyle.
  • I can get my work done so why do I need to go back to the office? I have flexibility about when I put my 8 hours in. 
  • Why does the company need to spend money on office space? I can work from anywhere.  Why don’t they give me the money instead of using it for a facility? 
  • Can’t I work part-time from home and part-time in the office?
  • I really like not having to get dressed up for work.
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Topics: Change Management, Human Capital, Human Asset Management

5 Reasons You Need a Current & Robust Employee Handbook

Posted by Joanne Flynn

The employee handbook may be underestimated, but it is certainly strategic!

Do you really need an employee handbook? This question predictably comes up when I speak with company management, often because the Employee Handbook is considered moderately useful but not on the top of management’s priority list. Why is that? Because often the Employee Handbook:

  • Isn’t current
  • Doesn’t cover the full range of issues
  • Isn’t specific enough to be meaningful
  • Isn’t given to new employees
  • Isn’t used by management

However, one thing is for certain, when something goes wrong in an organization, the following happens:

  • From the manager’s perspective: Managers look to the Employee Handbook for guidance and protection from liability.

  • From the employee's perspective: Employees look to the Employee Handbook for guidance and protection from liability or loopholes created by omission or ambiguity.
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, Human Capital, Human Asset Management

Is Being Loyal to an Employee a Good Thing?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Both employee and manager loyalty has always been considered a good thing. So what’s changed? When does being loyal long-term, at all costs, go from a virtue to a liability?

The concept of "change" has changed everything. When companies grew at normal rates, and change was incremental and predictable, manager and employee loyalty could keep pace with each other and with the direction of the organization. Now, however, when organizations are growing fast and adapting to new technology, new processes and methods, increased customer demands, and additional new employees, the predictable static environment that many employees are comfortable with, have morphed into chaotic, change-driven, unpredictable frontiers where the old rules and controls have evaporated. Increasing, the latter describes today’s work reality. 

Here are some important questions to consider when thinking about manager loyalty:

  • What does it mean for the employee who is attached to the old rules and controls and is having real issues adapting to the new work reality? 
  • What does it mean for new employees who don’t know the old rules and controls and don’t really need to work under those constraints since that work environment has shifted?
  • What does it mean for the manager who must manage these two conflicting and competing employee needs?
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, Human Capital, Human Asset Management

Delegation: A Key to Developing a Human Asset Management Strategy

Posted by Joanne Flynn

If a Human Capital approach is your goal, then delegation must be in your leadership toolkit.

In a previous blog, we asked the question, "Is your current leadership team up to the Human Asset Management Task?"

Quality leadership is a critical element for a robust human asset management strategy. If we agree that a critical function of the leadership role is to continually develop employees (the asset in human asset management), then employees must be a critical competency of the leadership role. Employees are your implementation squad. They make things happen or not! It's easy to talk about developing employees, but actually doing it and doing it well is another story. The barrier to developing great employees is the key leadership skill of delegation.

Delegation is the most underrated skill, which is ironic because it is not only one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills but also one of the MOST DIFFICULT and MULTIFUNCTIONAL skills that a manager must perfect. Leadership, you can't think that employees will create themselves into their own self-appreciating assets. Some will, but most will not. Why? Employees are not typically privy to the macro-organizational issues of human asset management, nor do they systematically know exactly what they need to do. Leadership and delegation is your job, not theirs.

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Topics: Change Management, Human Capital, Human Asset Management

4 Critical Challenges: Delegation or Dumping...Is There a Difference?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Is There a Difference Between Delegation and Dumping?

Helping employees become more productive is often associated with del­egation. So, let’s take a journey into ‘delegation land.’ We often outline what the person needs to do, tell them to do it, and naively call it dele­gation. The art of delegation is one of the most challenging and complex tasks a manager can perform. It is the most critical managerial task for the organization, and yet it eludes most managers. Why? Because it is a multi-step process that requires assessment, execution on the part of two people, accountability, and the genuine investment of time. The most common manager response to delegating is, ‘I can do it faster myself.’ Haven’t we all said that? In reality, under the delegation banner, we have proper delegation, over delegation, under delegation, micro delegation, and dumping. Let’s focus on the last category – dumping!

There is an essential distinction between proper delegation and the others. The problem arises when the manager assumes that the dele­gation has occurred by just telling the employee to do something, and the employee is fully accountable. This could not be further from the truth. In reality, dumping has taken place. 

Here are four critical challenges the manager must initiate to avoid dumping and develop the management skill of delegation.

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Topics: Change Management, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

4 Employee Transition Phases During the Change Management Process

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Leadership Landscape: Identifying & Understanding the Subtleties of Transition Leadership

Today, we are experiencing unprecedented change in ways we could not have imagined. One day, life was normal, and the next day we were dealing with a ‘new normal’ for which there was no blueprint. This is discontinuous change at its finest. During this time, change leadership skills are more important than ever before. Managing people whom you will need to bring with you on the change journey and critical thinking through your business operations that need to adapt to our new VUCA reality are the ‘new normal.’ This is the new reality. Our old reality is gone.


The Internal People Side of Change Management: Transition Leadership and the Change Trajectory

Transition Leadership:  Dealing with how employees transition through the phases of change. 

Transition Leadership focuses on the people side of change management. Transition Leadership requires the leader to go far beyond the processes used in change management to the gray area dealing with employees’ emotional reactions and responses to change. Here the leader must fully understand the psychology of how change impacts the organization at the individual level.

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Topics: Change Management, Leadership

3 Types of Leaders Managing the Change Process

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Leadership Landscape: Beware of the External Horizon

Of the many facets of Change Management, this focuses on the leader, the environment, change, and the process responses required for success. 

  • Some leaders make things happen - The Proactives
  • Some leaders watch what happens  - The Passives
  • Some leaders wonder what happened? – The Reactives

Our first focus will be on the knowledge and skill sets required to manage the elements of change coming from outside the organization. Think of it this way - no one else in the organization can do this but you, the leader.

Here’s what we mean by Change Management: Change Management deals with change that comes at an organization from the external environment. That external environment can be external to a division while still internal to the organization. From completely outside the organization, other changes can come from industry, competition, regulation, government, etc.

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Topics: Change Management, Leadership

'Antichange' Code: How to Recognize Employee Resistance to Change

Posted by Joanne Flynn

When we talk about resistance to change, it's easy to say, "Organizations don't change. People do, or they don't".  While true, change will only occur when change cascades down throughout every level of the organization.  

We need to view organizational change simultaneously at two levels, macro, and micro, in order to diagnose where the entire organization is on the change trajectory.  It's easy to see change at the macro level.  It is normally displayed by senior-level leadership speaking in broad, strategic terms, focusing on the positive impact of the change.  It is, however, equally as important to focus change efforts at THE most granular level in the organization - each person.  As managers, your job is to listen to how each employee is articulating, or not articulating, their issues around change.  

We know there are four change levels.  These levels closely parallel Maslow's Needs Hierarchy. The change trajectory describes these stages of change acceptance as denial, resistance, exploration, and commitment.  As your people go through these stages, how do you, as managers, recognize which stage each employee is in at any given time?  

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Topics: Change Management

[Case Study] What Needs to Change in Response to Strategic Change?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Case Analysis: Phoenix Strategic Performance 

How often does a significant strategic organizational shift occur, and then the follow-up implementation is treated as ‘business as usual’ (BAU)?  This happens more often than it should.  Why?  It appears to be less disruptive and seemingly easier.  However, we know it is organizationally naïve to believe that ‘business as usual’  will somehow meet new strategic goals.  Yet, this happens all the time.  In our latest case study, we focus on just such a change. 

There has been a dramatic change in the market place.  Our senior leadership has decreed a strategic change, however, there has only been an insignificant and painless amount of change in implementation of that strategy.  The change in strategy is in response to a dramatic shift in the marketplace - a ‘change in kind.’ 

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Topics: Change Management

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