Strategic Human Capital Insights

Why Job Descriptions Should be at the Center of Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/16/19 2:00 PM


Why do organizations invest time and effort into continuous process improvement and stop there? When the responsibility for continuous process improvement is driven by people, shouldn’t there also be an aligned Human Asset Continuous Improvement Loop for the people who drive the process?


How often do the following questions come up?

  • Why aren’t my people coming up with solutions to problems they encounter?
  • Why can’t employees see beyond the next step?
  • Why isn’t the quality control / assurance function as proactive as it should be?
  • What has happened to the disappearing skills of:
    • Trend Spotting?
    • Problem Identification?
    • Problem Solving?
    • Critical Thinking?
  • Why aren’t people planning, recommending and thinking about business impact analysis?
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Topics: Human Resources, Organizational Alignment, human asset management strategy

Make Your Company a Continuous Employee Improvement Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/30/18 11:00 AM

Take the Job Description, Performance Review and Development Plan Challenge

It’s Performance Review time for many organizations. However, with the rate of change accelerating and the rate of skills / knowledge obsolescence increasing faster than ever, can you really only review performance once or twice per year?  As managers, how can you even justify that ancient practice?  Today, continuous performance improvement has replaced the time-honored, annual Performance Review process so employees continue to be appreciating human assets that are always aligned with corporate strategy and goals.  It may seem like an onerous, time-consuming process, but is it really?  When viewed through the lens of great management best practices, let’s shift the performance review paradigm to a continuous improvement paradigm where we treat our employees, our human assets, the same way we look at continuous improvement for processes.  Why would we continuously improve processes and not continuously improve people? 

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Topics: Organizational Alignment, human asset management, performance management

Are You Ready to Take the Organization Chart Challenge?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/9/18 10:00 AM

Have you ever thought, heard or said the following?

  • Organization charts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on?
  • Here is the organization chart, but, let me tell you how it really works!
  • Why do we need organization charts anyway – they only reinforce bureaucracy which is counterproductive?
  • We can’t figure out how to put together an organization chart that makes any sense


Why Should We Even Bother?
Why do organizations spend so much time putting organization charts together and why do they rarely display how the organization really works?  Because we desperately need to rationalize how the organization works, recognize how work gets done and define how accountability is managed.  Without a visual depiction or starting point, we are disorganized around chaos where people are busy (but busy doing what and for whom?) and where accountability is elusive because no one really knows who is responsible.  This, in fact, describes a state of disorganized chaos which is hardly an efficient and effective way to run a business and is frustrating for everyone involved, both managers and employees.

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Topics: Leadership, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Alignment

4 Reasons Why the VUCA Reality Is Here To Stay

Posted by Joanne Flynn

11/18/15 11:00 AM

To view the other blogs in our VUCA blog series, click here.

If you’re still wondering if the world of work is changing, just look at recent events and published articles that evidence this.

The recent 13th Fortune Global Forum is just one of these events (and these events are everywhere if you’re ready to look). It was a meeting of leaders from both old and new companies, both public and private. It generated observations and views we must consider.

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Topics: Organizational Alignment, VUCA

4 Critical Skills Required to Excel in the VUCA World

Posted by Joanne Flynn

11/11/15 2:00 PM

Old structures and roles have expired and are "past their sell-by-date." To truly embrace the new VUCA work reality, it’s time to rethink all the old organizational structures and roles. It’s easy to see when our food has expired, but are we quite as rigorous when evaluating if our structures and roles have expired as well? Are we clinging to the old, hoping they will somehow be relevant for the present and future work demands? Let's examine the 4 critical skills that are required to excel in the new VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world.

  1. Business Acumen: Understanding the Business of the Business 

    If your employees don’t fully understand the business, as the business performs in the marketplace, how can we expect them to stay relevant and deliver forward-focused, value-added services and productivity? 
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Topics: Organizational Alignment, VUCA

Living with Disruption: Welcome to the VUCA World

Posted by Joanne Flynn

11/3/15 2:00 PM

It’s here to stay! Ignore at your own risk!

In the late 90’s the term VUCA was first used by the military.  VUCA certainly sounds like a strange acronym.  VUCA is defined as dealing with: 

V – Volatility: 
Anticipating and reacting to the nature and speed of change

U – Uncertainty: Maintaining effectiveness despite constant surprises and lack of predictability

C – Complexity: Navigating through complexity, chaos, and confusion

A – Ambiguity: Acting decisively without having clear direction & uncertainty 

VUCA is now used to describe today’s current world of work.  We are now right in the middle of this new working environment.  How different is this from the preceding work environment? It is very different. In my last blog, I compared the old, conventional work paradigm with the VUCA emerging work paradigm of:

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Topics: Organizational Alignment, VUCA

Disrupt the Irrelevant: Time to Evaluate Your Organizational Structure

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/26/15 10:00 AM

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

We 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 

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Topics: Organizational Alignment, VUCA

Should You Leave When You're Unhappy With Your Career?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/17/15 10:30 AM

In our blog series, our constant focus is on organizational alignment.  In many cases, we review the macro issues of leadership, change, the role of HR, and using learning and development as a growth accelerator.  While the macro issues are organizational levers, these issues impact individuals at the micro level.  Every layer of every organization is, or should be, interconnected and aligned. So for the next few blogs, we are going to focus on the individual professional and how they fit into the organization. When it works, and when it doesn’t. Just like organizations shift and change, so do the people who work in them. 

For this blog, May Busch is our guest blogger. May was formerly a Managing Director with Morgan Stanley and is now the founder of Career Mastery. In this blog, May addresses the question we have all faced in our careers, “What do we do when we are no longer happy with our career?"

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Topics: Organizational Alignment

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