Strategic Human Capital Insights

Why Job Descriptions Should be at the Center of Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn


HUMAN ASSET MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT LOOP


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 & Effectiveness, Human Asset Management

Make Your Company a Continuous Employee Improvement Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn

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 & Effectiveness, Human Asset Management, Performance Management

Are You Ready to Take the Organization Chart Challenge?

Posted by Joanne Flynn


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 Alignment & Effectiveness

4 Reasons Why the VUCA Reality Is Here To Stay

Posted by Joanne Flynn

 

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Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

4 Critical Skills Required to Excel in the VUCA World

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Today, we are right in the vortex of a VUCA world. We are living in a perfect storm where the tensions and demands of our changing external environment on many levels are creating real pressures on our internal ecosystem and the people working in our organization. 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 

    Your employees need to fully understand your business as it performs in the marketplace. If they do not, you cannot expect them to stay relevant and deliver forward-focused, value-added services and productivity.
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Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Living with Disruption: Welcome to the VUCA World

Posted by Joanne Flynn


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: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Disrupt the Irrelevant: Time to Evaluate Your Organizational Structure

Posted by Joanne Flynn

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: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

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

Posted by Joanne Flynn

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 & Effectiveness

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

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Helping employees get more productive is often associated with delegation. So let’s take a journey into ‘delegation land’. As managers, 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 difficult 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. But, the most common manager response to delegating is, ‘I can do it faster myself’.  Haven’t we all said that?So in reality, under the delegation banner, we have true delegation, over delegation, under delegation, micro delegation and dumping.  Let’s focus on the last category – dumping! 

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

Download the eBook: "Human Asset Management Strategy: A New Approach"

Here are 4 critical challenges the manager must initiate to avoid dumping and develop the management skill of delegating.

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Topics: Change Management, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

3-Part Checklist: Evaluate, Build & Sustain Organizational Health

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Recently, in response to our pandemic, organizations have had to adapt to a new operating environment. As you think about how you have had to adapt by instituting remote work, extended sick leave and complying with new regulations, think about how all these changes may have impacted your organization's health. 

It would not be unusual for your organization to have reverted to Maslow’s survival mode during this time. And even though you may think that everything is OK, take a very honest look at how you would rate the current organizational health of your group, division or company. And as you look to the future, how do you plan for an organizationally healthy group that starts out healthy and stays healthy throughout the year? And, if you have to repair some organizational health issues, what will you do?

What do we mean by organizational health? Health is a fairly simple concept. On a personal level, we use many terms to describe health. The positive terms are robust, energetic, improving, strong, vibrant. On the less than positive side, the terms are lethargic, sick, failing, deteriorating and declining. These same terms apply to organizational groups. That's why the term organizational health resonates with managers. It reflects the total dynamic impact of the interactions and contributions of all the individuals within each group.  


What should you do to assess the organizational health of your group?
(Keep in mind, your managerial mindset needs to be totally objective & completely honest.)


Here is a 3-part checklist that may help you in evaluating, building, and sustaining organizational health.

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Topics: Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

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