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.

Read More

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

Why Job Descriptions Should be at the Center of Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn


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

Topics: Human Resources, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness, Human Asset Management

7 Steps to Build 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 the 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? 

Where to Start?

Let’s take the performance management processes out of the HR department and place them squarely under the responsibility of managers since employee performance management is one of the prime job responsibilities of managers. Where do you start with this strategic and holistic approach?

Read More

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 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.

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

4 Reasons Why the VUCA Reality Is Here to Stay

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Given the pandemic/endemic and the disruption resulting from it, we can no longer hide from the change that is swirling around us. If you’re still wondering if the world of work is changing, just look at our current situation. You can’t escape reality.

Prior to the pandemic, we were experiencing unprecedented change while dealing with VUCA realities that were already here to stay. The pandemic has introduced an additional element of hyper-change that is fundamentally challenging our known operating patterns. This hyper-change has catapulted us into a completely new reality with the high probability that we will not return to our old normal state. For the foreseeable future, we will be in a constant VUCA state of confronting Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity as part of our new normal.

Read More

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 ecosystems and the people working in our organizations. 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 past, hoping our structures and roles will somehow be relevant for the present and future work demands? Let's examine the four critical skills required to excel in the new VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

  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.
Read More

Topics: Leadership, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Living with Disruption: Welcome to the VUCA World

Posted by Joanne Flynn

The term, VUCA, was first used by the military and 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 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. 

Read More

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 

Read More

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?"

Read More

Topics: Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

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.

Read More

Topics: Change Management, Organizational Alignment & Effectiveness

Subscribe to Updates

Most Popular Posts

Download the Interviewing & Hiring eBook

Interviewing and Hiring eBook

Download the eBook