Strategic Human Capital Insights

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

Posted by Joanne Flynn

2/25/15 10:00 AM

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.

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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 Effectiveness

3 Part Checklist: Building and Sustaining Organizational Health

Posted by Joanne Flynn

1/13/15 10:29 AM

As part of your 2015 Manager Resolution, think about your organization's health.  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 2015, how do you plan for an organizationally healthy group that starts out healthy and stays healthy throughout the year?   

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.  

So 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.)

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Topics: Organizational Effectiveness

Learning & Development Series: The Shift from a “War for Talent” to a “War to Develop Talent”

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/15/14 1:13 PM


This blog was co-authored by Joanne Flynn, Jim Bosserman and Debbie Gower.  This article brings together perspectives and research from three strategic performance and learning and development professionals.

What is the role of Learning & Development (L&D) in an organization’s growth and transformation?

What is the role of L&D in dealing with continuous change?

6 Key L&D Strategic Issues

Learning & Development is critical to an organization’s success. Although the “war for talent” focused attention and efforts on recruiting since the late 1990’s[1], the “war to develop talent”[2] recently emerged more prominently on CEO agendas. Why?  Concerns over talent shortages and skill gaps have created obvious obstacles to achieving business performance and transformation goals.

As a result, the investment and ROI to elevate organizational learning functions has become just as, if not more, important as “buying” talent through the recruiting function.

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Topics: Organizational Effectiveness, Learning & Development

Part II: Leading for Organizational Agility, Resilliency and Effectiveness

Posted by Joanne Flynn

9/30/14 3:30 PM

2 Leadership Milestones on The Upskilling Journey– A Personal Story

The background to this blog in Part II was off to a marketing conference to learn more about recent developments with our inbound marketing platform, new products and new functions.  This literal and figurative journey was overwhelming, to say the least.  Read Part I of this series for the full background.


Below are two issues that leaders must lead their people through on the individual upskilling journey. 

1. Knowledge Inadequacy and Emotional Angst

Leadership: Factor these feelings into the upskilling process.  To ignore this is unthinkable.  Proceed at your own risk!

Some people may look at all this new inbound marketing information and be excited. I face this new reality with trepidation.  I understand marketing, however, marketing technology is not as familiar to me.  I still classify myself as a beginner. These feelings do not inspire confidence. I have an admittedly low competence level with marketing technology tools.  I also recognize there is no denying or avoiding this new knowledge and skills reality. It’s here to stay.  To deny or avoid this new operating reality would create grave business consequences for my newly-launched business.  

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Topics: Organizational Effectiveness

Part I: Leading for Organizational Agility, Resilliency and Effectiveness

Posted by Joanne Flynn

9/24/14 9:00 AM

The Upskilling Experience: 5 Milestones on the Upskill Treadmill


What is upskilling?

Organizations face continuous change as the ‘new normal’. To meet these changing business demands, every person in the organization must critically look at their current knowledge levels and skills sets and measure them against the current and anticipated required task benchmarks.  The frustration for an individual and an organization is that as soon as you get the required knowledge and skill sets, it is very likely that the benchmark will shift once again.  It is often reflected in the statements, “I’m dancing as fast as I can” or the famous treadmill analogy, ”I’m running faster and faster just to stay in place.”

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Topics: Leadership, Organizational Effectiveness

A Leader’s Journey through Operational Excellence Transformation

Posted by Joanne Flynn

9/17/14 8:56 AM

This is a guest blog post from Krupal Parchure, one of the senior advisory team members of Phoenix Strategic Performance.  Krupal Parchure is the Founder and Managing Partner of MQuadrant and the lead of the India Virtual Delivery Center for Phoenix Strategic Performance. The India Virtual Delivery Center creates project deliverables around operational, commercial, and transformational excellence, remotely, via cutting-edge, online technologies; thereby significantly reducing consulting fees and minimizing change management and transformational risks. 

Every leader today faces business situations where they need to apply a variety of frameworks, tools, and systems for sustainable improvement of key performance metrics. The situations might range across multiple disciplines, such as manufacturing, sales & marketing, research & development, etc., but the need for leadership aptitude and discipline stays the same. It all begins from a company’s vision, which gets transformed into a strategy, and ultimately gets broken down into programs and projects. The industry specific issues, scale, and technicalities will differ based on within what ecosystem a leader is operating, such as a start up, or a large corporation, or local government; but the underlying principles and the business acumen required for the successful execution of operational excellence projects stays the same, for the most part.

Learn more about the typical journey of a corporate leader through an operational excellence transformation.

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Topics: Leadership, Organizational Effectiveness

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