The Future of Organisational Development: Why Aren’t We Embracing New Ways of Working?
Firstly, I love my work.
Most of the time, I get to work with extraordinary individuals, those rare few who dare to lead and embody the work of modern leadership pioneers, like Brene Brown. However, I am still surprised by how rare this mindset is amongst our leaders, and more importantly, our Human Resources and learning and development communities.
Recently, I gave a talk on the future of Organisational Development and Organisational Design to a group of Human Resources professionals. The session focused on progressive approaches to the two organisational domains mentioned above. About mid-way through, I presented eight questions that were essentially a form of litmus test, so the participants could self-measure their progressions toward modern and contemporary approaches that are being modelled in some of the most progressive organisations.
Here are the eight questions:
Have you changed your organisational structure to something that isn’t a pyramid?
Have you experimented with and have autonomous agile teams up and running?
Have you moved away from traditional approaches of 3-5 year strategy creation to something more agile – quarterly steering cycle?
Have you researched and implemented vertical development approaches for leadership and culture development?
Have you made executive development and critical business information visible to everyone in the organization?
Have you moved away from behavioral and self-rated assessments to formative developmental approaches?
Are you using digital culture instruments that have rapid feedback cycles?
Do you have an organisational culture playbook?
I then gave them a broad measuring stick to assess their progress:
Out of the forty or so professionals present, only a single person put their hand up for one thing. So, out of a total of a possible 320 points between everyone in the room, the total was just one.
This got me thinking: why, as Human Equity professionals (I hate the term Human Resources and I like to think that employees own some part of the relationship), are we not further ahead in this game, considering the tools and talents at our disposal?
I am really interested in hearing from others about why we have such a lack of interest in becoming Fit for the Future, or if there is, why are we not manifesting that in our organisations? I’d love to hear your thoughts.