The predicted and already felt economic ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic are beginning to reshape businesses across the globe. Many leaders will be working hard to understand how best to navigate their organisations through these extremely challenging times. As businesses seek to do this Organisation Design and Development Specialists will become increasingly in demand. It is their critical skills that can effectively support businesses through successful change.
Nina Adair, McGregor Boyall interviews Nicholas Williams a highly experienced HR professional within the OD&D space to gain some insights on how it can be used to shape the future of business.
Thanks for taking the time do this, Nick. Could you give us some insight into your background?
As a Strategic HR & OD&D Specialist I’ve had an exciting and varied career to date, serving in people leadership and transformational office roles across a variety of industries dealing with complex and fast paced change. In my role it’s critical that I invest my time in building relationships across Business Units and Corporate Boards and really get deep into understanding the organisational and corporate vision, needs and wants within the operational environment. I then use this assessment to design intervention, based on current state versus future state and how organisations can achieve financial and non-financial benefits. This is usually in and amongst the rapid pace of change that is often required, and on occasions a lack of clarity any given change is going to have once implemented!
My role in OD&D provides me with a unique opportunity to work closely with Leadership Teams, Operational Delivery Teams and Trade Unions to negotiate and consult. I’ve truly had the privilege to work on some of the most exciting and impactful programmes alongside great people. OD&D for me, is an important capability that works closely with HR colleagues, together developing a powerful transformational movement. Building the OD&D capability for the future will add value to any organisation.
So, what exactly is Organisation Design (OD)?
You may have heard of the term in different forms but there are lots of different definitions of ‘OD’ and whether it sits within, alongside or away from HR functions. Different businesses and industries define it in their own way to support their organisational aims but in short, it uses behavioural science and methodologies with the aim to help employees function better within their organisational context.
OD is sometimes confused with being a capability that simply designs an organisational structure with spans of control and reporting lines. However, my aim is to help leaders understand the role of OD&D and its core concept that incorporates human centred thinking to support transformational change of any scale within an organisation, with a view to successful adoption first time!
Its aim is to create an exceptional employee experience which will in turn help with attraction, retention and engagement, which will in turn prove to help the business grow in the market. The purpose and vision (or North Star as I like to call it!) may differ depending on the organisation but, investing in the right OD&D capability will provide the tools, methodologies and experience to unlock and improve your current organisational challenges.
What does that look like in practice?
· Working with Executive Boards and Functional Teams to build an aligned consensus on proposed changes across the business, supporting a single transparent narrative that continuously ensures buy-in from stakeholders. Of course, not everyone will be convinced with proposed changes and may have some excellent ideas to share; mechanisms and techniques to facilitate open dialogue is extremely valuable.
· Reviewing the current operating model, vision and strategy of an organisation and utilising experience of the latest global future of work trends to analyse potential changes in skill requirements, reporting lines, governance structures, process catalogues and improved ways of working to support a business in achieving operational effectiveness and resolve ongoing and systemic pain points.
· Working with other centres of excellence across HR to take a detailed holistic view on key areas including attraction, recruitment and performance management alongside ongoing learning and development opportunities in an inclusive by design workplace. Creating an environment where staff wellbeing and experience supports the overall organisational effort to deliver in the market.
· And finally, researching and analysing key data (quantitative and qualitative) to design interventions alongside a future state target operating model and define the buckets of activity and skills required across any transformational portfolio. Assessing the impact of any change and engaging regularly with key stakeholders to set up and run the right business change initiatives, identifying your early adopters and areas of resistance to ensure you focus your budgets and time in the areas that will make impact and identifying your quick wins.
What part will OD&D play in the new post-Covid-19 world?
I think all sectors and industries will be exploring the best way to create a culture of flexible and agile working to support their own current regional and global ways of working, thinking through methods to re-assess planned transformational activity. How they’d execute future emergent changes where flux transformation will most likely be necessary to adapt to a different set of consumer and supplier behaviours, supply chain requirements, and employee expectations.
Companies will be looking to review their future strategies to support the trust in their brands, HR policies, global mobility, travel, pay and conditions and many more internal mechanisms and relationships across boundaries.
The use of technology and data to make value adding and analytical decisions will become increasingly important as well as ensuring the right infrastructure to enable remote working and an approach that provides an agile workforce based on the needs and demands across the year. Attracting, developing and retaining the right talent in the right roles within an efficient organisational structure and a range of operational processes to increase effectiveness has never been as important as it is now.
Organisational Design and Development will be a critical functional area working in partnership with HR and other key corporate services, building relationships with teams and leaders to enable, execute and implement change programmes consistently visioning the future and building an iterative roadmap.
Building trust and understanding the people in your workforce has never been as important as it is today to support them in delivering in a safe and secure environment, where the vision and value proposition is clear and the systems in place are robust to deal with the post Covid-19 world and OD&D will play a key role in enabling and supporting organisations to achieve this.
If you a seeking support around OD&D, McGregor Boyall works with a number of experts in this space who can help to support your business needs during this time – please get in touch if you would like to discuss further.
Practice Head - HR & Talent Management Recruitment
T: +44 (0)20 7422 9078