– By Stephen Pobjoy
It’s really difficult to talk about business change without falling into the traps of using jargon and labels. So I’ve come up with my own – Is this now the ‘let’s disrupt everything’ world? LDE anyone?
First there was restructuring, then came transformation, followed by change management which was neatly followed by ‘constant change’, which quickly evolved into VUCA.
But does VUCA in practice mean that businesses are disrupting all of their strategies (people and other) to cope with uncertainty? Is the disruption being fueled by business requirements or the rhetoric from the media of ‘we are in unprecedented times’ ‘nothing will ever be the same as before’ ‘the 4th industrial revolution is coming’ etc. etc. Or is it just complicated to change a business quickly enough for the board and stakeholders?
Currently removal of formal policies seems to be the main output of this disruption e.g. performance appraisals and parts of the formal reward package, self-directed learning, more self-service etc. So, have large levels of business change led to what shall we reformat next? The speed of change in business may be the same as it always was – but our propensity to rip up the rule book has markedly increased.
With businesses now facing a range of challenges and competitors from all angles (digitalisation, globalisation, economic factors, productivity levels, efficiency savings) perhaps the current ‘Let’s Disrupt Everything’ internal mentality towards business strategy is the natural method of managing the external conditions and flux? To do nothing is risky, but perhaps to change everything all at once is just as dangerous.
When we look at business challenges at the moment they are quite frightening. They may include:
- Develop or buy-in talent and leaders with digital skills Redesign long-term rewards 3. Motivate and retain key staff 4. Personalise your EVP for employees 5. Innovate and launch new products and services and turn down the dial on some existing ones 6. Develop a learning culture 7. Restructure, redesign the org and restructure again 8. Increase and embed D&I 9. Health & wellbeing – the physical, mental and workplace 9. Analyzing data and informing business 10. Plan for Brexit
There are many more (with different nuances for each company) but even cracking 2 of the above could make huge differences to the bottom line.
But please don’t call it agile, emergent or uncertain. If you have a challenge that needs changing it needs a plan and people to get behind it and make it happen.
Enjoy disrupting everything in this post VUCA, 4th industrial revolution world. If you want to generate your own random jargon try this for fun.
HR Taskforce – ‘Rethinking performance management – Liberated from reward, focused and fair.’ 26th April, Furniture Makers Hall
HR Taskforce – The gig economy – creating a new kind of employer – and employment policies?. 23rd May, Furniture Makers Hall
Working Futures event – Autumn Edition now being research and planned. 14th November 2017 at Business Design Centre, Islington.