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Re-Imagining Organizational Design

By Michael Francis, Human Resource Advisory Group Practice Lead – Career Partners International Austin

Every organization is in the early stages of assessing the long-term implications of Covid-19 on internal operations, employee expectations and the modern-day work environment. There’s overwhelming evidence that the changes to the global business landscape will be bold, pervasive and systemic. This contagion’s multiplier effect will ultimately impact corporate Organizational Design (OD) philosophy.

Pre-Covid-19, OD primarily focused on increasing operational efficiency and workforce optimization. Forecasted critical roles, structures and processes were designed around specific tasks. Covid-19 boldly challenged our core planning strategies and revealed that lean operations actually resulted in limited flexibility.

New OD practices are emerging from the shadows of this storm, forcing businesses to shift their operational focus from efficiency to resiliency and requiring them to embrace flexible and contingent workforce arrangements. Within a matter of months, the composition of the traditional workforce changed with more than 30% of companies implementing Talent Acquisition strategies that replace FTEs with contingent workers. Leaders realize that this unprecedented shift lowers costs and provides “real-time” flexibility during rapidly changing business and economic conditions. A powerful and expensive lesson learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.

New OD philosophies must now re-imagine roles, structures and processes based on outcomes instead of specific tasks. This critical operational pivot aligns closely with how employees now view their work contributions; how/when/where work is performed and the intrinsic value of work-life balance.

Today’s OD decisions will define a company’s brand for years to come. The leaders and organizations that adapt quickly to implement new employee value propositions will be rewarded, recognized and coveted as top-tier employers.

It’s a great time to be in HR! Leaders will be looking to firms like CPI-Austin to help them re-imagine operational excellence, increase organizational flexibility and to deliver new workforce planning strategies. Process improvement and talent management have always been amongst the most powerful tools in the HR toolkit. Now is the time to embrace this challenge, roll up our sleeves and help leaders chart the course.


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