Apr 18 - May 8Phase 1May 8 - 27May 28 - Jun 5Jun 7 - Jul 1Phase 2Jul 2 - 14Jul 17 - Aug 14Phase 3Aug 15 - Sep 16
The notion is one of organizations having an adaptive approach to work, by giving individuals regular opportunities to choose a proportion of what they do rather than having it all determined for them.
It will enable individuals to develop new skills, knowledge and experience through a variety of different options.
These options could be defined by the organisation (e.g. projects or departmental assignments) the individual (e.g. a piece of research) or other people in the organisation (e.g. a hack).
It will also give individuals the opportunity to complete some formal learning (e.g. internal or external courses), do community work or take time out.
It will facilitate the movement of talent around the whole organisation.
It will require strong leadership, co-operation and commitment to a new model and a new way of thinking about work. New skills, including the ability to deal with and overcome complexity, will be required. It may need a new financial model for the organisation.
Barriers to adaptability being overcome - hierarchy, habit, inflexible business practices, rigid structures, skills deficit and insufficient experimentation.
Related HR processes - talent deployment.
Related adaptability principles - experimentation & learning, autonomy & trust and creativity.
Why is this important?
The idea that individuals will be able to shape a significant proportion of their own job role will be important if organizations are to adapt.
But why do organizations need to do this?
During this hack a number of useful references were identified including these two books which provide insights into the global trends organizations are facing today and how those trends are shaping the world of work:
- “The Shift: The Future Of Work Is Already Here” by Lynda Gratton (2011).
- “Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization” by Susan M. Cantrell and David Smith (2010).
Some of the key points covered in these books helped the hack team determine the problems organizations are facing today. These are the problems the Self-Build Job Roles hack addresses.
Five forces shaping our world
“If you want to understand the future, you need to start with the five forces that will shape your world over the coming decades” Lynda Gratton in “The Shift: The Future Of Work Is Already Here” (2011) page 23.
More detail about Grattan’s Five Forces is shown in a separate document attached to this template.
The forces are: technology, globalization, demography & longevity, society and energy.
The document sets out how the associated aspects of each force relate to the Self-Build Job Roles hack and why they are important.
The evolution of Talent Management practices
In their book, Cantrell and Smith provide a simple description of how organizations have developed their approaches to Talent Management over time.
This is important to understand when considering where organizations have come from, where they are today and where they will be tomorrow as they respond and adapt to the forces driving them to change.
- Yesterday's Organisation – people were treated differently but there was little structure, control or good business reasoning behind that.
- Today's Organisation – systems have been standardized and everyone is treated in the same way thereby enabling the organisation much greater control and efficiency.
- Tomorrow's Organisation – systems will be more flexible, tailored and customized to meet the needs of individuals and the business, while retaining control and structure.
Self-Build Job Roles is a talent management solution for tomorrow's organisation.
Cantrell and Smith also describe a 'customization scale' with four customization approaches.
At the one end of the scale there is HR-Driven Customization (more control, less customization) and at the other end of the scale there is Employee-Driven Customization (less control, more customization).
The four customization approaches they describe on this scale are:
- Segment The Workforce – where HR creates a variety of practices which are customized for specific groups of individuals.
- Offer Modular Choices – where HR creates a variety of options from which all the individuals can choose.
- Define Broad And Simple Rules – where HR creates a broad and simple rule with clear boundaries that can be interpreted in a variety of ways by each individual.
- Foster Employee-Defined Personalization – where HR supports individuals in defining their own personalized people practices.
The Self-Build Job Roles hack is positioned at the 'Employee-Driven Customization' end of the customization scale. It is an approach that the HR function must recognize and support for it to be a success in the adaptable organization.
Problem, Purpose and Focus
The Problem - many organizations today were built on a 20th century paradigm of efficiency.
The underlying assumption has been this: it's possible to shape organizations using a blueprint and revitalize them when necessary, possibly with the help of a specialized staff or a consultancy firm.
This has created an ever-growing 'black hole' of job reduction where innovation and entrepreneurship are consumed by the corporate world on the treadmill of efficiency.
As a society this leaves us with problems associated with growing unemployment and expensive, burdensome welfare costs.
We have the means and the technology to produce everything we need twice over but without an 'agile society' we will never realize the full potential outcomes.
An 'agile society' will reinvent work, using solutions such as Self-Build Job Roles, not only to make our everyday lives easier but to ensure we have meaningful lives.
Self-Build Job Roles will give power to individual people in organizations to create their own work.
The Purpose – by reversing the trend of ongoing reductionism, organizations will instead be able to look at new possibilities, creativity and innovation.
The way to make that happen is to stimulate the growth of everyone in the workforce on the basis of their own personal drivers and competencies.
In today's world, the speed of technological development and the vast amount of knowledge ready to be 'tapped in to', should make it possible for everyone to find an area of personal development that is interesting, stimulating and appealing to them.
This will also be important when 'growth and development' is extended to individuals' personal networks and the organizations they work in.
Half of the job openings today consist of roles that did not exist before 2005. Expect this trend to continue, especially when more people can be creative with their job role, exploring different avenues and creating new and meaningful work. Self-Build Job Roles will enable these things to happen.
The focus – when organizations consider implementing this hack their focus should be on the mind-set of the people across the organisation: the CEO, the manager, the employee.
The key question is this: how can organizations change the mind-set of their people from thinking in terms of the workforce to thinking in terms of communities?
Defining problems as we do today using terms such as 'work-engagement', 'motivation of a creative workforce', 'competition for talent', 'workforce performance' and so on, alienate workers from seeing themselves as a productive, creative people doing something that is meaningful.
Self-Build Job Roles will put individuals as members of a working community at the heart of the problem and will give organizations the opportunity to reinvent work around them.
Each person working for the organisation will have a fixed percentage of their total hours defined as their Core Role. The percentage of Core Role hours will depend on factors such as: the nature of the work, the preferences of the individual and how risk averse the organisation is.
The implications of this hack may not suit everyone, every organisation or every type of work. This reinforces the need to segment (or customize) the organization's workforce.
As well as performing their Core Role individuals will be given regular opportunities (e.g. every 12 months) to 'flex' their total hours and augment their job role with different additional activities.
Hence the notion of Self-Build Job Roles.
The percentage of total hours allocated to additional activities could be 'capped' by the organisation.
The model above shows some examples of additional activities that could augment the job role (as indicated by the different 'blobs'). For example 'Stretch Assignments' or 'Learning'.
The activities associated with the Core Role sit at the center of the model.
The boundary of the Adaptable Organisation draws a distinction between what happens inside and outside. Inside implies the individual is 'active'; outside implies the individual is 'inactive'. This is important to understand when the organisation considers overall workforce and resource planning activities for example.
As can be seen from the model, each of the additional activities overlap the Core Role, the rest of the organisation and the outside world (or environment) in different ways.
- Learning – overlaps between the Core Role and the rest of the organisation. This will include formal and informal learning activities.
- External Secondments – will be with different organizations and are therefore shown outside of the boundary. For example, a secondment to a partner, supplier or customer.
- Initiated By Third Parties – potentially one of the most interesting set of additional activities. The organisation could offer up pieces of work through third parties that could be 'bid' for both by their own people and those outside of the organisation. In addition those inside the organisation could be given access to pieces of work with other organizations.
- Stretch Assignments – additional pieces of work in a different part of the organisation in a new area of work that people could apply to do that will help them gain new experiences or develop new skills.
- Extended Holidays – this needs a bit more thought, but the idea is that people could apply to have or be given extended holidays or time off (e.g. for travelling). Perhaps this is something that the organisation would offer people after a certain period of time or something that could contribute towards through banking hours over time.
- Holidays – in addition to normal holiday entitlements individuals could buy or sell additional days. The organisation may choose to apply additional rules around this.
- Leave Of Absence or Sabbatical – taking time away from the organisation to do something completely different. Could be paid or unpaid. Note it is outside of the organisation boundary and so the individual would be 'inactive'.
- Projects – these could be initiated by the organisation or individuals.
- Assignments – for example, these could be to different parts of the organisation to fulfill a different Core Role or to a different part of the world fulfilling the same Core Role.
- Education – people could choose to do an external course, full or part time, with an institution such as a university or college. This could be related to the Core Role or something else. Perhaps this is something that the organisation would offer with certain restrictions (e.g. we'll support you in getting a Masters Degree). Needs a bit more thought.
- Experimentation – organizations will offer people the opportunity to regularly 'experiment' on pieces of work / ideas / concepts. This could be related to the Core Role, other parts of the organisation or even externally. This additional activity would be similar to the 'Google 20%' or Atlassian ShipIt Days.
- Unassigned – note there is some 'white space' in the Model – this is a place to avoid!
The self-build window
Additional activities will be presented in a cloud-based system, this would operate in a similar way to a marketplace where activities could be loaded / offered and people could choose and select from to self-build their job role.
Additional activities will have a defined number of hours and a minimum defined duration.
A list of additional activities will be maintained and available for people to choose from all year round under certain circumstances or 'events'.
There would be some one-off preparatory work required to request and build-up the list of additional activities prior to the annual self-build window. This may involve an organizational approval process, but it needs to be 'light touch' to avoid becoming a bureaucratic burden.
The self-build window for everyone in the organisation would open up once a year and be open for a period of 4 weeks with a twelve month horizon.
During the window individuals could choose to 'flex' their job role by selecting new additional activities to augment their Core Role and ending others. Commitment by individuals to additional activities for the defined minimum duration is implicit. Commitment by the organisation to individual's choices is also implicit.
Individuals would need to take in to account their own personal and career development needs and plans. They may need to discuss and work with their line manager, mentor, team mates, colleagues and families.
Once the self-build window closes there will be a 2 week period of organizational assessment and perhaps approvals of some additional activities as stipulated by the organisation (e.g. buying and selling holiday).
The self-build window will re-open on an individual basis as determined by 'events' e.g. an additional activity comes to an end – not everything will neatly fit in to a twelve month pattern!
There may be a need for the organisation to re-open the self-build window to everyone in the organization under certain circumstances.
Over time, as Self-Build Job Roles become established in the organization more flexibility around the parameters of the self-build window may be introduced.
Note: the diagram above is also shown on page 6 of the attached document.
Set out below are some of the areas where Self-Build Job Roles will have an impact on the organization. Refer to the separate document for an Impact Mind Map.
Segmenting the workforce
Refer also to the comments above (in the Problem section) regarding ‘customization’.
How might this work in reality and what differences might there be between ‘mature organizations’ and ‘start-ups’, recently established?
One simple approach to segmentation would be to divide the workforce in to two groups, for the purposes of this discussion let’s refer to them as “creative workers” and “service workers”.
This would be easier to do in a recently established firm. For example, in such firms the newly hired worker will know from the outset which group they belong to, what they are responsible for, if they can ‘self-build’ their job roles or if their tasks are clearly defined.
It will be a much bigger challenge to implement Self-Build Job Roles in a mature organization, requiring a very careful examination of existing job roles to determine if they could support such innovative, adaptive approaches.
Introducing Self-Build Job Roles to “creative workers” in mature organizations will have to be approached through a careful process of gradual but continuous change.
At the same time, it will also be necessary to redesign the job roles of “service workers” to ensure that the organization as a whole functions correctly. All these changes will have to be introduced using the best practices of change management.
Over time as work develops and adaptability to new challenges emerges, there may be less of a distinction between “creative workers” and “service workers”.
New job titles
Self-Build Job Roles will require a creative approach to allow adjustments to be made to existing job titles and for new job titles to emerge. Traditional job descriptions may lose their value and usefulness to the organization and disappear over time.
There will also be new job titles that arise from the change of the work itself and technologies.
Openness, trust and leadership
To ensure a successful outcome will require all those involved having an open-mind and a positive attitude, underpinned by trust and reinforced through good leadership practices. For example, excellent communication with all stakeholders will be essential.
New careers for Millenials
Self-Build Job Roles will ensure individuals can concentrate on their own personal and professional development, implying a new way to define ‘career progression’ with greater levels of freedom and autonomy.
This fits in well with the work/life balance preferences of young, talented workers (‘Millenials’) who are joining the labor market today.
Millennials entering the workforce want to work in a flexible way for an attractive employer who can offer them continual personal and professional development possibilities, an interesting job and a friendly atmosphere in the workplace.
It is highly probable that organizations using a Self-Build Job Role approach will be a better fit for the young talent needs.
This is a clear goal of Self-Build Job Roles and an organisation using this model may quickly react to the demands of market and also to the preferences and education needs of its employees.
One clear advantage of Self-Build Job Roles is efficiency of work. Employees working on the goal they like, work more efficiently than if they were forced to do something. Efficiency comes also with high quality and a possible increase in innovation.
Employee satisfaction and engagement
Satisfied, happy, people spread a good atmosphere in the workplace, which helps teams to properly engage with their work and their areas of responsibility.
Because of an increase in employee engagement and satisfaction, organizations will become more attractive to new candidates.
Set out below are some of the practical problems to be faced when implementing the Self-Build Job Roles hack with some suggestions for how these might be overcome.
The most important point is the change of organizational culture and employee perception required for this model to be a success. In particular, the activities associated with customization of the workforce as described in previous sections. The change has to be clearly and attractively communicated to all stakeholders inside and outside the organisation with regards to peoples mind sets, defined for example by national culture.
Seeing opportunities for career progression and promotion is one of the most important motivation factors for individuals in organizations, especially Millennials. With Self-Build Job Roles, the promotion criteria may not always be clearly defined and the job description might change every year and so there is no clearly defined career path. Organizations could focus on explaining and communicating Self-Build Job Roles in the context of ‘careers’. If done effectively then the positive, motivational impact associated with ‘career progression’ could be maintained. Over time, the notion of promotion in the traditional sense of the word may change with ‘personal growth and development’ being viewed as more important than acquiring a level in a hierarchy.
When individuals have interesting and meaningful work - something they enjoy doing - it always seems much easier than working on something they don’t enjoy or are forced to do. When choosing elements of the Self-Build Job Role, individuals may not always know if the work will suit them, that they will enjoy doing it, find it stimulating and so on. This is something organizations will need to address.
Individuals' perception of adequate remuneration will differ depending on their personal views and feelings about the job. Nobody will complain if the work is great and well paid. But in the opposite case there could be dissatisfaction. Organizations will need to establish a clear system of evaluation for remuneration in a Self-Build Job Roles environment. Any remuneration adjustments must always reflect the improved earning ability of the individual in the external marketplace.
In situations where there is an employee transfer from one department to another, organizations may have a problem determining where some core job role responsibilities take place. They could be transferred with the individual although that’s not the intention of Self-Build Job Roles.
Similarly, problems could occur with a Leave Of Absence which could happen at any time of the year. The practical implications of ‘events’ be they expected, planned or otherwise, will need to be thought through by organizations as part of their implementation of Self-Build Job Roles.
As set out in the Solution above, the original notion was: “each person working for the organisation will have a fixed percentage of their total hours defined as their Core Role”. But perhaps organizations need to fix the core job tasks instead as nowadays it’s harder to relate time to work performance. Organizations can fix the task and deadline but not how much time the worker spends on completing it. This is a challenge and the manager would have to determine the core tasks and estimate workload for every worker very carefully.
The first part of the challenge is a redesign of jobs. For every job a range of core tasks which have to be done (including deadlines or other rules) will be fixed and the rest is space for other chosen activities. The ratio between core tasks and chosen activities will vary for different jobs. The implementation of Self-Build Job Roles in to an existing system of working job role positions and organizational structure could be problematic. It may need a major overhaul and redefinition of the company's work.
There will be a need for an ongoing analysis and assessment of core tasks, ‘self-build’ opportunities and the development needs of individuals across the organization. Over time greater flexibility of how to identify ‘core task’ could be introduced. For example, two individuals could independently pair-up and agree to make their own adjustments.
On the face of it, the inclusion of employee learning and development in to Self-Build Job Roles would seem to be perfect for how organizations could improve and become more attractive to employees. However, organizations may need to consider the ‘underlying philosophy’ behind this. For example:
- Focus on developing people's strengths rather than their weaknesses.
- Automatically include ‘enterprise wide’ development.
As shown in the Solution Self-Build Job Roles will require an individual approach for each of the employees in an organisation. This will be one of greatest challenges, requiring great technology. However, micro-management must be avoided.
How might this start?
Organizations that want to test the Self-Build Job Roles hack must have strong agreement that it is an idea that will help it become more adaptable. This may start very simply, perhaps by an inquisitive manager reading the details presented here and deciding to discuss the idea informally with the leadership of the organisation. Such discussions might cover the reasons why the hack should be explored further and the benefits it could bring to the organisation. Identifying a sponsor for the work will be the key to it being a success.
Prepare a draft proposal
Putting together a draft proposal might be the next step if the initial discussions are positive. This would need to involve different functions across the organisation, including Human Resources.
The steps to follow in preparing the draft proposal will include:
- Prepare a first draft of the proposal to include generic aspects of job redesign such as the fixed ratio of core tasks and additional activities.
- Choose example job roles to illustrate the approach.
- Discuss this draft with the sponsor.
- Test the concept with line mangers and team leaders.
- Seek approval to continue.
- Extend the discussions to other HR functions e.g. performance evaluation, compensation, training and so on.
- As soon as feasible workers should join the discussion. For example, they will have a key role in helping to identify the additional activities to include in the Self-Build Job Role.
Note: these steps in total may take more than 30 days; it will depend on the size of the organisation. However, it should be possible to cover the first four points listed above at a minimum.
Brave, wise leaders understand their workforce.
The leadership of organizations that do decide to follow this approach will have to be wise, brave, willing to take some risks and make some tough decisions. At the same time they will need to avoid being to prescriptive about ‘the how’ of Self-Build Job Roles. A fine balance will be required.
Organizations that intend to implement the Self-Build Job Roles hack must start by having a good understanding of their workforce and be prepared to customize or segment it accordingly.
The first step will be to determine which employees can build their job roles themselves and those who cannot. This will need careful planning and may not be straightforward.
Organizations must have clear criteria to determine who the employees are who perform the key working activities. For example: activities which bring direct added value to the customers or those who design services or products which directly meets the needs of customers. These people will be able to choose what they do and when they will do it. Because the nature of their work is to be creative they will be the bearers of adaptability for their organization.
Organizations will have certain core activities that simply have to be done and employees performing this sort of work will have limited opportunities to choose what they do and when. In some situations there may be no opportunities to choose.
The importance of effective communication
Agreement of the approach to be taken with Self-Build Job Roles will need to be in place amongst leaders across the whole organisation as a pre-requisite to communication with the wider workforce.
The basis of communication should be transparency about all roles, processes and challenges.
Everybody in the organisation will need to know which segment it belongs to and understand the implications of that. This will require excellent communication of the change by the leadership of the organisation.
Line managers will need to reinforce the change through regular conversations with employees. They will need to encourage employees to identify their individual work preferences and support customization of their job roles. Different workers will need to be motivated and engaged in different ways as a one-size approach will not work.
A clear system of work performance assessment must be established that includes work behaviors as well as clear guidance on financial and non-financial compensation.
The role of leaders
Leaders have a key role to play her by encouraging a trusting and open climate that fully supports Self-Build Job Roles.
Having leaders that genuinely ‘walk the talk’ and demonstrate their support through action will help accelerate the development and growth of everyone in the organisation. Such an environment will be built on a set of values with people at its centre.
The importance of process
Self-Build Job Roles must fit in to a broader operational context. Organizations must have the tools necessary for managing a transparent process. This implies the need for a framework of policies and close management attention to execute the process and make improvements as required. Over time some form of ‘self-serve’ process could be introduced to allow individuals greater flexibility and freedom to self-build their roles.
Building your own job role resembles the different phases of a physical build. There will be an initial idea, a design, a plan, a build and an understanding of the actual demands placed upon a building once it is complete and in use. At each stage the builder is placed under scrutiny. Similarly, individuals will need the organization to scrutinize, support and keep them on track, disciplined and accountable. Maintaining this accountability may be best suited to the individual’s team or peer group and this is something the organization should consider as part of its implementation.
Some practical advice and guidance for individuals
The following text describes some of the basics that individuals need to consider.
When building their job role for the first time, individuals should consider including something familiar. Here are two good questions for people to think about:
- How can I innovate within my direct working surroundings?
- How can I build on and strengthen my existing competencies or develop those competencies that will form the basis of the new role?
The individual should ensure they build a role that:
- Plays to their strengths.
- Stimulates their personal growth and development.
- Has a sense of ‘newness’ about it.
- Allows them to be ‘entrepreneurial’.
The individual should have a good personal vision for their career and their own development. They should be open-minded and creative when building their roles, considering all options. They must have the personal desire and passion to make their vision a reality.
First and foremost individuals must be in the right state of mind. They should discuss their ideas with colleagues, friends and families. People can take inspiration and help from each other to build momentum, confidence and new ideas in to their job roles.
Individuals must ensure they have a pre-determined set of criteria to evaluate the progress being made in their self-build role. Some example questions they may ask themselves:
- Does this meet my personal development needs?
- Is it allowing me to become more productive?
- Is it giving me a great sense of accomplishment?
The team for this hack was:
Note: this document is the result of the team's hard work and efforts. It was prepared by Keith Gulliver using the input and contributions provided by the different members of the team. Their original words were edited and sometimes additional information was added.
During the CIPD/MIX hackathon, the team developed a number of checklists that organizations and individuals considering implementing Self-Build Job Roles may find useful. A list of reference material is also provided.
A preconditions checklist
Using a number of case studies, the CIPD guide titled “Smart Working: How Smart Is UK plc? Findings From Organizational Practice” published in 2008 identifies a number of preconditions for organizations to succeed with what it defines as 'smart working'.
Self-Build Job Roles is an example of ‘smart working’.
These preconditions have been tailored slightly for the purposes of this document and are listed below as a simple, high-level checklist for organizations to use when considering the implementation of the Self-Build Job Roles hack. Refer to the original document for full details.
View smart working as a core organizational value
- Challenge assumptions about the nature of work
- Challenge assumptions about the ways performance is recognized.
- View work as an outcome rather than a place to go.
- Trust is key
- Offer people choice
Align the smart working vision to the business strategy
- Use smart working to drive performance outcomes and strategic business priorities.
- Use smart working to help attract and retain talent.
- Integrate smart working into the culture of the organisation
- Obtain leadership commitment to the smart working vision
- Provide cross-organizational support for a programme of change
- Redefine talent
- Create a work environment that meets the needs of various diversity constituents within the workforce.
A simplified change cycle checklist
Persuade the executives of the organisation to adopt the model - as described above, obtaining approvals will be the start-point as this will be a structural change. This phase will need a strong, persuasive and well-informed leader to kick it off.
Share information with stakeholders – not only management, but the whole organisation and its environment as well. The implementation of this model will have great potential to build an attractive employer reputation (amongst Millennials in particular).
Redefine job-roles and structure - divide existing job roles in the organisation in to 'flexible' and 'stable' parts, describe them and actualize the organisational structure.
Create an "adaptability package" - based on an assessment of the needs of the market and employees, organizations should determine what will be useful to include into the flexible part of job roles. Every function or department could have its own adaptability package.
Employee evaluation - the organization should determine the goals of its employees during this phase and pair them with the work propositions included in the adaptability package. During this procedure the organisation can set new targets and intermediate steps for the control phase.
Reaching first targets – this is the phase when the model actually starts to be used by the organisation. For example, this may be in pilot form to test the model in a specific part of the organisation before deploying more widely.
Control of targets - after a given period of time (e.g. three months) the organisation can start to assess if the model is working for employees and if intermediate targets are being fulfilled (e.g. number of people using Self-Build Job Roles). The early results should be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
Actualization - of targets and determination of new ones, based on for example: constant analysis of the market needs, competitiveness of organisation and social trends.
It may not be possible to implement Self-Build Job Roles in 30 days, mainly because of the need to seek approvals and structural changes.
Realization could be done step-by-step during one target period. Organizations could start test the approach on a specific function or department and pass the early results on to other parts of the organisation.
First steps checklist for the organization
- Establish a set of values that puts human worthiness in the center.
- Maintain focus on the core of the organization.
- Deliver a set of principles that guide or generate the self build role process.
- Maintain transparency on purpose, business processes, long-term and mid-term goals.
- Establish communication facilities to support interpersonal adjustment and support.
- Integrate or desegregate activities that are the outcome of self build roles.
- Evaluate new knowledge areas that are worth investing in.
- Strike a balance between existing knowledge and totally new avenues.
- Remain in control while giving individuals the freedom to develop.
- Create a learning environment in and on the job.
- Develop hiring processes that are based on the ongoing Self-Build Job Role process.
- Organize the job evaluation processes around the actual roles people perform.
First steps checklist for the individual
- Evaluate criteria to select an organisation to work for as a self role builder.
- Define the next development step in line with your actual drivers and competencies.
- Determine how to define your next role or assess a possible role opportunity.
- Find a way to accumulate the necessary knowledge to perform the self build role.
- Leave a role that brought you contentment and accomplishment in the past.
- Mentor a successor performing a role you previously did.
- Establish an appropriate network for the development of the new role.
“The Shift: The Future Of Work Is Already Here” by Lynda Gratton (2011).
“Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization” by Susan M. Cantrell and David Smith (2010).
“Intercultural Communication Competence” by W Messner. GloBus Research (2013).
“Manager 3.0: The Millennial´s Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management” by B Karsh and C Templin (2013).
PwC´s NextGen: A global generational study. Evolving talent strategy to match the new workforce reality. Summary and compendium of findings. [online]. Available at: http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/hr-management-services/pdf/pwc-nextgen-study-2013.pdf
“RW3 Culture Wizard: The Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams. Virtual Teams Survey Report – 2012”. Available at: http://rw-3.com/VTSReportv7.pdf
“Smart Working: How Smart Is UK plc? Findings From Organisational Practice” (2008) a CIPD guide commissioned from Capgemini.
Note: this document is the result of the team's hard work and efforts. It was prepared by Keith Gulliver using the input and contributions provided by the different members of the team. Their original words were edited and sometimes additional information was added.
HACKING THE HACK
One of the key criteria in the final judging for the winners of the Digital Freedom Challenge is how the hack is further developed, in response to comments and questions from the judges and my peers.
The questions from the Digital Freedom Challenge judges are as follows:
How might the Self-Build Job Roles hack start as an experiment?
How could the need for a 'system wide change' be addressed in First Steps?
Is there a 'quick and dirty' version of the Self-Build Job Roles approach?
I've been giving these questions some thought; how can I hack my hack?
Below you will find ten simple and straightforward steps that could be used by functional managers who might want to experiment with the Self-Build Job Roles hack in their organisations rather than go for a full-blown implementation.
TEN STEPS SUMMARY
Step One - Identify Your Enemies.
The hack addresses a number of barriers to adaptability. You can read more about these on the MIX website. Look at each one in turn. Are any of them applicable to your organisation? If so then you've identified a need! Now you can use them to form the foundation upon which to build your experiment.
Step Two - Choose Your Allies.
Identify one or two like-minded managers in your organisation and share your thoughts with them. Encourage them to get on board. You will need some cross-functional support and collaborator colleagues if you are to test some aspects of the Self-Build Job Roles hack.
Step Three - Sign A Sponsorship Deal.
Sound out leadership and get yourself an enlightened executive sponsor to support your experiment. This person will become an important ally and catalyst for extending the experiment beyond your function.
Step Four - Hold A Coffee Morning.
Gather together a small group of people from across your function – potential evangelists for the experiment. Have coffee. Share your thinking. Get them primed and on board. Have cake if it helps.
Step Five - Get On Your Soapbox.
Take personal ownership and lead from the front. Make an announcement. Communicate regularly. Tee up the experiment. Be open from the outset. Be transparent. Use social tools, online communities. Encourage the people in your function to make comments, ask questions and write & record the story as it unfolds. Evangelise!
Step Six – Jam.
Stop everything and put aside time to focus. Gather everyone in the function together for both Steps Six and Seven. It could be a face-to-face workshop, an online 'jam' or a combination of the two. Use a facilitator. Make use of the evangelists. Build upon your initial communications, add further details. Build the experiment. Some examples to collectively explore:
Outcomes of the experiment – be clear on what you all want, how you will measure (quantitative and qualitative), the time and resources required, the percentage of core role hours and hours that could be 'flexed'.
The example activities set out in the Self-Build Job Roles 'Solution'. What could be tested easily and quickly?
What is in your control? [Easy to include in the experiment]
What will involve others internally? [Could be included but will need support from your allies]
What will involve others externally? [Harder to do, unlikely to be included]
What will require additional work e.g. new organisation wide systems, policies or processes? [Exclude from experiment].
Segway in to Step Seven.
Step Seven – Simulate It!
Rather than go for an immediate implementation use the opportunity of having everyone together to walk through and test the various steps of the Self-Build Job Roles hack:
The development plans.
The flexing / augmenting process.
The self-build window.
The discussions e.g. with line manager, mentor, colleagues.
The organisational assessment of people choices.
Use the output from the simulation to help with the implementation of the experiment.
Share the Step Six and Step Seven stories, especially with your sponsor and allies.
Step Eight – Now Do it!
Find the best way to make it happen easily and quickly. It might involve paperwork. It might involve a spreadsheet. You decide. Make the experiment a learning experience for the people in your function. Provide opportunities to ask questions, gather feedback and evaluate on an ongoing basis. Collect data. Oh, and don't forget: everyone should continue to tell their stories!
Step Nine – And Relax.
Pause. Review. Reflect. Look at the data. What has worked and what has not? What could be done differently? Has the experiment been a success, have outcomes been achieved and the barriers to adaptability started to break down? What does work feel like to you and others? Work with your sponsor to determine if the experiment should continue, its scope extended or expanded to other functions. Perhaps it will be canned if the experiment hasn't gone well.
Step Ten - Play Again?
Will the experiment with the Self-Build Job Roles hack continue? Are you and the people in your function ready for more? Are others in the wider organisation? Make your decision on the basis of Step Nine. Continue to evangelise and continue to tell the story whatever the final decision may be.
Collectively, these ten steps address the three questions asked by the Digital Freedom Challenge judges. If you have any comments on this approach or further suggestions I would be very pleased to hear from you! You can comment here on the MixPrize website or contact me through Twitter (@KeithGulliver).
I really like this idea. I have seen a few companies dabbling in this area - a couple of IT Services companies tried out a scheme for allowing employees in (tedious) roles to spend 10-20% of their time on a stretch project, some companies allow people to spend a few days volunteering, and there was Oticon, the Danish hearing aid company, who encouraged people to form multiple bottom-up project teams of their choosing. Clearly what you are proposing is about bringing all this together to look at the range of ways people can redesign their work, while still doing their official job.
So this is potentially big, but it is also quite challenging. From conversations with companies that have tried aspects of this, my advice would be to make sure you work on the "demand side" of the market as well as the supply side. In other words, things like secondments and stretch assignments are asked-for by other parts of the organisation, and when that happens, the employees who get selected have a real opportunity to do something of perceived business value. These types of activities are likely to help the initiative gain greater traction...
I have replaced the original hand drawn diagram of the conceptual model with something that looks a bit more 'professional'. I have updated the MS word document and attached it to the template. KeithG
I have added the diagram of the conceptual model to the template text as a GIF. KeithG
I have updated the draft text of this hack to incorporate a number of changes.
I have simplified much of the original text, re-written some sections and re-positioned some text in to different sections.
I have placed the table and the mind map in to separate documents all of which are attached.
I have added a set of checklists in the Materials section.
Let me know what you think of the changes, thanks. KeithG
The team has done an excellent job, there have been lots of great ideas and input. Claire has made some good suggestions about how to sharpen the hack overall. I've been out of circulation for a couple of weeks but will endeavor to pull everything together for the final version. KeithG
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