Hacking HR to Build an Adaptability Advantage

perry-timms_1's picture

Hierarchical Hold on Power, Decision and Direction.

By Perry Timms on May 12, 2022

To me it is simple. The very structures we have that make for scalable success in business also seem to strangle it from adapting. Where power, decisions and direction setting seem to be funnelled up the speed to respond, the foresight to experiment and the sense of direction with the ability to alter course are hampered. Hampered by personal motivations taking over, the vaporising of social intelligence and the lack of connectivity with the real reasons their business is successful seem lost.  Break the hierarchy, open up the power base and allow more influence across the board should result in more adaptability.  The tighter the grip, the more opportunities slip through.

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Perry, thanks for your comments on my entry, and your comments here have helped my thinking - that it's not just how leaders see themselves and their purpose, but the way the structure of organisations are built that gets in the way. But leaders who see themselves as enablers then recognise their role is to remove the barriers - structures, processes, behaviours and sometimes even other people who get in the way of someone using their capabilities to best effect, or get in the way of ceding control from the board to the "front line" .

This is a fascinating exercise, because so many of the observations are coming back to leadership, and it raises an interesting question on the role of the respective leadership and management bodies. Is this an opportunity for CIPD to step in (to the vacuum?) on the debate about the future of leadership, where we focus on what the future need is rather than look back on what has worked in the past.

perry-timms_1's picture

It would be a little too easy and maybe even trite for me to say "it's all the leaders' fault". Except it probably is. Poor decisions, poor execution, in over their heads, poor people management.

Is there a vacuum you say - well I think there is. It's not JUST the CIPD's remit/role to describe a better leadership condition, yet there is a huge amount of influence the CIPD can bring to bear for the HR LEADERS to start with.

So that the HR Director becomes the one who the CEO goes to the most; the HRD and other HR Leaders who help the morality of leadership come to the surface and the HR leaders who are respected for their take on the things that matter the most not just the business practices taught on MBA programmes.

Future of leadership I like more than future leaders so I hope this gets picked up as a VITAL part of the adaptability edge we're looking for.

A bit Yoda like but here's my final thought here: Where there is a not-for-turning leader; an adaptable organisation it will not be.

Keep hacking Peter. All the best