People Practices & Organization Design- Bersin’s Predictions for Change in 2017

Bersin by Deloitte continually delivers research designed to help organizations in their HR, talent, and learning strategies. These research-based strategies help leaders deliver better performance and to develop their people.

In one of Bersin’s latest reports, Predictions for 2017: Everything Is Becoming Digital, the theme of digital transformation runs throughout. And while tech certainly changes jobs and the nature of our work, still the biggest change is the new way in which we must manage, lead, and operate our organizations.

“One of the hallmarks of high-performing companies in today’s digital world is the ability to learn fast,” says Bersin, adding that organizations today need to try new things, rapidly deploy new products and services, and quickly learn what fails and what works.

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“This fast-moving, customer-centric way of doing business has shifted decision-making to the edges of the company, and involves a new way of thinking about management and HR.”

A New Way of Thinking & Operating

In the report, 11 predictions are made about rapid technological, structural and cultural changes that will reshape the world of work. Bersin examines the areas of management, human resources, and the markets for HR and workplace technology (including a mention of Talmetrix, formerly BlackbookHR).

We’ll be breaking down what you need to know about the top predictions impacting talent and HR.

Prediction: Organizational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere


What Bersin predicts: “Organization design, including structure, roles, talent mobility, and the role of leadership, must become flexible and adaptive.”

The concepts of scale and efficiency have forever changed for organizations. No longer does being large or efficient mean that others have a high barrier to entry. No longer does being large or efficient allow you to maintain your market, either, suggests Bersin. Instead, today’s business landscape is in constant reinvention.

High-Performing Organizations Must Support Scalable Learning


The competitive advantage that matters today is no longer “scalable efficiency.” The competitive advantage that matters today, instead, is based on “scalable learning,” or the ability to quickly and effectively experiment and learn across a company.

As a company, signs you have the capacity for scalable learning include:

  1. Embracing the ability to be agile within your marketplace
  2. Experimenting with and in front of your customers
  3. Constantly learning about your customers (including your aspirational customers)
  4. Knowing your employees’ needs/aspirations/mindsets as much as you know your customers’ needs/aspirations/mindsets
  5. Rapidly learning from competitors
  6. Staying ahead of the marketplace and tech trends

To thrive in this kind of business environment, companies needs hands-on leadership combined with smaller teams, dynamic communication, customer-centric learning, experimentation and a reduced time-to-market.

How to Make It Happen: Enlightened Leadership

If the formula for high-performing organizations is keeping teams small, vigorous communication, and using a shared culture to empower and bring people together, what are the immediate steps that can be taken to get there?  

Bersin acknowledges that changing the very way in which teams work is no easy task—and that’s because this new method of leadership and structuring organizations is entirely new.

Bersin’s ideas for teams to consider to move towards a more empowered-team approach include:

  1. Formally create and support smaller team structures. These teams must be smaller, flatter, and more empowered;  
  2. Incent people to strive for meaningful results and learning;
  3. Be sure you reward team success and not just individual success (including redesigning goal management);
  4. Provide career coaches to support growth;
  5. Carve out a path to encourage more leadership opportunities throughout the company;
  6. Gather ongoing feedback and insights from your teams to know more about your people;
  7. Use tech to support real-time dashboards and reports so teams can operate with ongoing knowledge and similar perspectives;
  8. Look for other ways to support and spur collaboration.

A Word from Talmetrix CEO Chris Powell

“Leaders looking to capitalize on the ever-changing workforce must have relevant insights regarding employee perception, habits, and values. Talmetrix, through our cloud-based software, works with talent-focused organizations to connect existing organizational data (facts) with real-time employee feedback (feelings) providing a clear view of the impact the employee experience has on your business. Even the most innovative strategic plan is only as valuable as the people tasked with executing it.”    

Talmetrix cloud-based software connects existing organizational data (facts) with real-time employee feedback (feelings) providing a clear view of the impact the employee experience has on your business.

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Read Josh Bersin’s research report Predictions for 2017: Everything Is Becoming Digital to see the excerpts used directly in this article.

 

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