Memo to all functions and Business Partners (HR, OD, L&D, Internal/Corporate Communications, Strategy Units, Finance, Health and Safety, Branding/PR, and any other supporting tribe; apologies if we missed somebody): You are fired. But you can get back. Maybe.
If you are back, none of you should have the same configuration, purpose, jobs descriptions and Partner Business Plans as the previous year. You need to reapply for your space in the organization. However, new functionalities are now required, and they may fall into more than one of the old functions, so don’t take it for granted that you can just get your chairs back. Lines are open. Empty Corporate Spaces are waiting.
The following functions are needed. We declare them vacant. Please apply to as many as you want. Applications need to be supported by evidence that (1) you have the skills, (2) the mental frame and (3) the appetite, to take over one or more of these. You may have heard this before: Previous performance is not indicative of future performance.
- Storytelling and Narrative. Both top down and bottom up. Not one off, a continuous shaping. We are dumping ‘the employee of the month’ in favour of ‘the story of the month’ and a crowd sourced company narrative.
- De-cluttering. We need to clean up, simplify, get rid of unnecessary processes and systems.
- Keepers of the culture and the behavioural DNA. Yes, sure, the CEO does that, the Leadership Team does that, we’ve read that book too. But somebody needs to take particular ownership to make it happen across the board.
- From Change Management to Ability to Change. Our new focus is change-ability; the creation of an organizational fabric where ‘any change’ can take place (and if possible without calling it ‘change’).
- Curators of the fluidity of the informal organization, regular health checks. Fluidity of the informal networks, the conversations, the social chattering. We have ignored this for 20 years. We have overbooked expertise in the formal organization. We are switching the focus to the informal one.
- Greeter/Onboarding/mentoring. For new people coming onboard, it now needs to take one third of the time to become fully functional. This needs to happen peer-to-peer. Open as to exactly how.
- Critical thinking. Desperately need to inject this across the board. Open-minded as to how as well. But we need to see this progressively embedded in the organization.
- Connectivity, collaboration. Facilitation of the cross-border enterprise (‘Enterprise Without Borders’) However, we are planning a Big Team Sabbatical, so this is not about ‘more teams’ and team building.
- Health check ups, Reboot! mechanisms, Time Outs. A built-in system that self-checks and plans reinventions .
- Space in the world, brand, internal and external seemingly connected. All behavioural, by the way. Not about logos.
These are the initial 10 offerings. For the record, we are well aware that all leaders and managers need to ‘do this’. That is not the point. We are looking, however, at leading functions within the organization, drivers of these needs, groups that are willing to take ownership and drive them.
Joint bids accepted. Rebranding and reinvention of ‘business partnerships’ welcome.
More functionalities are crafted as we speak, and successful re-appointed functions will participate in a second bid.
Lines are open.
PS. Do not infer that because you occupied an obvious space before, you will occupy the same now. Your function is not needed. Functionalities are. Do not assume you will revert to previous ‘tasks’. Hiring by HR is not inevitable. Communicating by Communications, ditto. Culture is not necessarily HR. Change may or may not be OD, etc. None of the old or the new functionalities belongs to any particular function by law.
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