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Adapting to the management and human resources evolution

Many industry sectors, companies, organisations, businesses and workforces are often in a continual state of flux and transition. Success is predicated on multiple, and complex, factors – all impacted by corporate vision, organisational culture, strategies, and people management. Change is a constant. Adapting to, and adopting, ever-changing developmental processes of design, is paramount. New paradigm shifts are inevitable. 

Organisational design and development is becoming increasingly integral to both planning modellers and human resource professionals. The impact of the current pandemic and coronavirus has further accelerated, and necessitated, a global response to change management, decision-making, and professional development.

What is organisational design and development?

Although by definition distinct, at core level, organisation design and organisation development blend together to form, and present, an organic, workable entity.  Organisation design refers to the process and result of presenting an organisation structure, enabling it to align with the business methodology and context desired. Organisation development focuses on planned and systematic enabling of an organisation’s performance and workflow via its people involvement. 

This meshing of both disciplines, and the impact of current trends, has been highlighted by the publication of Deloitte’s 2021 Global Human Capital Trends: Special report. In Deloitte’s 2016 report, 92% of companies were already considering and evaluating organisational change, restructuring and consultancy, citing these as being either very important or important. With the advent of the global pandemic this has come to the forefront in organisational structuring, and innovative solutions are being conceptualised, brainstormed and posited in order to meet the challenges faced in the current climate and beyond.

Management and human resources – a collaborative partnership

Developing and finessing organisational design and functionality in order to facilitate and maximise business performance, and future potential, is a crucial remit for global concerns. Changing methodologies, redesign, political impacts (both national and international, e.g. Brexit), cultural and ideological adjustments and diversification, all directly impact current and future sectors and employment areas. Accountability to business partners, stakeholders, shareholders – and being au fait with all the latest developments and potential sustainability issues – are de facto concerns for all organisations.

Professional management of people and the general workforce is fundamental to positive and holistic success. Collaborative partnership between both disciplines can be seen as one of mutualism, and hugely beneficial in facilitating and optimising business functionality and performance.

In 2017, the link between organisational design and development and human resources was considered in HR Future. In the current global context, hierarchical structures and boundaries are becoming blurred – consider the increase in business model disruptors such as Elon Musk and Amazon for example – and the switch to digital and remote working will only accelerate, thereby necessitating dynamic responses both organisationally and in terms of human resources. In March 2020, Jane Sparrow, Founder and Director of The Culture Builders, explored these rapid changes in remote working and the need to actively adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Assessing developmental needs

Increasingly, experts such as Naomi Stanford are leading the way in enabling organisational design and development. Stanford advises businesses to think of organisational system models as one would anatomical models, enabling a ‘step back’ from the day-to-day running and allowing for impartial objectivity.

In this way, organisations can more easily investigate:

  • The external ecosystem and environment (market)
  • How teams, roles and tasks are organised (organisational structure)
  • How business processes are run and the way value is delivered (operations)
  • The way elements are interdependent

As such, an organisation can be viewed as both the sum of its parts and not, and opportunities for organisational development intervention can be identified.

Such a burgeoning area necessarily creates innumerable opportunities for the development of emerging career pathways, alongside existing traditional modes of work. Digital skill-sets and proficiencies, worldwide platforms, and tools to advance sector innovation and data management will all be needed to cater to a fast-paced and constantly changing work market.

Career options and emerging opportunities

Multiple career areas will open up in both organisational design and development, and HR. Some of these may range, for example, from the use of technology such as webinars, Future State business analysis, data mining, and other digitally relevant applications. In human resources management, understanding the psychological reaction and response by people to interventions, environment and stimuli is the foundation of behavioural science.

A snapshot sample of prospective employment position options may include:

  • Graduate business analysts
  • Knowledge (research) analysts
  • Digital business and marketing managers
  • Management consultants
  • Behavioural scientists in tech companies
  • HR leads
  • Organisational design and development consultants

Job opportunities and examples of case studies in organisational design and development can be searched for on CIPD, whose expertise encompasses professional development and work-related issues. Linkedin, with 500+ million members, is another well-known, and respected, global player in the career-seeking and career-progression market.

Opportunities and professional paths are endless, and undoubtedly many as-yet-unknown careers will come into existence as the world of work grows exponentially.

In HR, neologisms are being coined and embraced to reflect people-centric holacracy (decentralised management) and “new work”. Analytics and tech such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (Virtual Reality) are all part of the employee experience and increasing engagement. Currently, Millennials, and the upcoming Gen Z, are the main drivers of positive change, presenting fresh ideas and accelerating cultural and different modes of working based on flexibility, communication, strong values, meaning and purpose, creativity, autonomy, employee engagement, and collective, and collaborative, solution-finding.

Be a part of the work evolution

Are you ready to engage with this new world of work? Want to gain practical skills for leadership and management of change? Excited by the prospect of change and making a difference by choosing a postgraduate course to meet your needs?

If this sounds like you, then find out more with the University of Lincoln’s MSc Management with Human Resources programme. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your understanding of human resource management, grounding that knowledge in the dual contexts of both wider business implications and an international perspective. A strong foundation for aspiring and practising HR professionals, it provides a critical understanding of the issues relating to business, management and human resources management.