Recently our Finance team hosted a roundtable dinner discussion with a number of CFOs within our BIE Community. The discussion led to some stimulating debate and it was clear that certain themes resonated with everyone around the table, regardless of their sector.
The demands on business leaders to deliver economic efficiency and effectiveness is ever increasing. In today’s often relentless, fast-paced environment, the ability to ask the right questions to ensure the right level of engagement when delivering change is an integral ingredient of success.
Change affects each of us differently. Some people thrive on it, some are unsettled by it, and others resist it entirely. And when it’s imposed on us, we often have our most extreme reactions.
In our working lives, going through a large-scale business transformation, like a merger or acquisition, is likely one of the most severe change environments that we will face. How it is handled by the leaders running the programme can have a significant impact on how well the employees react, and therefore how successful the process is.
The freelance market is gaining considerable momentum. With contractors projected to make up 43% of the workforce by 2020 (compared with 6% in 1989), the desire to shift from traditional full-time roles is on the rise.
The gig economy, or ‘connected market’ as it’s often known, is set to be worth £43bn globally by 2020, according to PwC research.
The marketplace itself is becoming more tolerant of the temporary role, not least because of the larger pool of freelancers and contractors it creates, but also the transitory attitude of the modern worker.
In an earlier blog, we shared with you a case study in which an organisation had successfully implemented a business transformation framework that enabled large scale organisational change.
In this follow-on blog, we share with you some of the questions that should arise when embarking on your own business transformation: a practical “cut-out-and-keep” guide to creating your framework, again written by Rose Padfield from the Padfield Partnership.
Alignment in the senior leadership team is only of value if a chief executive is open to debate and discussion. Anything less and an ‘aligned top team’ will merely serve as shorthand for a group of executives who either meekly obey a CEO’s every whim and command, or who nod politely and then pursue their own agendas.
It’s not a sustainable way to operate a business. Phillippa Crookes, Senior Relationship Manager at Criticaleye, comments: “The worst situation for a CEO is to think their leadership team is presenting a unified front, when in reality they are sowing seeds of dissent in the organisation.”
This inevitably has a negative effect on performance, as it results in a disconnect between strategy and execution.
Recent analysis shows that the majority of FTSE 250 organisations no longer submit quarterly reports. Is this a sign of increasing focus on long-term planning or simply the avoidance of an ultimately pointless exercise and administrative burden?
There have been numerous articles, reports and commentaries on this topic, often focusing mainly on the external market perception or reaction. I believe however that we need to look deeper and focus much more on how these requirements, in force between 2007 and 2015, affected not just results, but culture.
They are familiar headlines to all of us – ‘Company X sees record quarterly growth’ or ‘Company Y sees quarterly profits plunge’, swiftly followed by numerous opinion pieces outlining why things are going right or wrong. Is the decline in reporting every three months a wise move though? The FCA certainly thinks so, moving to drop the requirement in 2015, albeit somewhat quietly, after a consultation period.
The response to whether the requirement should be dropped was broadly positive, but will it really relieve pressure on businesses and ultimately help to solve the UK’s productivity conundrum? Many are doubtful to say the least.
Previously in this mini blog series, we've looked at the reality of HR automation and what this means for the workforce. And it's becoming clear that automation technologies present two alternative futures. One, a gentle relocating of effort in line with how things are done today. Two, a more fundamental reshaping of the current working paradigm - one that’s not just about replacing today’s processes with robots but about renewing and re-imagining the way things are done.
Both possibilities form a close alignment with strategic leadership, business transformation, improvement plans, and IT colleagues.
Of course, it’s the people, not the technology who are at the centre of this opportunity.
With the influx of automation technologies, we find ourselves continually surrounded by screaming headlines:
- 49% of jobs today have the potential to have at least half the constituent tasks automated using technology
- In the next 10-20 years, 35% of jobs in the UK are at risk of automation
- By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with a bot than with their spouse
Analysts and consulting firms (and maybe divorce lawyers!) smell blood in this new wave of revenue generation panic.
I see more and more organisations looking for the kind of skills to transform organisations’ operational delivery. Similarly, they’re looking for leaders who can help their workforce through a fundamental shift in how they operate and deliver their services. It’s clear that organisations themselves believe this gear-shift is real, so are these the classic traits of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
It’s time for some clarity around the definition of HR automation. A fundamental component in daily HR operations, ERPs, applicant tracking systems, case management software and chatbots, automation has always been a part of the transformation mix.
However in reality, automation is often a badly defined term, as the concept itself is broad ranging. So in an attempt to establish some clarity ahead of my next couple of blogs on HR automation, here's a bit of a breakdown.