WENEEDTOCHANGETHEWAYWECHANGEFor most organizations, the answer wouldbe no. In industry after industry, its theinsurgents, not the incumbents, whovebeen surfing the waves of change—itsGoogle, not Microsoft; Hyundai, notChrysler; Apple, not Nokia; Air Asia, notJAL; and so on. The vanguard, though, arejust as vulnerable to change as theirvictims. Success has never been morefleeting.The only thing that can be safely predictedis that sometime soon your organizationwill be challenged to change in ways forwhich it has no precedent. Problem is, ourorganizations were never built to beadaptable. Those early managementpioneers, a hundred years ago, set out tobuild companies that were disciplined, notresilient. They understood that efficiencycomes from routinizing the non-routine.Adaptability, on the other hand, requires awillingness to occasionally abandon thoseroutines—and in most organizations thereare precious few incentives to do so.Thats why change tends to come in onlytwo varieties: the trivial and the traumatic.Review the history of the average corpora-tion and youll discover long periods ofincremental fiddling punctuated by occa-sional bouts of frantic, crisis-drivenchange. Why should an organization have tolose its way and surrender market valuebefore getting serious about change?The goal should be change without trau-ma—automatic, spontaneous, and reflex-ive. In a world of mind-flipping change,what matters is not merely a companyscompetitive advantage at a point in time,but its evolutionary advantage over time.1975 1980 19901985 1995 2000+30%20%10%A 2005 McKinsey study indicated thatmarket leaders (those in the top quintile byrevenue in a given industry) stand a 30%chance to be “toppled” within 5 years. Thisprobability is over three times what it wasjust a few decades ago.IT’SGETTINGHARDERTOSTAYONTOPTHE CHALLENGE:CHANGINGTHEWAYWECHANGEAREWECHANGINGASFASTASTHEWORLDAROUNDUS?We live in a world that seems to be allpunctuation and no equilibrium, where thefuture is less and less an extrapolation ofthe past. We are surrounded by all sorts ofthings that are changing at an exponentialpace: the number of mobile phones in theworld, CO2 emissions, data storage, thepower of semiconductor chips, the numberof devices connected to the Internet, thenumber of genes that have beensequenced, world energy consumption, andknowledge itself. Today, the most import-ant question for any organization is this:
EMPLOYEESA passionate and deeplycommitted workforceA high ratio of innovationand value-added peremployeeA relative advantage incapturing the discretionaryenergy of employeesCUSTOMERSInnovation-basedpricing advantagesA strong, extensible,brandA reputation forredefining customerexpectationsCOMPETITORSA steadily growing shareof firm-market-value toindustry-market-valueA reputation as a savvyand formidablecompetitorA competitive advantagein acquiring and retainingtalentPARTNERSA disproportionate shareof influence in settingstandardsAn advantage inattracting world-classpartnersA nodal position withinindustry ecosystemsINVESTORSAbove average returnsover any time frameNo large, unanticipated,earnings shocksA consistentprice-to-earnings (P/E)premium versus its peers$A company that is constitutionally adaptiveenjoys advantages in at least five broad areas:COULDYOURCOMPANYBETRULYADAPTABLE?
HRASACATALYSTFORADAPTABILITYWe believe HR can play a hugely positive role in helping companies to become adaptableat their core. HR is already a partner to business in many change management efforts,but HR’s impact would be many times greater if it played a lead role in eliminating thebarriers to adaptability and in building new capabilities that facilitate proactive change.This is particularly true for aspects of the management model that HR drives directly,such as change management, organizational design, talent acquisition and deployment,learning and development, and performance review.For instance, what could HR be doing to...Design and facilitate “change programs”that are based on ongoing, company-widedialogue about priorities and direction, asopposed to episodic catch-up initiativesdriven from the top?Build nimbler and more fluid organiza-tional structures, where a “reorg” isn’tsomething that happens every four or fiveyears in response to a missed opportunity,but something that is occurring continu-ously, and almost effortlessly?Create an “army” of change agents bydisseminating the principles of grass-rootschange and increase the capacity ofindividuals to launch bottom-up changeinitiatives?Create a true market for talent, wherenew initiatives and legacy programscompete on an equal footing for the bestpeople?Equip people with a new set of conceptualskills that are required to thrive in anincreasingly turbulent and interconnectedworld, such as double-loop learning,creative problem‐solving, andvalues-driven thinking?Foster a high-trust, low-fear environ-ment—where risk-taking is encouraged,information is broadly shared, and conten-tious opinions are freely expressed?Enlarge the company’s capacity forexperimentation by creating an appropri-ate level of slack and building skills inexperimental design and rapid prototyping?Re-engineer control-oriented manage-ment processes to reduce the “bureau-cratic drag” that impedes the progress ofnew initiatives?Develop genuine and granular foresighton key workforce trends, such as newskills required to support business shifts,or the expectations from new generationsentering the workplace?WHAT COULD HR BE DOING TO...
DISTILL THE DEFININGCHARACTERISTICS OFADAPTABLE ORGANIZATIONSWhat are the new management tenets thatwill help organizations change as fast aschange itself?DIAGNOSE THE BARRIERSTO ADAPTABILITYWhy do most organizations struggle to betruly adaptable? What are the specificimpediments that get in the way ofproactive change?JOINTLY INVENTMANAGEMENT HACKSWhat are the most radical yet practicalideas for how HR can spur the entireenterprise into becoming more adaptable?What are some first but impactful steps wecould take to make progress on this front?THEMANAGEMENTHACKATHONThe CIPD and the ManagementInnovation eXchange (MIX) are invitingHR and business leaders to crack theadaptability challenge through a hack-athon—an online problem-solving eventthat will harness the collective intelli-gence of progressive HR and manage-ment practitioners from around theworld.The hackathon is a hands-on, collabora-tive effort focused on finding, develop-ing, and eventually implementingreal-world solutions that can be experi-mented with in our companies—notsomeday, but today. It is based on theMIX’s groundbreaking methodology thatwill help participants:WHATISAMANAGEMENTHACKATHON?A management hackathon is amainly on-line, open-innovationevent in which participants jointlysolve thorny managementproblems.Hackathons are structured asmulti-stage, problem-solvingefforts that involve learning,diagnosis, priority-setting, ideageneration, idea ranking, ideaelaboration, prototyping,experimentation and feedback.During a hackathon, participants“swarm” specific managementchallenges, developing andprototyping managementhacks—bold yet highly actionableideas for re-inventing processessuch as strategic planning,resource allocation, and talentmanagement in ways that make adecisive performance difference.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE?WHO ARE THE COACHES?HOWTOPLAYParticipation is open to anyone with an interest in seeing our organizations change for the better. We areparticularly seeking progressive HR, learning and development, and management practitioners looking tomake real-world impact within their own organizations. Registration is free and only takes a few seconds.Define what wemean by adaptabilityDiscuss theadaptabilityimperativeCoaches will provide thought-provokingperspectives and practical advice toparticipants throughout the hackathon.Our coaching staff includes a number ofleading management thinkers andprogressive practitioners, including: Peter Cheese Lynda Gratton Dave UlrichGary HamelIdentify the definingcharacteristics oftruly adaptableorganizationsDiscuss the biggestimpediments toadaptability—whatmakes proactivechange so hard inmost organizationsBrainstormmini-hacks—aninitial set of boldnew ideas that, bychanging anorganization’smanagmentprocess would helpbuild an adaptabilityadvantageDevelop the mostpromising ideas intomanagementhacks—practicalblueprints that canbe experimentedupon rapidly andcheaplySynthesize the keyinsights from thehackathon—whatare the main leversfor adaptability?What are theimplications for HR?Produce thehackathon reportDisseminate resultsProvide updates(eg, coverage oforganizationsexperimenting withthe hacks)Late April to mid-May Mid to late May Early to mid-June Late June to early August August to September October +WHYADAPTABILITYMATTERS NOWDISTILLINGTHE DESIGNRULES FORADAPTABILITYINVENTING“MINI-HACKS”DEVELOPINGMANAGEMENTHACKSSUMMINGIT UPCIPD ANNUALCONFERENCEAND BEYONDOthercoachesto beannounced
BECAUSE YOU AIM HIGHThere may be some who are content to work on trivial problems, but youre not one of them. Youre excited by thechance to bring your experience and imagination to this important, global-scale challenge.BECAUSE YOU WANT YOUR INNOVATION TO SPREADProgressive management practices deserve to be emulated, and radical yet practical ideas should be put intopractice. The best ideas will receive significant recognition as management innovators on the MIX,People Management, and other publications (eg, Fortune.com).BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MAKE A WORLD-CLASS CONTRIBUTIONEvery radical new management practice starts out as a courageous "What if?" During the course of thehackathon, world-renowned experts and like-minded practitioners will give you valuable feedback to make yourstory even more compelling, and turn your "far out" idea into a real-world management breakthrough.BECAUSE IT’S NOT EASY BEING A RENEGADETrailblazing is often hard and lonely work. During this hackathon challenge, youll discover and collaborate with acommunity of like-minded management rebels. Youll meet others who have what it takes to fight the status quoand win—and who are eager to share their experiences and insights. And youll have plenty of opportunities toshare your own ideas and stories along the way. At the end of the process, we hope youll walk away with a newset of management innovation friends and advocates to help you navigate the path to a more adaptableorganization.BECAUSE YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTIONTackling the urgent challenge of reinventing management for the 21st century is everybodys business. You donthave to be a guru or a CEO—or even a "manager" by title—to be an effective management innovator. You arentsolely interested in your own organizations success—your highest ambition is to change the game for everybody.WHYJOINTHEHACKATHON?
HELPSPREADTHEWORDSend an email to your team and colleagues introducing thehackathon and encouraging them to join. Include a link towww.mixhackathon.org/cipdhackPromote the hackathon through social media channels—thisincludes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your corporatesocial networkPost updates and reminders on your intranet.The more people participate in this hackathon, the greater thechance that we’ll be able to build a comprehensive picture ofhow to create truly adaptable organizations. You can play a bigrole by activating your personal networks to build enthusiasmfor building an evolutionary advantage. Here are some ideas toget you started: