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The world has changed: how to build a high-performing organization in a slow-growth economy.

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How do you build a high-performing organization in the world that's emerged from the recession? Check out our thoughts on how today's new world will affect your organization. (This is part one in an eight part series).

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The world has changed: how to build a high-performing organization in a slow-growth economy.

  1. 1. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 Toto, we’re not in a high- growth economy anymore: How to build a high-performing organization in the 21st century. PART 1: The world has changed.
  2. 2. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 the world has changed.
  3. 3. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 in what way, you ask?
  4. 4. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 Toto, we’re not in a high-growth economy anymore. Once upon a time you could expect splashy growth and fat returns, if you ran your business well. No longer. . well… a few ways, actually. It’s a VUCA world: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. Which pretty much means, ‘Hey, it’s crazy out there!’ The workplace is a demographic melting pot. Boomers, and their Boomer expectations (and desire to retire… or not). Millennials, and their Millennial expectations. Workforces spread across the globe. Different expectations, anyone? Eight hours a day at a desk? What’s that? Coffee shop workstations, portable devices, and 24/7 connectivity. Welcome to the new office. How do you support all that?
  5. 5. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 let’s look more closely.
  6. 6. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 1. because we’re not in a high- growth economy anymore: It is time to revisit what success means for the organization and your employees. Focus on the long-term: on stability, career mobility, and the connection to community and environment. When moving up is no longer a real option, facilitate lateral employee growth to develop people, keep careers interesting, and support a flatter, more nimble organization. Build loyalty and performance by giving your people more autonomy - and growing their individual mastery through real-life experience. Recognizing that employees now have to do more with less, make processes simple and streamlined. In short, make it easy for employees to do the work that matters: get the clutter out of the way. To create “stickiness”, connect employees to the purpose of the organization (as Jim Collins calls it, “the big hairy audacious goal”). Financial incentives are rarely the best way to driving engagement - and for many organizations they’re no longer an option. Structure Strategy People Work Culture
  7. 7. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 2. because it’s a VUCAworld: Create transparency, and connect your employees’ work to the organization’s strategy. Your team can react with more intention when everyone is aligned to the same plan. In a VUCA world, agility is a requirement. Build flat structures, widen spans of control, and empower your employees to move quickly and have an impact. In a world of crazy change, organizational culture must become the ‘safe place’ where employees can thrive, safe from the spinning world outside - like the eye of the storm. To imbed agility in the DNA of your organization, hire, develop, and reward for change-capable behaviors. Be explicit – build your roadmap for creating a change capable organization. If you can predict it, you can prepare for it. Use technology to provide insights, track trends, enhance collaboration, and share knowledge. Only when fully informed can your team quickly mobilize to meet change. Strateg y Culture Structure People Work
  8. 8. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 3. because the workplace is a demographic melting pot: How do you address fickle millennial loyalty, keep boomers committed, and optimize a global team? Engage your people in the why, what, and how of strategic planning - from their point of view. Make it an organization-wide dialogue. Think community. Build operating models that connect your employees to the groups and people who matter. Start thinking networks (rather than org charts), with personal connections and strong information flow. Differences, whether generational, regional, or individual, make teams stronger when they are embraced and celebrated. Create a culture that embraces different work styles and expectations. They’re bound to go sooner or later, so be ready to capture and transfer knowledge as the Boomers retire. Know where your risks are and build a plan - avoidance is not the solution. Recognize and support the differences in how the generations define work. Boomers ‘go to work’, Millennials ‘do work’. Strategy Culture Structure People Work
  9. 9. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 4. because office time and desk time aren’t what they used to be: In a world of self-direction and autonomy, strategic alignment is the name of the game. When we’re all working toward the same goal, how and where we work matters far less. Welcome to an era where titles and levels don’t mean much. It’s contribution that matters. Create great roles for your people and make it clear what good looks like. In a world of ‘always on’ – how do you keep your team healthy and balanced? Creating a culture that works hard and plays hard is the ticket. Encourage down time, create space, and be OK when folks are not ‘on’. Rethink your people process to ensure your team is recognizing contributions, rather than tabulating tenure or time spent at the desk. After all, if nobody’s at a desk anymore, you’re going to need a different measure. Flexibility is the rage: support choice by making it easy for your people to B.Y.O.D. (bring their own devices to work) - And make sure you provide the tools to fully support a virtual workforce. Strategy Culture Structure People Work
  10. 10. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 but how do you do all of that? We’re glad you asked. Tune in next month for PART 2: How to win your strategy by getting all your leaders walking in the same direction.
  11. 11. All rights reserved PeopleFirm LLC 2014 your people = your success. Seattle | Portland | Vancouver, B.C. www.peoplefirm.com

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