In my last blog I shared how the HR function is continually being challenged to design and deliver new organisational structures to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness in the ‘new norm’. If you want your business to thrive in this new era - you’ll need to change your organisational design and evolve your talent development strategy. But what are the mistakes to avoid? Here are some ‘process’ and ‘people’ mistakes to watch out for… Design/process mistakes 1. Embarking on Organisation Design (or redesign) without strategic clarity - Without strategic clarity, the process of designing new operating models and developing the right people capabilities, cannot even begin. 2. An endemic attitude that the organisation is fully future proofed - If business leaders do not even contemplate change - then an organisation’s people, systems and processes do not develop or advance and are left to stagnate. Overtime, this endemic attitude will erode your ability to compete. 3. The strategy changes but the structure does not - In this scenario, business leaders are not making the connection that organisation redesign is required to efficiently and effectively execute the new strategy. 4. Not enough time is spent on modelling & testing different structures - Often, not enough quality time is spent with executives to test out and play through the behavioural and cultural dimensions of different restructure scenarios. This is a vitally important step which must not be rushed. If you can agree on a set of core design principles everything else falls into place so it is worth spending time on. 5. Processes are not sufficiently scrutinised - Processes should be deconstructed and scrutinised to understand where they hand off into other departments and where behaviours exist which enable or derail these processes. If you don’t thoroughly decompose processes and look at them through a customer centric lens you won’t understand where design flaws exist.6. Functions focused on effectiveness report to those focused on efficiency - Always avoid having functions focused on effectiveness reporting to functions focused on efficiency. If you do, your organisation’s processes and systems will be so tightly controlled that you will diminish your ability to adapt to change and overtime you will lose your effectiveness. 7. Functions focused on long-term strategy report to those focused on short-term results - The demands of today always overpower the needs of tomorrow. That’s why you never want to have functions that are focused on long-term strategy reporting to functions focused on driving daily results. If you do, you will lose the ability to develop products, brand and strategy over the long-term.8. Moving people into different roles without addressing problems - Using external impacts as an opportunity to move people into different roles without having the hard conversations about, say, poor performance is a big mistake. This is like “moving the deckchairs on the Titanic” – the ship will always sink in the end!9. Design does not address power structures - Organisation design (or redesign) is more than just aligning/realigning reporting lines. Often ‘new’ structures fail to ensure that there is clarity, authority, and accountability around each business unit. Ask yourself, is your ‘new’ structure really just the old one with a few additions? Do employees still have to deal with pre-existing bureaucracy? 10. Mistaking consulting others for decision-making - The old story describes how a committee came together to design a horse and because no one person took accountability for decision-making, everyone had a view that had to be included. Result: a camel! To avoid decision making by committee your new structures must empower the right people to make decisions.11. Reward is forgotten about - Reward structures (financial and non-financial) should be considered as part of any new design. Reward packages across different business units must not inadvertently limit the development of individuals or stunt the growth of ‘leaders in waiting’. Ask yourself, do your rewards drive the right behaviors and encourage individual contribution for the success of the organisation as a whole? For example, do you have KPIs which link to reward and are based on more than just financial targets i.e. customer retention? Development/people mistakes 1. Forgetting to take people on the change journey - New organisational design is implemented by command and control forgetting to engage and involve. This means any change you introduce is less likely to be understood and is therefore less likely to embed or ‘stick’. 2. Leaders talk too much to the company goals point and not enough to the people point - To ensure maximum contribution from the workforce, leaders have the complex but essential job of communicating the company purpose and vision with clarity - so that each individual understands how they can contribute with meaning. When individuals know how to contribute in the service of the organisation, they can link their personal aspirations for growth and fulfilment to the company goals - resulting in maximum employee engagement, satisfaction and contribution. You should be aiming for the ‘apex’ as demonstrated by the BlessingWhite X-Model of engagement: 3. Complacency about the workforce / team - Assuming people are the constant due to market/economic/pandemic volatility is a huge mistake - ambitious people will move if they don’t feel valued. Great people are always great people and great businesses will create opportunities for them. As such, your retention strategy should remain a high priority. 4. A lack of focus on culture - Don’t forget the words of the legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. He asserts that although strategy is important – you should focus on building an empowering culture as it is the surest route to organisational success.5. Focusing too much on teams rather than individuals - Having too much of a focus on team performance can mean that individuals are often overlooked and do not develop to their full potential. Don’t apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to talent management. 6. Teams put together with little consideration for what makes a team effective - Remember that effective teams have a blend of strengths and profiles. For example, an entire team of extroverts who are the ‘ideas’ people, will never embed a change or realise strategy without the support from the more detail oriented ‘completer-finishers’. 7. Having the wrong people in the right functions - Your structure is only as good as the people operating within it and how well they’re matched to their jobs. Placing people in misaligned roles is always a recipe for failure. If you don’t align the competencies and natural behaviours of an individual to the requirements of a specific job - they simply won’t perform. If your organisation is making any of these blunders it is a sure sign that your ‘new’ structure will only have a negative impact on performance. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch.Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
14 Dec 2020
There is an understanding that the context within which most organisations now exist has completely changed. Business leaders are asking themselves what must we stop, what must we start and what must we keep doing that is still part of our core value proposition, and that we need to adapt?This means, that in most cases and across most sectors, a change in business strategy is required - and most likely a change in Operating Model with associated Organisational Design and Development (OD&D) to deliver that strategy. That’s a lot of change leading to more change!“Organisation Design is the process and outcome of shaping an organisational structure to align it with the business purpose and context in which it exists.” CIPD"Organisation Development is the planned and systematic enabling of sustained performance in an organisation through the involvement of its people.” CIPDReading these definitions, it is clear to see why demand for professionals with specific Organisation Design and Development expertise has significantly increased as businesses seek to realign their structures and people capabilities to their new strategic objectives. There can be no doubt that the on-going and wide-scale imperative to evolve business strategy is the overriding driving force, right now, for work in this specialist area. What does an OD specialist do?It is the job of the OD specialist to present and evaluate different models and ways of working which deliver outcomes aligned to strategic drivers/goals. ‘‘One of the fundamental questions OD specialists are there to answer is “if this is our new strategy, how should we best organize ourselves?” The strategic drivers need to be established and be translated into a set of design principles / hypotheses that are evaluated and tested throughout the re-design work. It’s important to realise that Design is an iterative process; done correctly, decisions are tested against the design principles / hypotheses so as to ensure proper debate and examination of the proposals against the strategic goals. You should expect to prove some and disprove others if you are managing the process well.” Steve Lungley, Organisation Design & Development Consultant Business leaders realise the benefits of organisational restructure Increasingly, business leaders are making the connection that how their organisation is designed and how their people are developed will determine how efficiently and effectively it is able to perform in the ‘new norm’.“If an organisation has a flawed design (processes and people), it simply won’t perform, or indeed survive. It must be structured (or restructured) to create a design that supports its purpose and business strategy. However, it is important to recognise that an organisation isn’t simply the “boxes and wires” which make up an org chart. An organisation is about enablement and engagement. This means that an organisation can be successful irrespective of its structure – it’s about attitudes (mindset), clarity of focus (outcomes) flexibility (the journey) and culture (beliefs, assumptions & values).” Rachel Letby, Management Consultant & Organisation Design & Development Expert A sound organisational structure will make it clear what each function and person does, and is accountable for, within each location. The design will also make clear to what extent its/their authority reaches within its/their domain and across the organisation. However, organisations must also seek to strike a balance between being ‘fixed’ (overly bureaucratic) and ‘flexible’ (ambiguous). This is a fine line to tread!What’s more, business leaders must understand that designing a structure that is fit for purpose is just one of many steps. These new structures, responsibilities and ways of working must also be underpinned with robust people change management approaches to ensure transformational success. This involves: Processes:Understanding the imperative for change and the environmentUnderstanding the business processes, workflows, roles and responsibilities, volumes of work, activity analysis and resourcesDesigning and testing new structures, workflows and internal governance frameworksPlanning and managing the transition from the old structure to the newImplementing and monitoring the change People:Measuring performance, efficiency and effectivenessAssessing resources, skills and capabilities Developing the right behaviours and interactionsDetermining and applying the right learning interventions Embedding and sustaining a cultural change This is a complex area of work which shouldn’t be a one-time exercise. It takes time and often requires the help of an OD&D expert to formulate sound design principles which can be used to guide your organisation's restructure. There can be no doubt, that demand for HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, across the breadth of these deliverables, will continue unabated as the world of work continues to evolve. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch. Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
25 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paper It’s no surprise that most businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating model in recent months. As a result, business leaders have come to recognise the importance of Organisational Design & Development (OD&D) expertise and the vital role HR functions serve in ensuring organsational structures and processes are fit for the ‘new norrn’. Download our insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purpose The People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
10 Nov 2020
Head of Technology £80,000 - £90,000 per annum London Programme Requirements Lead £525 - £600 per day Edinburgh Senior HR Business Partner £90,000 - £95,000 per annum Berkshire Finance Business Partner £60,000 - £70,000 per annum + 10% bonus London Regulatory Reporting Accountant Up to £50,000 per annum + benefits Berkshire Business Analyst £40,000 - £50,000 per annum London A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.
02 Jan 2020
Stanton House has officially been crowned Recruitment Company of the year and what a phenomenal year it has been. In an awards ceremony held in London last night, CEO Neil Wilson and Finance Director Jo Finch received the prestigious prize as it was announced that Stanton House was the 2019 APSCo Recruitment Company of the Year - in the £10m to £50m Turnover category. As the pair collected the award, it was noted that Stanton House has dedicated its nine years in business to creating exceptional customer experiences and transforming the reputation of the recruitment industry. Founder and Global CEO of APSCo, Ann Swain, said: “This company clearly demonstrated its belief to improving customer experience is the key to improving the reputation of the recruitment sector. The judges felt this succinctly summarised the key to excellent recruitment.” The Recruitment Company of the Year title must be awarded to an organisation operating in either Permanent or Interim markets that has most consistently demonstrated the professional values and exceptional performance associated with APSCo membership throughout the past 12 months and it is a phenomenal achievement to be recognised as one of just four companies titled in 2019. Neil said; "We are delighted to be recognised by APSCo as the Recruitment Company of the Year. It is particularly gratifying because the judges emphasised that they were struck by our commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. From day one at Stanton House we set out to make that the cornerstone of how we do business. That has been acknowledged consistently by our clients and candidates so it is very rewarding to have it further validated by the recruitment sector experts at APSCo." Stanton House was founded in 2010 to transform the reputation of the recruitment industry by placing the customer at the forefront of everything we do. In our 10th year of business, we are truly honoured and filled with pride that this has been recognised by such a prestigious and renowned organisation.
09 Oct 2019
Aside from the infamous hot-dogs, deep-dish pizzas, jazz music and gangsters, the Windy City is home to an array of incredible Cyber Security professionals and I’m raring to meet them when I move over in just a few weeks’ time. We’ve been focusing on the US market for the past few months from London, but as of October, I’ll be on the ground in Chicago and expanding the Stanton House US offering with a keen focus on the Cyber Security market. It goes without saying that I’m dead excited from a personal perspective to move to such a wonderful city, but as well as that, Chicago homes a wide range of industries needing protection from the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks. I feel energised by the idea that the team and I have the opportunity to support corporate America through introducing Cyber talent to vulnerable organisations. I started out my career at Stanton House focusing on the Accounting and Finance market but my interest in technology and desire to provide solutions for our clients, led to me setting up a team focused on Finance Transformation. My venture into Cyber Security allows me to not only satisfy my own fascination with the world of technology, but also help executives deal with one of their biggest preoccupations: protection of data. Whilst I have an amazing adventure ahead of me, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my network who has supported me in my career to date. Whilst working in America has always been a dream of mine, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable six years with the UK team and it goes without saying you’re in the safest of hands once I hop across the pond. I will continue to remain connected to the UK market and do not intend on losing touch with you all. If you ever need any support, advice or just fancy catching up, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. For anyone else floating around in the states, I’d love to meet for a coffee and maybe trade in some geeky Cyber dialogue for a tour around the city!
27 Sep 2019
Interim Financial Controller £450 - £500 per day Hampshire Penetration Tester/ Code Reviewer US $40 - US $55 per hour St Louis, Missouri IT Digital Director £80,000 - £95,000 per annum + benefits London Group Financial Accountant£60,000 - £70,000 per annum + bonus + benefits Watford Data Migration LeadNegotiableLondon Talent Acquisition Speciailist£30,000 - £35,000 per annum + bonus + benefitsLondon Quality Close Lead£800 - £1,000 per dayLondon A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.
04 Sep 2019
With Brexit, the proroguing of parliament, a rogue economy, challenging worldwide economic conditions and so on, we find ourselves trapped in an era that could quite possibly be the epitome of VUCA. That is of course, full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. I am often asked specifically about how to deal with ambiguity. There isn’t a straightforward answer to this one and it is different for each person in their unique situation. I am a very constant person and tend to deal with ambiguity and a changing landscape quite quickly; a recent example of this being that my little boys passport had expired, which we only realised the day of travel (and believe me, there is no 4 hour fix for a new passport for a minor!). I managed to go through the change/grief curve in about half an hour… so this got me thinking. What gives me the ability to work quickly through the daily hurdles and keep focused on the wider landscape with perspective and avoiding going into a spin? Now, I offer this lightly, but I hope that the following metaphor helps with context, I have my very own ‘yellow brick road’. Stay with me here – there is method to the madness. This yellow brick road of mine is beautiful, it has different stones, it’s wiggly in the wrong places, a few cobbles stick out and it’s far from straight but it reminds me that if you keep due north on your own yellow brick road then maybe you’ll find a way through personal challenges, the current economic downturn and the potential chaos that follows and so on. While I don’t think that there is one answer, a miracle or a cure to the era of VUCA, there are some things I would recommend that everyone thinks about to stay on track, stay motivated and keep afloat in troubling times. Stay true to your own and your organisation’s values. Know your personal vision, know your corporate vision and understand what guides you north because without this, you’ll likely get lost on the way.Carve out some space to think clearly through the complexity and try to block out the noise around it to stay focused. Work out what the important things are and focus on them. You can’t do everything today. Work hard to have a growth mindset, not a fixed one. Focus on your positive attributes, not your flaws, find a silver lining in as much as possible and utilise your time to flourish. The world will keep turning, regardless of the economic or political climate... or even an expired passport.Find perspective in everything. It’s vital to step back and see the bigger picture, realise that whatever the situation you are currently faced with, it is likely to be temporary. Control what you can (typically how you respond in any given situation) and where possible, move quickly past the things that you cannot. A Coach is a great way to support you to do this if you are lucky to have access to one. Equally, mindfulness, being in the moment fully and being clear on what you can realistically achieve in one day can help a lot. So back to Yellow Brick Roads… What does yours look like? Once you know this, when you have a direction, you can’t get lost. Some detours on the way are inevitable but you’ll get where you want to go in the end. (Obviously, I’m on my way to finding Oz…!)
04 Sep 2019
We recently produced a white paper for women in business. It was produced for women, by women and as a man, it was eye-opening. We see so much about the feminism movement, the gender pay-gap and a whole host of other relevant things that become overwhelming to keep on top of. As a result, us men don’t always understand the most important parts but this paper is different with an aim to simply build confidence in senior women. As a male reader, I am overcome with a feeling of responsibility that many women don’t have it. There were two points in the paper that I couldn’t quite believe. The first was an anecdote by the current Group CFO of SDL, Xenia Walters. She discusses her two children and her two journeys on maternity leave earlier in her career. The first was just nine weeks long as Xenia didn’t feel able to leave her job; which in itself was upsetting, but the second maternity leave, some years later, was the full nine months. When I first read that, I was relieved almost. This incredibly powerful, established and accomplished woman felt able to take the full time off work to care and prepare for her new child and whilst that should be a given, the first half of her interview tells me it’s not. What followed however pushed Xenia to leave the company and start again as her role had essentially been dissolved across the business and she returned feeling helpless, unneeded and unwanted. I couldn’t believe an organisation could make a person feel this destitute. Especially a member of the senior management team who had given her all to the business but what I then discovered was that women, every day, are left feeling unconfident. A survey carried out by the team discovered that only 33% of women have confidence in their own abilities and it’s hard to hear. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I am a millennial man. I have grown up in an era where women are equal to men, not inferior and not superior, and it’s unacceptable to even think anything else. With that in mind, my approach to business is exactly the same and I would hope any female colleague of mine feels just as confident in their abilities to function at work as I or my male peers. This paper has reminded me that generations before me haven’t allowed women to thrive at work and this paper has taught me that I must play a bigger part in making sure any woman today, feels confident that she is having as big an impact on a business as any other. I would love to send this paper to as many women in my network as I possibly can but it’s not just for women. I would advise any man in my network to read this paper as a way of becoming a better colleague, leader and friend. To download 'Having a Voice at The Table' follow the link below. Download our white paper
15 Aug 2019
Senior Finance Manager - Digital £65,000 - £75,000 per annum + bonus + benefits package Hampshire Senior Finance Business Analyst £450 - £650 per day London EMEA Sales Operations Manager £60,000 - £70,000 London Finance System Manager £70,000 - £75,000 per annum Slough Information Security GRC Analyst Negotiable South Yorkshire HR Business Partner £500 - £550 per day Guildford FP&A Manager £65,000 - £70,000 per annum + bonus + benefits Watford A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.
08 Aug 2019
Career Diversity is an incredible tool that enables professionals to gain insight into different realms, broaden their skill-set and develop as experienced and adaptable leaders but while we encourage our network to move between Industries to achieve this – how often do we emphasise that the same three things are possible when making the move to Interim? Brexit, an uncertain political climate and a growing appetite for flexibility in the workplace are leading more and more professionals to the temporary world of work - and it seems they are reaping the rewards that come with. With higher incomes, flexible schedules and the ability to meet new people as often as every few months, Interim work offers professionals the chance to throw themselves in the deep end in a new environment, without the obligation to network amongst staff or involve themselves in office politics. Working with an end goal in mind, professionals are left to their own devices and allowed to thrive in their subject matter without the other work obligations that usually cloud day-to-day employment. But, while it’s clearly a beneficial move for some - it does carry some drawbacks. Interim work isn’t guaranteed meaning sometimes professionals can go without work and consequentially, pay. It’s advised that those looking to make the move, work on creating a safety net to protect them in the case of dry spell or also, being let go by companies who do not have the same loyalties they might have towards permanent employees. It’s also not an easy shift. I spoke to the most successful Interim professionals in our network and asked them what hurdles they overcame in the first few months of their transition and the majority cited their little black books. Every Interim guru has a broad and reliable portfolio of contacts, connections and companies that at some point might come in handy and in our current political climate, many organisations are postponing permanent hires and seeking Interim staff to fill the void so if you are already connected with these organisations – you’re likely to fly through the next few years of work. Some people can find this process daunting due to the ‘life admin’ involved such as setting up a limited company, amending their CV or padding out that black book but that’s why I and other recruitment partners exist. We offer guidance, advice and help to get you on the right career track and ultimately, enjoy what you do. I’m working on creating a white paper that explores the transition professionals make into the Interim world of work. If you have made the transition or you’re looking to explore what the fast-paced world of temporary work has to offer, please get in touch, and join the conversation – would you make the move to Interim?
08 Aug 2019
Célisiane Rosius was the Project Manager at BNP Paribas Personal Finance and responsible for their global reverse-mentoring programme. She is an expert in digital transformation and held responsibility for developing the digital skill-sets of 24,000 employees around the world. BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched its Digital Reverse-Mentoring Programme in September 2017 which sees millennial staff teach senior and c-suite colleagues how to embrace the digital world. The programme was created by Celisiane, whose primary focus is to digitally transform the workforce. This scheme allows for the transfer of knowledge between three working generations. BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched a reverse-mentoring pilot for the Executive Committee in 2014 but it ended quite quickly so when I was asked to start the programme again I made sure I asked everyone for their feedback on the previous experience, we took that information and created a whole new programme. We had a bigger population and had asked all of our high potential staff to take part. We had 30 volunteers to start with and they helped us grow the scheme into what it is today – 110 trained mentors in 18 countries and 140 managers have been mentored. I created five modules for the relationship to follow including how to manage your identity online, how to increase influence online, the future of digital and the way the digital world is changing work inside of BNP Paribas Personal Finance. I then asked everyone that was interested in the programme to take an online test which would help us match mentors to mentees. The mentor would then select three of the modules to teach the mentee followed by a final feedback session. The relationship is completely confidential, I don’t have any idea as to what they say but what I did find out; from my own experience as a mentor, was that it wasn’t purely about the transfer of digital knowledge. It was and remains to be about behavioural skillsets too. Mentors have to apply online and have to be willing to partake in the relationship for six months and respect that it is private and confidential. You have to be compatible with technical skills, social network and be under 40. You have to speak at least one common language with your mentee and be aware that it is volunteering. You need to donate your time outside of your working hours and it can add up a full day in the six-month relationship. As part of their application, mentors have to take an online test which has a minimum pass mark and if successful, they will be invited to an enrolling session. We have a lot of IT people who actually fail the test as it’s about social networks, online influence and leadership as much as it is about digital skills. We then offer a full training programme which includes an education of the modules, an introduction to mentoring and a coaching session on soft skills. It is very important to build soft skills as you will be communicating with some of the most senior people in the company. Both participants remain committed to their signed confidential waiver and at the end of the relationship they can continue to mentor one another or shake hands and say goodbye. Mentors can go on to mentor another mentee in the company, 1 in 2 decide to start again so now I have mentors who have already had three of four mentees before them.Sometimes the mentor has more to gain than the mentee because they can network with people they wouldn’t usually have access to. Reverse-mentoring provides a huge opportunity to have direct access to senior colleagues you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to work with. Using myself as an example, I’m 28 years old and have been working here for just over a year yet I am the digital mentor of the CEO. This is a huge opportunity for everyone taking part. For full access to our interview with Célisiane and the rest of our reverse-mentoring white paper, please follow the link below. Download our reverse-mentoring white paper
01 Jul 2019