Organization Design Competence

I was working with a UK City Council yesterday and looking at the new Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) HR Profession Map. They launched this earlier this year as a replacement to the Professional Standards (i.e. the path for certifying HR practitioners).

There are three main sections to the map:

a) Professional areas
There are 10 professional areas within the map. For each particular area the map describes what you need to do (e.g. the activities) and what you need to know, as well as outlining the predominant behaviours that you need to exhibit when carrying out the activities.

These are in two categories: first, "Strategy Insights and Solutions" comprising Service Delivery and Information, Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, and Performance and reward. Second, "Leading and managing the HR function" comprising Organization Design, Organization Development, Resource and Talent Planning, Learning and Talent Development.

b) Behaviors
Within this section the map describes the behaviors needed to carry out activities in more detail. Each behavior is divided into four bands of professional competence (e.g. spanning from entry level to leadership roles). Each behavior also lists a number of contra indicators which illustrate negative behavior.

c) Bands and transitions
There are four bands of professional competence to reflect the hierarchy of the profession within the map. The map also indentifies and describes how you need to change and develop to move from one band to another.

Having organization design on the map is a first for the CIPD in terms of certification although they have run a two-day course in the topic for several years. So although it's good to see the competence is seen as essentially – a fact also highlighted in a Mercer report a couple of years ago – it's a little disappointing that this competence is swayed in favor of describing organization design more in terms of structures and changing these, rather than as a whole systems approach to aligning an organization across and within a range of elements. Apparently the Map was developed following an extensive review of the global HR Profession and an in-depth investigation involving detailed interviews with HR Directors across all main economic sectors and scores of senior professionals and academics. But there is little evidence on the Map of innovative thinking around organization design – however I'm hopeful that this competence area will rapidly evolve to reflect the realities of the rapidly changing landscape of organization design.

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