What’s in a conference?

Who would have thought that a conference could be energising, fun, and generative?  Often, they’re over-powerpointed, drab affairs (albeit well-organized) in windowless ballrooms of chain hotels.  This European Organization Design Forum one was different.

Why?   Like classic conferences it had keynote sessions – five over the two days – so not much difference there.  But then it also had three per day concurrent interactive learning sessions, and two streams per day of open space sessions.  Plus, it was held in the magnificent DASA museum of work:  its past, present and future.  If ever a venue matched the conference theme – next generation organization design – this was it.

Even better, the keynotes took place in the light, bright, Energie Hall – we were enveloped with information, artefacts and interactive displays on generating energy. We couldn’t not feel energetic.   We felt the power of physical design and environment on productivity and motivation.

DASA was open to the public as well as to the conference and seeing the ‘child brikkies’ outside doing a very realistic house building job – a terrific exhibit – as we walked to and from the various session rooms was fun, as was the naming of rooms – for the conference only – after organization design luminaries – Edgar ScheinJay Galbraith, Peter Senge and so on (Note: where are the women?).

I noticed a lot of laughter during the two-days. That’s not something you typically associate with a workplace. Here, people really seemed to be enjoying meeting old friends, exchanging notes, meeting new people, telling stories and learning from each other in a relaxed convivial way.

What makes for that, I wondered?  Clearly, the setting was a contributory factor. Watch colleagues become part of a radio antenna, or  play Brainball to see a whole playful side of people you wouldn’t normally see.

Could we replicate that style in a workplace and still meet the objectives and targets we are expected to?  It’s not as if the conference had no objectives –  we were there ‘strengthening our practice’ as one participant put it.  And we did this whilst having fun.  It’s the first conference I’ve come away from thinking I must change my sock purchase habits. Both days we were shown the latest sock choices – brightly coloured, rich design, etc – of the facilitators. Maybe it’s something to adopt as a small gesture of workplace rebellion against suits, ties and ‘business dress’.  (However, see what one style guide says).

Onto the keynotes. They’re hard to get right.  None of the five speakers revealed the inevitable trade-offs, down-sides, politics and stumbling blocks that beset organization design work.  (Or am I making an assumption on this and, for some, it really is as smooth and glossy as the presentations portrayed?)

Nevertheless, it was good to hear Rudolf Stark Head, Transmission Business Unit-Powertrain Division at Continental AG say that changing a business model meant all the interdependencies changed, and Chris Worley clearly define ‘agility’ and reduce some of the confusion that this word causes as we try to design ‘agile organizations’.

Of the six interactive sessions on offer, I spent my two possible choices on digitalization – one on digitalization of the book industry and the other on digitalization in relation to organization design approaches.  Both sessions made use of a ‘digitalisation canvas’, inviting us to discuss the classic (traditional org), combined (classic+some digital org) and digital (pure digital org).

It was great to come away with some ideas, tool and lines of exploration on whether/how/if classic organizations can become truly digital.

The open space slots enabled anyone to propose and lead sessions and the range of topics put forward by participants was wonderful, 18 possible topics – meaning 15 you couldn’t get to as they ran concurrently across three time slots.   They illustrated the breadth of a community of organization designers united by a common ‘discipline’ but with not a trace of group-think on what it is or how to do it.  In my three session choices: on ethics in organization design, on scaling organization design, and on design innovation, the diversity of perspectives, insights, reflection and interests made for depth and richness of discussion that is often missing from my day to day work.

What did I come back with?  Feeling refreshed by a stream of new ideas I can play around with, and buoyed up knowing there is a community of enthusiastic, creative, challenging and supportive practitioners – willing to lend a hand to others in the field.

How important is a community of practitioners in your field to you?  Let me know.

What should future leaders be learning?

I had a conversation the other day with someone who asked ‘What should our management trainees be learning now, to equip and prepare them for leading 10 years out?’ He thought that if, 10 years ago, we’d been able to predict and teach them about design thinking, systems thinking, working with augmented/artificial intelligence, robots in the workplace, behavioural science, the ethics of technology – then they would be better able to manage the leadership roles they are now in.

It’s a good question, and one, I feel, is very hard to answer as what will be useful now in terms of leading ten years from now involves crystal ball gazing and futurology which do not always yield good yardsticks, as the Lyapunov exponent that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, demonstrates.

But just to test this, I took a look at what The Economist was predicting for 2007.  They asked the question: What will be on the leader’s agenda?  Their answer: climate change, managing shifts in global power, ‘responding to a sense that, in crucial areas, progress that until recently had been taken for granted has stopped or even gone into reverse’, the internet’s transformation of business, the growing connectedness of people, and new tools to search for things.

Their predictions for 2017, ten years later, are very similar, but more pronounced: authoritarians will be ascendant, far-right parties will surge, ‘European politics will be dominated by scaremongering’, more terrorist attacks, financial shocks, and ‘Brexit negotiations will be slow, complicated and cantankerous’.  However, on the more optimistic side, ‘Technology is forging global connections whatever the backlash against migration or trade’

The Economist closes its 2017 predictions with a question: ‘The question is not whether the world will turn back towards openness, but how soon—and how much damage will be done in the meantime.’

What does this mean for future leaders? Should they be preparing for more of the same reversal of progress over the coming ten years, or for a growing return to open-ness?   As we talked this over we asked, what would give them ‘grip’ or enable them to get a grip on, a situation of either further closure and/or more open-ness, and manage it effectively?

Looking at the predictions for 2007 and 2017, it seems to me that rather than develop knowledge of  specific domain content, in order to be able to ‘get a grip’ management trainees should be developing timeless skills useful for pretty much any situation –practicing these through various methods, including scenarios, case studies, action learning, gaming and provocation sessions.

Four timeless skills I think would stand future leaders in good stead, gathered not from rigorous academic research, but from  my organizational experiences over many years, are: diplomacy, kindness, critical thinking, and curiosity.

Diplomacy:  ‘the art of advancing an idea or cause without unnecessarily inflaming passions or unleashing a catastrophe.  It involves an understanding of the many facets of human nature that can undermine agreement and stoke conflict, and a commitment to unpicking these with foresight and grace’.

Kindness  ‘the life lived in instinctive sympathetic identification with the vulnerabilities and attractions of others’ — is the life we are more inclined to live, and indeed is the one we are often living without letting ourselves know that this is what we are doing. … In one sense kindness is always hazardous because it is based on a susceptibility to others, a capacity to identify with their pleasures and sufferings. Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes, as the saying goes, can be very uncomfortable. But if the pleasures of kindness — like all the greatest human pleasures — are inherently perilous, they are nonetheless some of the most satisfying we possess.   (See a lovely poem on Kindness here).

Critical thinking: ‘that mode of thinking — about any subject, content, or problem — in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.’

Curiosity:   the a strong desire to know or learn; having an interest in a person, thing, or experience that leads to making an inquiry.  ‘Being curious can manifest itself in the activity of asking questions, but it can also be a position from which one approaches life.  It keeps us learning, helps in decision making and can be useful in navigating arguments or confrontations. Todd Kashdan, author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, believes that it is from our openness – and not our closedness – that we are able to develop ourselves and others.

How safe do you think it is to predict what leaders will be dealing with in the future – would we be better helping them develop timeless skills (which?) rather than specific domain knowledge?  Let me know.

Image: Reggio Emilia approach

Business capabilities – addressing three confusions

Not for the first time in my career, I’ve come across a bit of confusion, in the last week or so, on the term ‘business capabilities’.   People are confused on:

  • how to interpret a business capability ‘map’- they assume it depicts the organization’s structure
  • the connection between business capabilities and individual capabilities
  • the value of looking at business capabilities at all

When I mentioned this, someone pointed out to me that ‘Business capability is a very academic topic for most people and is likely to lead to confusion and a feeling that by working with them the programme team is insufficiently rooted in reality.’  They were arguing that business capabilities are the kind of internal workings that people didn’t need to know about, and should be ‘hidden’.   My view is that having a good grasp of what business capabilities are and how they can be used acts to reduce the confusion.

Business capabilities are described as the ‘what’ of the organization.  The Open Group defines them as follows:  (Thanks to Tom Graves for alerting me to this)

‘A business capability represents the ability for a business to do something. A more formal definition is as follows: A business capability is a particular ability or capacity that a business may possess or exchange to achieve a specific purpose or outcome.’

You can watch a presentation on business capabilities from Open Group or download their whitepaper on the topic by creating an account.

Having identified an organization’s business capabilities, it is up to others – including organization designers – to convert the ‘what’ into ‘how’.  As Open Group says ‘Critically, a business capability delineates what a business does without attempting to explain how, why, or where the business uses the capability.’

In trying to represent the ‘what an organization does’  the choice of business capabilities over value chain or process mapping, for example, is based on the premise that business capabilities are more stable than these other approaches (which also are more related to the ‘how’).

Typically, business architects develop capability maps.  (Although I heard today that enterprise architects do too.  But I’m not going to be drawn on the difference between business and enterprise architects).

For the most part business architects consider each capability as comprising a combination of strategy, process, people, information and technology.  (Note that some architects use different elements and combinations of them).  Developing the capability map can be a complex process – unless you buy off the shelf ones –  involving close partnering with stakeholders and numerous iterations.  (See one method for developing capabilities here, and look at Captera’s examples of a capability map here).

It is these maps that lead to the first confusion.  The maps cluster the capabilities into what can be interpreted as a structure/organization chart, but the map is not the org chart. Open Group explicitly states that:

‘A common mistake is to transpose the organizational chart onto the frame of the business capability model itself. Quite often, multiple business units are involved in creating or delivering a single business capability. Organizational structures are also far more transient by nature than business capabilities. Avoid where possible a tight alignment between the functional names that denote business units, and the top-level business capabilities.’

A capability map is not the org chart because a capability is a ‘what’, and the org chart is part of the ‘how’.  Take a capability like Recruitment Management, described, in Open Group’s paper,  as ‘The ability to solicit, qualify, and provide support for hiring new employees into the organization.’  This capability (the what), can be operationalised (the how) in a multitude of different ways via various permutations of people, process, information and technology – depending on the organizational resources and strategy.

The ‘how’ do we do what we do is another set of discussions, decisions, choices and trade-offs from which an organization chart is one element that will ultimately emerge.

The second confusion is a related one – often an individual employee’s skills/competences are described as ‘capabilities’.  Where you have a business capability of Recruitment Management, for example, remembering that the capability is a combination of people, process, technology and strategy – what exactly are the people’s capabilities required to work that business capability?

There isn’t a related individual capability of ‘recruitment management’, the individual capabilities are a bundle of  things like  social media savvy, networking, etc.

This confusion can be resolved by changing the language of the organization, to make it perfectly clear that capability refers to business capability and  that competence, or skills, or attributes (not capability) refers to individuals.

The third confusion about why are we looking at capabilities when they are academic, theoretical, and hard to understand leads to other suggestions – can’t we just map processes, or value streams?  The point here is that they are not either/or – they are different ways of looking at an organization.  If you think of the capability as being relatively stable or static, but the process you use for delivering it as changing over time then you need both.  Take recruitment management again.  The ‘how’ it is done changes over time, but the what it does stays the same.  William Ulrich explains the relationship between different organizational views very neatly.

Once the confusions are addressed,  business capability maps can be a useful addition to an organization designer’s practice.   Where do you stand on doing your organisation design work using business capabilities?   Let me know.

Image: Capabilities Banner


Transitions and liminal periods

You know those diagrams that have ‘as-is’ written in a little circle on the left, and ‘to-be’ in a little circle on the right with the word ‘gap’ in an arrow heading hopefully between the two circles?   Well I was thinking about them this week as the word ‘transitions’ came up many times in the week.

There seem to be some beliefs in play – that you can describe the ‘as-is’, that you can head towards a pre-defined ‘to-be’, and that you get from left to right by planning and undertaking activity that carries you across the gap.  It’s rather like looking across a canyon and being able to sling a tightrope across it and successfully walk from one side to the other.

That activity looks straightforward – just walk across the gap. In the case of the tight rope walk there is a clear as-is and a clear to-be.  You can see from one side of the canyon to the other and you know what you need to do to get safely across.  Even so there are mishaps and unforeseen things to work through.

The film ‘The Walk’ shows what it took for expert tightrope walker, Philip Petit to get from ‘as-is’ to ‘to-be’ as he crossed the Twin Tower gap. ‘Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy, and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.’

Organizational life is not as straightforward as a complicated as-is/to-be tightrope walk, even if the diagrams make it look so.   In organizations, we can’t meaningfully describe the as-is although we have a go.  We can often create sentence or two describing a ‘vision’ of the ‘to be’ but this is usually couched in what amount to non-actionable terms.  But, with these two elements ‘done’ we think we can work out the gap closing activity, present it in a plan and then action it.

However, this is overly simplistic and is a likely contributor to things not working out well.  Suppose, instead, we considered the gap from ‘as-is’ to ‘to-be’ as a form of liminal period like the traditional ‘rite of passage’ from one identity or state to another.

This would yield a very different approach to gap closing.  We know, as one writer says, that ‘Liminal times of the day and year have particular significance in many different stories and cultures. They lack fixed definition and thus a greater range of possibilities exists — possibilities that often violate or stretch our notions of reality.’

If we considered ‘gap closing’ in organization design work, as a liminal period with the attendant ‘range of possibilities’, we could then develop the threshold skills and concepts needed to work through the ‘messy journeys back, forth and across unknown terrain’ in an unstable space in which the travellers may ‘oscillate between old and emergent understandings’.

(There’s a whole body of research on ‘threshold concepts’ that came from the work of Erik Meyer and Ray Land in the early 2000s.  See a useful introduction here.)

What’s interesting about the concepts of liminality and threshold is that they are recognized as being between ‘normal ordered cultural states’, which as one commentator says ‘raises the possibility of standing aside from social positions (while increasing the danger of a potentially unlimited series of alternative social arrangements).’  This seems to be encouraging exactly what we are looking for in organization designs aimed at ‘transformation’.

Some organizations are cited as succeeding with working with liminality concepts to achieve transformation.  Read the HBR article Leadership in Liminal Times. The proposal there is ‘that many leaders themselves will need to experience liminality.  If they are truly interested in seeing their organizations accomplish great things, many will have to make a transition from an immature mode of invoking hierarchy, territorial ownership, and formal positional power, to a more mature phase of gathering and channeling group energies with influence, engagement, and other elements of what I call open leadership.’

Do you think replacing the concept of ‘gap closing’ with its connotations of predictability and orderly progression with the concept of ‘liminality’ and that working with the HBR recognition that ‘times of liminality are disconcertingly chaotic’ would make a more successful transition from the as-is to the to-be?  Let me know.


Image:  Liminality, Iyvone Khoo.

Professional citizenship: is it for designers?

I think it’s called reticular activation – when you come across something you’ve haven’t seen before – and suddenly you notice it everywhere.   Well, about two weeks ago I was in a meeting where ‘professional citizenship’ was on the agenda and since then it’s been coming at me in various guises, almost daily.

It was a new concept to me, but I discovered that: ‘It emphasizes the role of professionals in rebuilding the civic life of communities in addition to their traditional role in providing specialized services to individuals. It moves beyond the late 20th century notion of the professional as a detached expert who informs other citizens but is not informed by them, who critiques social systems but does act to change these systems, and who tends to see patients, clients and communities in terms of their needs and not their capacities for individual and collective action. … Citizen professionalism is mainly an identity: seeing oneself first as a citizen with special expertise working alongside other citizens with their own special expertise in order to solve community problems that require everyone’s effort.’

The idea that was being talked about in the meeting was that members of a professional body should use their expertise outside their ‘day job’ to help with societal issues and opportunities.   This idea sounded worth pursuing but raised some questions in my mind:

  • How does a ‘professional citizen’ differ from a volunteer?   I’m assuming that it’s about using the specific professional skills in the volunteer role.
  • Is being a ‘professional citizen’ the same as being a ‘good’ and active, community member?   I asked this one, because during the week a couple of organization design communities and another couple of HR ones asked me how they could grow the professional skills of their members by encouraging and supporting the members in helping each other develop and apply their skills.
  • Is being a ‘professional citizen’ a role that is part of the requirement of a given profession?  Or just an add-on if the professional feels like taking it on?  And if a requirement, perhaps as part of CPD or licence maintenance, how do you monitor or evidence it in action?
  • What are the boundaries of ‘citizenship’.  If being a professional citizen is something professionals are expected to do as part of their membership of the profession is the role within the profession (see active community member above) or within wider society deploying skills in situations not part of the ‘day job’.  This point is discussed by Richard Smith in an interesting blog Doctors—the case for professional citizenship
  • What if you’re not a ‘professional’ in the sense of being a doctor, lawyer, architect etc?  Can you still be a ‘professional citizen’ or does the ‘professional’ bit put you in a different category of citizenship?

As I’m poking around these questions in relation to organization designers (I’m not going to discuss whether they can be categorised as members of a ‘profession’)  I’m finding some pointers.  Three I’ve enjoyed are:

  • Carrie Bishop, Director of FutureGov talking about how design can change the world and the role of organization designers in that.
  • The activity ‘What kind of citizen/community member are you?’  (It’s aimed at K12 students but perfectly adaptable for anyone).
  • The RSA report You know more than you think you do: design as resourcefulness and self-reliance that asks  ‘what happens to design and to society if you shift good citizenship from a secondary benefit to a primary goal of design?’

What’s your view of professional citizenship.  Is it a role for organization designers to take on?  Let me know.

Graphic:  Kate Pugsley, Tiny People. https://www.katepugsley.com/shop/print-9×12

Collecting for design

Do you have weeks when you collect interesting phrases that, like small lengths of string, might come in useful someday?  You put them in a mental drawer and there they stay, until after a while you take a look at them, either when you’re tossing in another one, or looking for exactly the phrase you want to neatly express a concept or to explain something.

This past week I’ve collected quite a few of these phrases.  I don’t know why it’s been a particularly rich week for them – maybe I’ve been more attentive, or maybe I feel the need to stock up in case of phrase famine.

So now I’m unravelling them, smoothing them out, and bundling each neatly ready to put in the phrase drawer for future use.   But for now, I’ll just show you what I’ve added to the stock this week.

Creative disobedience:  I was reading the 2017 Human Capital Trends which has a chapter on ‘The Organization of the Future’ (worth reading) about organization design.  The authors assert ‘Still, many business leaders seem to have little confidence they will get the [design] process right … many consulting firms anecdot­ally report that up to 70 percent of reorganizations fall short because of “creative disobedience” from the executive team.’ I really enjoy that phrase – it’s definitely one that’s usable, even if only privately, when sitting in a thorny exec meeting where people want to start with an org chart and forget about systems thinking.

Lyapunov exponent: this is a mathematical concept, I read about in New Scientist and which really grabbed my attention. The basic premise of the concept is that: “We cannot predict the future. Any little uncertainty gets amplified exponentially by chaos.  Whether it is predicting the weather, the stock markets or the next president, Lyapunov exponents tell us our efforts are futile. But experience tells us we’re unlikely to stop trying.”   It could be just right for when I’m next trying to explain that I am not able to say with certainty, what precise and evidence based benefits a new organization design will bring in the coming 2+ years.

Automated groupthink: I was talking with Rob about Sli.do. It’s advertised as ‘Audience interaction made easy’, with the ability to ‘Crowdsource the best questions from your audience’.  In the meeting I was at, audience members submitted a question and the questions(s) that got the most ‘thumbs up’ from other audience members were the ones the speaker answered.  If a question didn’t get any ‘likes’ it wasn’t tackled.  This is similar to Amazon’s ‘people also bought’ aka affinity analysis, but it seems to me a strange logic that the most likes indicate the ‘best’ question.  It got Rob and I discussing curiosity and random connections that often result in innovation and he wondered whether Sli.do encouraged ‘automated groupthink’.   In organization design work being curious and asking questions that act against confirmation bias, challenge assumptions, inspire creativity, open up a broader context, and cause reflection, even if people do not ‘like’ them, are as important as those questions they do.

Working backwards:  This came from a conversation on planning, with the suggestion that we begin with where we want our new design to be in six months and ask ourselves what we have to do to get from there back to our current starting point.  When it was mentioned, I remembered the pre-mortem exercise that I’ve done several times.  But it works from if things have gone wrong, whereas working backwards implies working from if they had gone according to plan and then constructing the plan from that point back to the starting point.  Maybe the pre-mortem and working backwards could be done jointly?  Others have got intrigued with this idea of working backwards and I particularly liked Akiko Busch’s comments on it.

Two other phrases that I jotted down last week are ‘occupying a conceptual space’, and Finite and Infinite Games.  The latter is the title of a book by Timothy Carse.  It begins with the provocation: ‘There are at least two kinds of games.  One could be called finite and the other infinite.  A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.’   I stopped reading the book at that point and instead found myself ‘occupying a conceptual space’ considering organisation design as either a finite or an infinite game.  If someone wants the ‘right’ design to be ‘delivered’ within a given period is it a finite game?  Alternatively, if organisation design is considered an ongoing evolving process then is it an infinite game?

Why do I collect phrases?  Unlike collecting string, phrases make me stop and think, they usually extend my knowledge or I learn something from them, and (like string) I could use them in the right circumstances.   What do you collect that aids your organization design work?  Let me know.

Image: Richard Wentworth, A Confiscation of String


Designing a small function

Twice this past week I’ve been asked the question how to design an HR function for a smallish (500 people) organization, with plans to grow quickly in both their current market and new but related markets.  As their business develops the number of employees will grow.  They’re both looking for a design process that is simple, involving, quick and results in an HR function that can shape and guide their organization’s growth but not by growing the HR function in line with this.  (That function has to stay small).

My first thoughts on this are that with a small team the approach is less about ‘a re-design’ as a one-off, and more about asking a series of questions that lead to continuous action (at a manageable and involving level) that keep the design constantly refreshing in an unobtrusive way.  My image is one of diverting a river not by obvious intervention of dykes and dams, but by shaping the natural landscape a bit so that the rainfall over time changes the path naturally, or by enabling natural flood defences rather than constructing them.

At this stage, three questions that this thought on continuous design poses for me are:

  1. How much do we want the design process and the design outcome to be a ‘test and learn’ for developing our design process and thinking for use with other parts of the organization in the coming months as the organization grows?
  2. How should we determine what HR activity needs to be done and then determine how to do it in a way that delivers on our organisational strategy, aligns with our wider organisational design (itself under review) and meets requirements and expectations of our – HR and the organization’s – various stakeholders?
  3. How much do we want our design work and outcomes to reflect the new ways of working that are emerging in most aspects of HR (and organizations as a whole e.g. automated, data driven, networked)? For start-ups and smaller, newer organizations this could be easier than for well-established, larger organizations that have a legacy of process, system and practice.

Thoughts on Q1 (test and learn design):  Paradoxically, just asking these questions is part of the design process.  As Edgar Schein says in his talk on humble consulting, ‘the [old consulting] notion of having a diagnostic period followed by intervention is absolutely not the way this process works at all.  It works with the recognition that the very first response I make to a client on the phone or over lunch or whatever is already an intervention’ .

In many organizations – regardless of size – it’s not easy to get across the idea that conversations and informal interactions without blueprints and models are just as shaping of designs as conversations about any formal design blueprints and models presented.   Read Managing Change as Shifting Conversations if you are interested in this topic or look at Chris Rodgers’ blog Mastery, Mystery, and Muddling Through.

Thoughts on Q2 (HR activity): There’s a useful list of HR activity produced by the Corporate Executive Board that starts to frame a discussion around what HR functions need to do and where to focus their energy.  I’m not sure how many HR functions could tell someone which of the activities they do produces most organizational value.  It’s worth working this out and asking whether low value work can be done differently, elsewhere more cheaply/effectively, or not at all.   Related to ‘what activity’ is the idea that the ‘right’ activity for an HR function depends on numerous factors.  Look at A New Strategic HR Model and HR Operating Model: A new blueprint for HR for some ideas on this.

Thoughts on Q3 (new ways of working):  A smaller, newer organization may well be at an advantage in not being hidebound by a tradition of what HR does.  But they may not be. It is hard for people to be bold thinkers or flout the conventions of the profession in which they are trained.  One way of being self-challenging is not to look for benchmarks, best practice, and examples of what ‘others like us’ are doing.  But to look at examples of what ‘others not like us’ are doing to meet the challenges of offering a professional service from a small base of staff working in new ways enabled by data, automation, and collaboration.  Corporate Rebels has some good case studies and Culturevist is a good source of info too.

What are your thoughts on the 3 questions related to the continuous re-design of a small HR function?  Let me know.