This article is part of our new State of Employee Feedback Series which will interview a diverse mix of HR experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding their perspectives on the current state of and future of HR.
The following is an interview we recently had with Elad Levinson, C-suite Trusted Ally and Change Agent.
There is a fundamental shift to focus on DEI, Talent management and Employee Engagement. With the "great resignation" we are seeing a shift in power to labor that will influence the ways that leaders think about their commitment to the development of people and how best to create virtual ways to work that have warmth and interaction built in. My assertion is that for way too long companies have treated staff as a commodity, thereby encouraging a reciprocal move on employees' part of disengagement and lack of loyalty. The exceptions are worth studying. Why do we see so few companies embrace the best practices of parallel organizational architecture to free staff to innovate? The rationale is therefore for understanding that we are in a period of transformation in the world of work and act accordingly to enter into a deep period of reflection and encouragement of thinking that is in alignment with the best thinking and outcomes of the truly successful organizations both fiscally and emotionally.
A long history of organizations caring little or not at all about people has bred a cohort of skeptical or cynical staff who generally believe that leaders are too far removed from them to comprehend what their experience is and or take it seriously. The push for profit has also turned humans into commodities which any conscious human does not like and will have negative consequences. What I see is an amazing opportunity to transform the easy organizations to think about, plan for and strategize about VUCA level change patterns.
If you place the experience of change at the heart of the organizational people strategy and assume rapid, fundamental and disruptive events- at worst everyday is a black swan and at best the company is responding as if change were natural and the best response is to embrace, plan for and train to adapt.
I am a strong advocate for models of organizational design that make full use of employees' hearts, minds and interests to create structures that enable input, influence and impact from all sides and parts of the organization. Hence, a hub and spoke model that encourages bottom up, multi stakeholder democratic principles is to be highly valued and implemented.
a. Place change as a competency in the center of all learning and development.
b. Make everyone an influencer by adopting organizational designs that are participation centric and offer real impact from every level about operations and other critical process oriented matters.
c. Develop a pipeline of High Potential leaders who demonstrate the skills of new ways to work such as emotional and social intelligence, team problem solving and decision making and a learning/adaptive mindset.
d. Confront actions and behavior that are regressive and aversive while formally recognizing examples of the new ways of working.
e. Think and act as if HR were more about strategic interventions that free staff to be their best selves, give their unique genius and force people to be both assertive and cooperative.
I believe that the future will either be a radical rethinking of how to integrate the full human race or it will be the same old same old which will decrease competitiveness, talent attraction and ultimately reputational nightmares. We are at a major transformational crossroads. Human beings have been turned into assets and liabilities when we are truly thinking, feeling, creating agents of change. I only want to work with those who have given up giving lip service to "soft skills development", learning and adaptation. It is time to break the ties that bind us to old outdated ways of thinking and acting and to make full use of neuroscience applied as it holds answers to motivation and wise action.
As a wise elder whose 50 plus years experience will be valued because it has been pressure tested in a wide variety of settings and with a diversity of people. I like to be a provocateur of change with a big skill set in how to initiate, sustain and influence change in a positive direction for the future. I would love to be the "CPO" Chief Provocateur Officer who has the accountability and responsibility to build a new foundation rooted in sound social, economic and psychological science while retaining what is good about the current system and organization.
Without developing a creative, constructive and curious conflict embracing work culture there is no chance for real innovation. All change is stressful, all change requires adaptation and all change rubs many the wrong way. Therefore it is imperative to skill-up and embed tools and mindset that makes conflict creative and constructive.