Archives for February 2015

Future Innovative Organizations will Harness, Leverage and Connect Talent

Future Innovative Organizations will Harness, Leverage and Connect Talent In the old world order, organizations were structured so that they could leverage their capital; people were just put in roles and given responsibilities. Everyone was supposed to follow their role in the way it was designed. Organizations didn’t have to develop people or leverage talent, they expected employees to just follow orders.

The Queen’s IRC 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit reflects the fact that the world has changed, and continues to change. If organizations don’t get ahead of the shift, then they are going to get left behind. This dramatic shift has come because of the knowledge economy, and because the workforce of tomorrow is demanding a more innovative and purposeful environment and work context.

In the past, it was about dividing labour for efficiency, and now it’s about connecting people or talent for innovation and progress. If organizations or people aren’t doing their jobs, others will come along and do their jobs for them – and they’re going to do them better.

At the Queen’s IRC 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit, there will be three break-out sessions designed to focus on the specific issues affecting human resources (HR), organizational development (OD) and labour relations (LR) professionals.  These sessions will be led by practitioners at the cutting edge of their fields, who are working with clients experiencing the challenges of moving to the new world of work, as well as pioneering organizations who are already there.

Diane Locke will lead the HR session, Francoise Morissette will lead the OD session, and Anne Grant will lead the LR session. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to attend two of the three sessions. This month, we look at the HR and OD sessions.

Human Resources in Motion with Diane Locke

How do we attract, engage, retain, and fully leverage the millennial population? How do we manage the impending talent shortage? How are we going to be challenged in the future?

Organizational Development in Motion with Françoise Morissette

What type of organizations will be successful in the future? What kinds of workplaces will work for the millennials when they take over? What can the OD professional do to leverage their own potential?

(Updated June 18, 2015)

Talking Trust in Trinidad

 34 Behaviours That Affect Levels of Trust in Business EnvironmentsI recently had the opportunity to work with a group of HR professionals in Trinidad, through Queen’s IRC’s partnership with the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business within the University of the West Indies.

As part of our discussion about building trust in the workplace, we discussed behaviours that lowered trust and those that raised trust. It did not take long for the participants to generate lists of behaviours through table discussion. It was not surprising how frequently participants pointed to similar behaviours in very different workplaces.

Below are two lists of behaviours which affected levels of trust in their workplaces. Have you experienced these in your workplace?

Behaviours which they experienced in their workplaces that LOWERED trust:

  1. Dishonesty from management and leadership
  2. Leadership not walking the talk
  3. Lack of transparency (hidden agendas)
  4. Not admitting mistakes
  5. Playing favourites/showing bias
  6. Lack of open dialogue (secret side deals)
  7. Lack of rewards and recognition
  8. No credit given for ideas contributed
  9. Executives not fulfilling responsibilities
  10. Lack of communication
  11. Unwillingness to change
  12. Selective sharing of information
  13. Double delegation
  14. Personal biases and prejudice
  15. Double standards
  16. Incompetence
  17. Not listening
  18. Breach of confidence
  19. Acting without facts

Behaviours which they experienced in their workplaces that RAISED the level of trust:

  1. Keeping your word
  2. Being honest, fair and treating people equally
  3. Rewarding and recognizing employee performance
  4. Mentoring other employees
  5. Delegating responsibility
  6. Sharing information
  7. Being personally accountable
  8. Supporting structures such as policy, training, internal promotions, penalties, and sanctions
  9. Keeping confidentiality
  10. Supporting work-life balance
  11. Demonstrating competence
  12. Giving credit for work and ideas
  13. Coaching and acting as a change agent
  14. Demonstrating integrity
  15. Leading by example

To learn some ways to help build trust in an organization, please read 5 Steps to Build Trust and Change the Culture in an Organization

If you are interested in building trust training for yourself or your organization, please visit Building Trust in the Workplace.

Human Resources in Motion with Diane Locke

Diane LockeHow do we attract, engage, retain, and fully leverage the millennial population? How do we manage the impending talent shortage? How are we going to be challenged in the future?

These are some of the questions that Diane Locke will be addressing in the break-out sessions she will be leading at the 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit on April 16 in Toronto.

“We are going to need to restructure our workplaces,” said Diane. “They need to be more agile and less bureaucratic. And that kind of stuff doesn’t happen easily – it takes time.”

“We are going to face an impending labour and skills shortage,” Diane said. “Most organizations haven’t done a very good job at developing their internal talent, and most HR folks know that. As HR professionals, we’re going to need to really harness that internal knowledge and expertise before it exits the workplace, and we need to find ways to transfer it to people who are going to need it.”

Diane points out that we also need to invest in the development of the future leaders. Part of that is understanding what we’re going to need from our talent in the future, because it might look different than what we need today.

“Products and services are easily replicated these days. The only way we can really build competitive advantage is to develop and leverage strong talent pools. We know that the baby boomers are going to be retiring on mass in the next decade and there’s an impending talent shortage that’s looming.  It’s been delayed by the fact that most of the boomers have postponed their retirement, but it’s inevitable. They can’t stay there forever.”

Since millennials will replace baby boomers as the largest cohort in the workplace, organizations need to develop workplaces that are attractive to them, that are going to enable them to be effective, and to leverage the differences in the talent that they bring to the table.

“Successful organizations are the ones that will be able to attract and retain skilled talent,” Diane said.

Organizations will also need to facilitate the movement of that talent across the organization; for some that will mean moving talent across the globe, or taking advantage of talent pools outside of Canada.

“This Summit is really about hearing from some organizations that are doing some good things, and learning from that some best practices around how do we prepare for the future world of work. This will give people an opportunity to speak with other HR professionals who are facing similar challenges and see what kind of steps they’ve taken.”

Diane Locke is a senior partner at a Toronto-based human resource management consultancy. She has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of executive assessment, leadership development and talent management, including both internal and external consulting roles. Diane is the lead facilitator for the Queen’s IRC Talent Management program. At the 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit, Diane will lead the break-out sessions geared to HR professionals.


Organizational Development in Motion with Francoise Morissette

Françoise MorissetteWhat type of organizations will be successful in the future? What kinds of workplaces will work for the millennials when they take over? What can the OD professional do to leverage their own potential?

These are some of the ideas that Françoise Morissette will explore in the break-out sessions she will be leading at the 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit on April 16 in Toronto.

“Systems thinking and transformation will be the new primary competency moving forward in the future,” said Françoise. In the past a lot of organizations were organized by expertise, and although that is still important, Françoise explains that this has yielded very siloed organizations, and people in turf wars over territory. “People were more concerned with making their department successful, rather than making the whole organization successful.”

She said this way of running organizations will not work as we move forward in this fast-paced, global, complex world. “I believe that the way of the future is that organizations will be designed to produce certain outcomes, and the groups that are involved in producing these outcomes will have to work together and combine their expertise.”

According to Françoise, future organizations will have to concentrate more on strategic planning. “I think that the loosey goosey strategic planning that we see now is going to run organizations into the ground. They are going to have to be a lot more rigorous, a lot more strategic, and a lot more accountable in order to remain competitive,” Françoise said. “We will see much more rigor in the actual architecture of transformation, having a vision, having a plan, implementing the plan, monitoring the success, reporting on the success, and fine-tuning.”

There will be two types of organizations moving forward. “The proactive ones start thinking about those things now and start planning for it, and the reactive ones will be caught by surprise. And guess which ones will be successful?”

She sees a number of issues for OD professionals: there’s not enough of them in organizations, a lot of them are doing the wrong things, and a lot of them have no power.

OD professionals should be involved in systems transformations, but in order to do that, they will need much better analytics. Organizational development and organizational effectiveness people often don’t have data on many things which would help them make better decisions, and help managers to make better decisions.  Many OD professionals (and their organizations) are missing data on:

  • Their workforce
  • How many people are leaving
  • The reasons why people are leaving
  • Retention statistics for the millennials

The one thing organizations are going to have to improve is forecasting, and forecasting depends on analytics.

“Forecasting is extremely poor. A lot of organizations are shocked by the retirement picture. They don’t have data on things like who is eligible to retire in the next five years. And because their succession planning is so bad in general, the two issues compound each other.”

Organizations need to be anticipating and following trends. “What are the global trends for workforce mobility? Very few organizations know that. I would presume that many of them don’t know the trends for domestic mobility either. Many organizations never think about these kinds of things. What kinds of workplaces will work for the millennials when they take over? It won’t be the cubicle.”

Françoise is confident that the 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit will help people start talking about these issues, start reflecting and planning for a successful future so their organization can remain ahead of the game. “This idea of really tight, synergized, aligned organizations is the way of the future. If they can’t get to that, they will lose.”


Françoise Morissette has been a facilitator at Queen’s IRC since 1994, and was made a Fellow in 2006. She played a key role in developing and implementing the Queen’s IRC’s Organizational Development curriculum intended for OD practitioners, and teaches on the OD Foundations and Coaching Skills programs. Françoise is a major contributor to the field of Organizational Development, with an emphasis on leadership. At the 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit, Françoise will lead the break-out sessions geared to OD professionals.


Exploring Senior Leadership in the Canadian Mental Health Association

Clark MacFarlane, Executive Director, CMHA – Cochrane-Timiskaming BranchClark MacFarlane has over twenty years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario. CMHA branches provide direct service to people who are experiencing mental illness, and to their families. They are in the process of implementing a new service delivery model, which shifts from traditional treatment methods to a recovery approach.

In this interview with Queen’s IRC, Clark discusses the funding challenges of being an incorporated charitable organization almost completely dependent on government funding, the difficulty in building the talent pipeline in northern Ontario, and the struggles that come with leading an organization with multiple sites. He opens up about the rewards and challenges of managing in a unionized environment, the cultural shift that happened when the union came in, and the lessons learned in the first round of collective bargaining. Clark talks candidly about what they could have done better in change management, and the steps he takes to create a healthy work environment with happy and engaged employees.

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