Queen's University IRC

Brenda Barker Scott

Workplace In Motion Summit Proceedings

Queen’s University IRC 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit Proceedings

The world of work is changing, and the most successful organizations and practitioners are those that understand how these changes impact the way they do business. To help them do so, and to foster further dialogue, Queen’s IRC hosted the Workplace in Motion Summit. This report elaborates on the most important questions, issues, and themes identified by Summit participants going forward.

Summit Chair Brenda Barker Scott

2015 Workplace in Motion Summit a Success

The inaugural Workplace in Motion Summit was held last week in Toronto, with over 100 people in attendance. The one-day Summit brought together Human Resources, Organizational Development and Labour Relations professionals from across the country to learn about the future of work, and examine the trends creating the new world of work. Summit Chair Brenda Barker Scott shared the characteristics of the new employee, the new work and the new workplace.

Summit Chair Brenda Barker Scott

Getting Ahead of the Shift: Summit Inspires Thoughtful Conversations About the Changing World of Work

With an impressive line-up of guest speakers and facilitators, the Queen’s IRC 2015 Workplace in Motion Summit brought together over 100 leaders in HR, OD and LR from across the country to engage in conversations about the workplace of the future, and the trends that are driving new models for organizational planning. The Summit, held on April 16 in Toronto, featured a number of themes, including: Talent: How do we engage, retain and motivate a new generation of workers? Transformation:  How can organizations transform without trauma?

Get ahead of the shift with the 2015 Queen's IRC Workplace in Motion Summit

Old World vs. New World: Where Does Your Organization Live?

Do you encourage collaboration between departments? Are you ready for a changing demographic in your workforce? Do you know how technology will change your organization in the future? The world of work is shifting. Centralized systems and hierarchies are giving way to more fluid environments.  With innovation, not efficiency, as the aim, success comes from harnessing and connecting talent and knowledge through technology.  

Get ahead of the shift with the 2015 Queen's IRC Workplace in Motion Summit

Are You Ready for the New World of Work?

We have reached an important turning point in the world of work – a time when organizational success is no longer defined by economies of scale and efficiency, but by the ability to learn and innovate. Technology is transforming how we work and what we do. Global competition is the new normal. By 2020, millennials will make up half of our workforce. How do we prepare for this shift?

 

Designing for Collaboration in Organizations

Designing for Collaboration

Collaboration is emerging as a core organizational competence, and indeed an imperative, in today’s interconnected work context.  Despite the need, collaborative results often fall short of the intended ideals.  What if, instead of attempting to overcome elements of inertia, we shift our efforts to designing holistic systems that enable collaboration?  Below, I argue that collaboration is a design challenge.  To enable more fruitful collaboration in our organizations, we need to design for it.

Developing Organizations - A Metaphorical View

Developing Organizations – A Metaphorical View

Can organizations be designed to grow people? With the emphasis on talent and knowledge management in today’s uber-competitive business context, the assumption certainly seems to be yes. The reality, however, is that many organizations fail to develop or tap the competence of their people. Referring to the problem of pervasive disengagement amongst today’s workforce, Gary Hamel (2012) laments that organizational systems are more likely to “frustrate extraordinary accomplishment than to foster it” (p. 137).

Exploring Teamwork in Fast-Paced, Dynamic Environments

Building Teams: Exploring Teamwork in Fast-Paced, Dynamic Environments

Teamwork is the way we work in organizations. In our highly dynamic work environments, people are challenged to collaborate, almost daily, in service of efficiency, quality and innovation goals. Often, these challenges require coworkers from different units and with diverse skills, to quickly group and flexibly regroup as projects unfold. Unfortunately, most organizations are not designed for fluid, cross-boundary collaboration. To the contrary, the legacy of the formal hierarchy, with tightly defined job boundaries, serves to thwart, rather than promote teamwork across boundaries.
 

Encouraging Collaboration in the Workplace: Lessons from the Government of Alberta

In 2009, the Alberta government's Connie Scott was a trailblazer, a forerunner in a new learning program that would change the way she and her community would look at their work.

Scott, now a manager of HR Strategies in Enterprise and Advanced Education, was in the first cohort of Queen's IRC HR Business Partner Certificate Program, a curriculum custom-designed for the Alberta government.

Brenda Barker Scott, Queen's IRC Facilitator

Decision Making and the Limits of Rationality

Decision making is a central activity in organizational life. Independent of one's role or profession, the ability to make effective decisions is a core competence that must be practiced daily. Despite its importance, evidence suggests that we're not particularly skilled at making decisions, especially the complex, strategic ones.
 

From the Inside Out

Designing Organizations: From the Inside Out

It's a familiar story. While organizational design is not new – for centuries leaders have experimented with the best way to structure their kingdoms, armies, churches, factories, and governments – our track record has been less than stellar. Intuitively, we know that organizational design must enable employees to be more innovative, service oriented, connected, and efficient.

Teaming for Today's Complex Challenges

Teaming for Today’s Complex Challenges

While teams have traditionally focused on their own insular work and processes, today's teams must take a whole-systems perspective and engage system players in the learning journey. Accordingly, they are more focused on getting a holistic understanding of the challenge, securing required resources and expertise, and defining the process members will follow.

Brenda Barker Scott, Queen's IRC Facilitator

Enabling Fruitful Learning in Organizations

Take this challenge. Ask fellow employees if they have ample opportunity to learn and apply what they learn at work. Chances are their answers will be varied, with many answering with a sometimes or it depends. This is a conundrum. One does not have to look far to find support for the notion that learning in organizations is a critical capability.

Organizational Learning: A Literature Review

While a comprehensive model for organizational learning (OL) remains elusory, the wide web of scholarly conversation and debate has spurred rich insight into the central questions of how and what people learn in organizational settings. This paper is aimed at exploring some of those debates, with a view to identifying a complementary set of factors …

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Exploring the Roots of Large-Group Change Techniques

With organizations and their environments in a state of constant flux, organizational development scholars have been challenged to create and practice methodologies that enable fast, yet comprehensive change. In answer to the call, a wide range of large-group change techniques has emerged to promote whole-systems adaptability. While the technologies differ in their focus and approach, …

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Organization Development Primer: A Review of Large Group Interventions

Large group interventions are designed to help people collaborate effectively by thinking and acting from a whole-systems perspective. “Whole systems” refers to the way an organization operates internally through its processes and externally through its relations to customers and other stakeholders. There are a number of core values underpinning all whole-systems change methodologies.

Taking Change Personally

To lay the groundwork for true and effective participation among stakeholders, change agents must create an environment that enables high quality conversations and learning interactions and that engenders strong positive emotions.

Energizing Organizational Readiness

At its core, facilitating organizational change is about energizing the right people to design and execute smart strategies. As sociologist Philip Selznik says: “Strategies take on value only as committed people infuse them with energy.” Simply put, all organizational change is envisioned and enacted by committed, engaged, and at times, adventurous people. While energized people …

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