We are constantly being characterised in the workplace, specifically within HR. Either we are required to be a generalist or a specialist in what we do. I wonder, why can’t we do both? Are we still living in an age whereby people are required to conform? Are we still trying to find the box to think out of?
It is surprising to note that some organisations find it a challenge to think out of the proverbial box and then wonder why their employees find it difficult to operate creatively or think in a creative manner. It’s no wonder why some organisations are stuck in the dark ages. This type of organisation in my experience find it difficult to attract talent and are slow to change.
I recently read a book called ‘black box thinking’ by Matthew Syed which was recommended to me by a fellow LinkedIn contact. The book challenges thought process and suggests making mistakes should not be seem as a disaster but can help with future progress or learning. There is no need for us to tie ourselves in knots to look for the perfect solution.
Although cited above thinking out of the box is no-longer a trait that I desire to have. I believe a fluid/flexible structure is more beneficially for an organisation. If you think about a river, if flows and moves flexibly within its own structure, its adaptable enough to change direction should changes be made to its surroundings.
So, what are the benefits to this way of thinking?
How you hire talent – Although you have a structure to work against (the job specification) don’t forget to be agile in your approach. Gems are missed because of a desire to adopt a rigid approach.
Employee Engage – Your employees are individuals, they do not have the same needs and wants. Review your reward structure, make sure its blended. A blended approach would also be beneficial when choosing training methodologies. Staff Networks would be another positive approach to promote flexibly/dynamic practices and can harness a creative environment.
Retention – reviewing the points above will help retention. I would also suggest having a strong HR department that can not only support the organisations needs but the employees needs. Many times I have been told by friends and others that the organisations they work for have poor HR functions and thought it a waste of time engaging them in any matters of concern thus causing a negative situations which sometimes results in resignations or grievances.
Flexibility/agility whichever you wish to call it helps creativity, creates new opportunities, prevents barriers to work and can go some way to stem unconscious bias. I don’t believe people or organisations flexible in thought and action demonstrate lack of understanding when it comes to diversity in all its many forms. Change comes naturally and is generally embraced.
If you are not already thinking along these lines, why not give it a try. When you take on your next recruitment drive, create a training plan or review employee engagement. These are just a few ‘touch points’ that can help you to free your mind and what follows can be immense.
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