How To Build Stronger Organizations

By | October 5, 2016

Most awesome ways to build stronger organizations…looking for information supported by strong research on how to build stronger organizations?

Many People Involved!

Many People Involved!

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified the top 10 organizational issues through surveys and interviews with more than 7,000 businesses and HR leaders from 130 countries.

In this blog, I will provide a brief summary of the bottom line for 8 of the top 10 trends…or, in other words, you will have an action plan on how to build stronger organizations.

1. Organizational Design


The rise of teams is a sign that the days of the top-down hierarchical organization are slowly coming to an end. Changing the organization chart is only a small part of the transition to a network of teams. The most urgent part is to change how an organization actually works.

“Smaller organizational units tap into the human strengths of communication: People simply know each other better.” 

What can you do?

  • Challenge traditional organizational structures
  • Empower teams
  • Hold people accountable
  • Focus on building a culture of shared information, shared vision, and shared direction.

2. Leadership Awakened 


Much has been written about the “overwhelmed employee,”…how about the “overwhelmed leader.” There is an urgent need to identify new leaders early and develop them appropriately. Are organizations deliberate in developing a leadership strategy, pipeline, and programs that will meet this need? Current data suggests that this has not occurred.

“Why is it so difficult for so many organizations to identify potential leaders and develop them?”

Hard questions need to be asked?

  • Who in the organization is likely to be a true game-changer?
  • Does the organization tend to promote people who look and think like current leaders?
  • Do current leaders conduct deep analyses to identify and develop people with potential, wherever and whomever they may be?
  • How much time do leaders in the organization spend on elevating team effectiveness?
  • Are the strategy, focus, and rigor of leadership programs up to the needs, skills, and challenges of the future?

To effectively cultivate the leadership talent organizations need to compete today and in the future, answer these questions!

3. Shape Culture


Leaders who are responsible for business strategy must own the challenge of culture…shaping culture starts at the highest level in the organization. The CEO is ultimately responsible for business strategy and culture.

In short, leaders must understand that the beliefs and actions of leaders are the primary drivers of the organization’s culture…do your leaders understand this?

How can senior leaders drive culture change?

  • Reinforce the behaviors necessary to support the business strategy.
  • Identify the practices that need to change before any cultural transformation can take hold
  • Use the new tools available today to measure and manage culture toward alignment with business goals
“Given the importance of culture and the consequences of cultural issues, many companies are proactively defining culture and issuing culture “manifestos.”

4. Engagement


Engagement is an issue for the entire executive team. Engagement is always on…in other words, the top companies work proactively on engagement. The executive team needs to continuously ask themselves why their employees would commit to working at the organization for any length of time and what they can do to make their organization more attractive. Surveys are useful to determine the engagement level of employees but that is only one small step. Engagement is always focused on continuous improvement and finding ways to continuously attract workers in our open talent environment.


“Engagement, in many ways, is the temperature gauge of a company’s ability to proactively address all these issues on behalf of the workforce.”

Engagement is not reactive but proactive. Efforts to build engagement should be “always on” through extensive data use and analysis by business leaders. Performance contracts for the executive team must include continuous improvement of engagement as a target on the same level as business strategy. Organizations that want a passionate workforce must embrace this goal and success will follow.

“Companies are just now beginning to adapt to a new, implicit social contract between employers and employees—one where people can now easily explore new jobs or new companies online.”

5. Learning – Employees Take Charge changeheader



  • A corporate-centric learning universe

Debunking the Myth!

  • Today’s leading organizations are shifting to a learner-centric universe.
  • Today’s employees have already shifted…take a look at their mobile, social, and online lives.
“The transformation of learning is a powerful story, and most organizations are still in the first or second act of this multi-act drama.”

Organizational leaders in business, learning and HR must:

  • Embrace a new mind-set that puts learners in the driver’s seat
  • Redesign programs to harness the power of technology and the amazingly diverse wealth of instantly available external content
  • Offer great user experiences to learners
“Employees need to be viewed as customers to be satisfied, rather than as students to be pressured into traditional learning classrooms.”

Design Thinking 


A focus on people to “craft an employee experience” is the foundation for design thinking.

“Design thinking—or lack of it—can make a huge difference in how companies are perceived.”

What is design thinking?

  • A rigorous, disciplined method of problem-solving
  • An opportunity for HR to reshape how it works with the organization and to redesign its own procedures, using technology to ensure positive employee interactions.
  • Promotes a virtuous cycle, generating higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater engagement, and higher productivity for the company.

Questions that talent leaders need to ask to embed design thinking in the organization:

  • How can HR take the lead in crafting and shaping the employee experience?
  • How can HR design overall experiences that engage employees at all stages?
  • How can HR help build and reinforce design capabilities throughout the organization?
“The data from our survey this year suggest that the more importance an organization places on design thinking and the more ready it is to embrace it, the faster the organization grows.”

People Analytics 

“We expect the trend toward analytics-driven HR to continue gathering strength over the coming year.”


Increasingly, organizations are “gaining speed” in the deployment of analytics to make HR decisions and build teams. In the not-too-distant future, it will become impossible to make any HR decisions without analytics.

“The success of analytics comes down to measuring the value of people to an organization—and analytics is key to unlocking that value.”

A New Workforce-Machine Age 


Has anyone missed the start of the 21st-century and the new challenges presented to compete for talent? For example:

  • Who and what will the workforce be composed of?
  • How will it be acquired?
  • How can its productivity be measured?
  • How can the organization optimize the new mix of workers from different sources?
  • Given that many segments of a workforce have an impact on products and customers, what are the appropriate ways to engage all of those segments?
  • Who will lead these efforts?
“At an even more basic level, companies are struggling to understand who (and what) their workforces are composed of and how to manage today’s incredibly diverse combination of worker types.”

Deeper levels of collaboration are needed to develop solutions. The open talent economy and the new workforce-machine age are coming into focus to include people and machines working in different places under different contracts. This is only the beginning of a 21st-century workforce transformation.

  • Is your organization leading the way?
  • Is your organization still operating in the past?
  • Where is your Executive Team in understanding its role?
  • Does it even understand how critical its role is?

My Challenge To You and Your Organization:

Can your organization exceed the effectiveness of the Executive Team leading it?

Agree or disagree…please let me know and share if you like this post!

Here is a link to my profile.

All the best!


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