Forget WFH

As we head out of the pandemic and into more stable times, most organisations are looking to the future Target Operating Model as a foundation for growth. The challenge is what that should look like? Take these two headlines from BBC News, posted within days of each other:

or

So, what is it to be?

The answer unsurprisingly lies somewhere in the middle and will depend on a myriad of factors unique to your organisation. These include the sector, the demographic of your workforce, the geographical diversity of your locations, your EVP, the culture of your organisation and finally, the ‘Bricks’ and/or ‘Clicks’ balance of your business. This all leads to the new normal, or as we can call it now, “Intelligent Working”.

Intelligent Working means being open to considering any working schedule that is outside the traditional working pattern, focusing on outcomes rather than time spent at work. The aim is to achieve the right balance for all employees, enabling delivery of organisational targets whilst accommodating work/life balance.  It’s all about focusing on outcomes and trusting our people to do the right thing for themselves and firm.

Whilst Intelligent Working can be viewed in many ways, one thing is for certain, your current systems, process and technology are unlikely to be up to the challenge. Indeed, even if your long-term plans are not yet completely clear, transforming your operating model may still be essential just for short term growth or even survival.

How to provide the foundation for Intelligent working?

It is probably easier to describe the journey of one of our clients. A global firm, their business model has been significantly impacted during the lockdown. They pivoted, brought in some ‘old school’ practices and methodology and got through the worst of it. But then they found themselves stuck.  Working to a hybrid, emergency model, they have the wrong people doing the wrong jobs, with large growth targets to hit. They needed to move to a model that would be ‘Fit for Purpose’ and align with their future growth plans. They weren’t sure how to proceed and were wary of taking an expensive step in the wrong direction, so they asked us for support. Norman Broadbent were able to introduce them to two strong and experienced Interims from our network, to run a comprehensive 3-month review of all the people, process, and technology factors affecting the business. This would result in a Transformation plan, approved by the board, to be delivered over the next 12-18 months. The interims will then finish or, if appropriate, go on to deliver the change programme.

The key here is that in times of change, Leaders do not need to know all the answers. But it does help to know where to look for timely and effective support.

If you would like to discuss some of the ideas and themes in this article, or perhaps talk through an organisational challenge, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Davies via  mike.davies@normanbroadbent.com for an initial confidential discussion.