HR and Business Leaders come together to Think and Do

Last week, mwah. (Making Work Absolutely Human – www.mwah.live) and Peoplecorp partnered, to bring together a small group of senior HR and Business Leaders to think about work differently. This “Think-&-Do Tank” aimed to create a space to both explore new thinking and design practical strategies to address two really challenging topics, over two half day sessions;

  • The role of HR in Society and Social Change; and

  • Designing organisations and teams in an environment of transformation.

With participants from the Banking, Construction, Consulting, Manufacturing, Media, Supply Chain, Technology, Not-for-Profit and Mining sectors; national and global organisations; start-ups, SME’s and large corporate, there were a variety of unique perspectives to draw from when designing new and better ways forward for the future.

So, how do Think-&-Do Tank’s work?

First, we started each session with the building of current context to establish an ‘agreed state of play’. We then introduced a range of challenging stimulus from a mix of expert guest and in-group speakers, to shape a future context to be considered in new thinking and design. Then we got to the really hard part, and posed a number of big meaty questions to the group. Questions like…

  • Do businesses really have a role to play in society or should they focus on profit and shareholder value?
  • Should HR have a say in the things that matter to employees outside of the organisation – like the environment or education?
  • What would happen if there were no longer hierarchy in organisations?
  • How could be build organisational structures that are dynamic and collapsible, without losing all history and leaving the workforce on edge?

These questions led to significant robust debate, challenges, the sharing of different perspectives, and ultimately a landing on where we should sit as both business leaders and HR professionals.

This is where most think-tanks stop – at the big ideas to change the world. But we took it one step further, and worked with the group to create practical strategies (which will be published in a ‘Playbook”) for the cohort to take back into their organisations, careers and even lives.

Here is a taste of some of the great stimulus, ideas, insights, strategies and thinking that came from the sessions.

The role of HR in Society and Social Change

  • Strong agreement that businesses sit squarely in the middle of society, and therefore have a significant role in social change.
  • An opportunity for businesses to collaborate with others to drive meaningful large-scale change in the things that really matter (D+I, environment, technology, education).
  • A key role of the HR profession is to support leaders to shape, and support the workforces of tomorrow, but within and outside of their organisations.
  • A clear understanding that the way businesses are built and run now, is not aligned to what is needed for the future. A call to action for a fundamental rethink of work, leadership and business.

Organisational Design in an Environment of Transformation

  • The creation of the ‘Ten Commandments’ of org design, including: Thou shalt know why and what on earth we are doing and how we do it – i.e. Purpose.
  • Agreement that collaboration and creativity cannot always harmoniously co-exist, but both are important & have a place.
  • Teams require genuine positive relationships – a need to connect as ‘humans’ beyond a job role.
  • Collapsible organisational design is the way for businesses to keep up transformation. But this needs great people, amazing leadership and strong support to thrive.

If you would like more information on the discussion or insights from the Think-&-Do Tank, please contact Sonja Ankucic, Business Director at mwah. via Sonja@mwah.live.

Thank you again to the incredible team who attended the event. We were blown away with the outstanding positive feedback from the event, and the level of thinking and insight from the group. Both mwah. and Peoplecorp are looking forward to seeing the practical strategies designed by the group implemented in your organisations and careers.

You can look out for details about future mwah. Think -&-Do Tanks via www.mwah.live