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Organization Re-Alignment: Is Your Organization Remaining Competitive?

Interview by Tony Deblauwe


Organization Re-Alignment: A Chat with Scott Span of Tolero Solutions
Organizational Development & Change Consulting

An increasing amount of attention is being placed on how organizations
perform business and deliver results. Though there are still plenty of
uncertainties, as organizations transition from pure survival mode to
competitive growth, many have begun evaluating their current state and
how connected and engaged their people are to the organization. After
some time, organizations have begun re-evaluating their business
structures and strategies, and re-aligning their people to adapt to
renewed growth in the economy.

As President of Tolero Solutions – Organizational Development & Change Consulting,
Scott Span, MSOD has plenty of experience navigating leaders and
organizations through change in turbulent times to a place of long term
sustainability. The term “tolero” means to endure and sustain, and this
philosophy lies at the heart of Tolero’s strategy. With all the change
and buzz about the importance of employee engagement in the air, Span
points to several areas where companies need to communicate what their
doing to employees (and communicate it fast). Span offers three ways
organizations can re-connect and re-engage their workforce:

Communicate & Align Strategic Direction: According to Span,
companies’ have the wait-and-see mode of operation that has plagued many
businesses over the last year, and it’s time to snap out of it.
Specifically they have to become more competitive and prepared for new
opportunities. The trick is – you can’t do that until you’ve defined
your strategic direction and reconnected with your people. If your
people have lost touch with what you’re trying to accomplish, you won’t
go very far toward remaining competitive. Span suggests leaders and
managers review what has happened, what’s changed and why, and connect
their people to any new changes, new visions and tactics which arise as a
result. This communication and involvement during any transition will
help remind people what the core needs of the organization are and where
they fit in, putting temporary setbacks in perspective.

Don’t Neglect Individuals: Tied directly into communicating, a
renewed strategic direction is how leaders and managers reach out and
drive a resurgence in team spirit and employee engagement. In
particular, Span notes that if people have kept their heads down just to
get by, they may have started to feel like a cog in the machine – not
being noticed for say – doing the job of the three people who were let
go or couldn’t be hired because budgets were tight. Public recognition
for a job well done and non monetary benefits or spot financial bonuses
as revenues increase are useful ways to show appreciation. Simple
recognition is often a quick and easy way to increase engagement and

Training and Development: Often in tough times training and
education budgets are slashed. Span believes with increased engagement
comes a need to reinvigorate training and development opportunities and
up-level skills. Where possible, offering employees targeted and
strategic decisions on training and education opportunities is vital to
sustainability. Providing employees room to grow competencies either
through classroom training or attending industry leading trend seminars
is key to successful realignment.

Span also sees a heightened interest in organizational assessments. As
many organizations are just beginning to reinvigorate and realign,
organizational assessments are a fairly quick and easy way to provide
data on current and future state. This is right in line with the concept
of engagement and realigning priorities and people. Determine where you
are before you decide where you want to be. Span also sees executive
coaching increasing. Leaders and managers are realizing that they may
need to change style and approach to attract, engage, and retain current
and new talent. Span also sees an interesting shift occurring now, as
workforce demographics are changing, is an increased focus on
generational diversity programs.

Companies realize that Gen Y employees have different needs than Baby
Boomer employees, and Gen Y represents a key part of their recruitment
strategy and future bench strength. Companies want to understand the
view points and communication styles of the various generations so that
employees can have a basis of understanding and flex to each other’s
unique point of view and approach.

Span sees slowed continued growth for the months to come. He believes
that organizations that realign and refocus on people now will remain
competitive and sustainable; and be able to survive the inevitable bumps
in the road that will continue to occur until relative long term
stability returns.

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