After discussing the world of HR consulting with Sarah Hamilton-Gill on her podcast, Leap Into HR Consulting, we moved onto looking at the four fundamental shifts that I predict we will be seeing in the near future that HR professionals need to be preparing themselves for.

We discussed the looming edge of the Workforce Cliff, the importance that employers need to be applying to the relationship between humans and technology, and the redefinition of Place and Time in the workplace. The final shift I believe businesses and HR professionals need to be preparing for is the end of jobs altogether.

The ‘job’ – defined as a set of responsibilities assigned to an individual employee – has been the fundamental building block of organizations for millennia. As the requirements of businesses have changed over the years, employers have tweaked and amended the job descriptions of their employees to adapt to these changes.

However, we have seen that the pace of this organizational change has been rapidly accelerated by the influx of new technologies paired with the evaporation of the boundaries of time and geography. Now, employers are beginning to recognize that a more flexible and responsive methodology is needed in order to keep up with this new pace of change, and so I believe we are going to see companies increasingly adopting a skills-based approach to managing work and workers. Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends report supports this notion, as it was discovered that 93% employers believe that moving away from the job construct is important or very important to their organization’s success.

And yet, the research also identified a readiness gap, as only 20% of these employers felt they were very ready to address the movement away from the ‘job’.

This is where HR will play a vital role, as they will be the key to bridging this gap and educating organizations around this new approach to work. And a large part of this will be challenging legacy mindsets and traditional practices that are holding employers back from skills-based work – which Deloitte reported was the main obstacle for 46% of companies.

HR will therefore have to pioneer a shift in the traditional mindset of allocating work to individuals in defined jobs to one where the work is deconstructed and assigned by:

  1. Making the starting point for resource allocation the actual work that needs to be done, broken down into the individual tasks which need to be completed to achieve the required outcomes.
  2. Identifying the optimal combination of human skill, AI, and technology/automation to achieve the required outcomes.
  3. Identifying the optimal contractual engagement model for work that requires human skill, e.g.: employment, freelance, alliances, etc.
  4. Allowing human skill to ‘flow’ to the work instead of being constrained by traditional fixed hierarchies and organizational structures.

Rather than viewing workers as ‘job holders’ performing predefined tasks, it is important to recognize them as individuals with unique skill sets. This will enable employers to match each worker with tasks that align with their specific skills. This work can be performed by a single person, a team, or a group of rotating resources, each contributing their appropriate skills while improving their current ones and developing new ones. This approach will enable workers to maximize their potential and contribute to their personal growth. It will also create a more equitable and human-centric work experience.

If you would like to discuss how OrgShakers can help guide and support you on this journey, please get in touch with me at or reach out through our website here.

David Fairhurst The Founder Of Orgshakers

David Fairhurst is the Founder of OrgShakers. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading HR practitioners and is a respected thought leader, business communicator, and government advisor.

Buzzword lovers, rejoice. There’s a new phrase circulating the corporate social media sphere: grumpy staying.

If you are yet to come across it, ‘grumpy staying’ refers to an employee who remains in their current role while being openly frustrated, less productive, and visibly agitated with their working environment – but avoids doing anything to improve their situation or attitude. With the cost-of-living crisis still continuing, many workers do not feel at liberty to just up and leave their job, hence leading to a rise in this trend.

At first glance, this would sound like the diagnosis of a ‘bad apple’ employee. But if we dig a little deeper, it is highly likely that an employee isn’t just frustrated for no reason – even if they are reluctant to (or don’t know how to) communicate this.

What might be more productive for employers to do is view ‘grumpy staying’ as a symptom of a larger issue – by diagnosing it at its root, they will be able to remedy it and ensure that other employers do not spiral into these same feelings of frustration. So, what are some possible causes of ‘grumpy staying’?

  • Toxic work environment – this requires looking at the culture of the organization; is it inclusive? Is there constant conflict? Are there a number of complaints about bullying? Having HR conduct a culture audit is a great way of getting to the bottom of this.
  • Lack of career development – 75% of employees believe that it’s important that their employer invests in their personal development. If an employee feels that they don’t have a clear path for development because of a lack of developmental opportunities, this may be leading to them feeling stuck, and subsequently ‘grumpy staying’.
  • No work-life balance – in the modern working world, especially with the post-COVID carpe diem mindset – work-life balance has become a swaying factor for many employees’ contentedness at work. This is confirmed by Randstad’s 2023 report which found that 94% of employees believe work-life balance is important – so if they feel they are not being afforded it, this may lead to ‘grumpy staying’!
  • Personal issues – if, as a manager, you notice an employee acting out of character, this may be a sign that something is going on outside of the workplace. This would be a great opportunity to schedule a one-to-one and discuss how you have noticed a change and wanted to check-in, creating a space for an open dialogue where the employee will feel more comfortable being honest.

Of course, there are instances where someone is frustrated because they feel unfulfilled at work, and this can be tricker to approach as an employer. However, one strategy we have found for this is the idea of creating ‘squiggle room’ – that is, offering job crafting opportunities where suitable to foster innovation and allow an employee to bring some of their personal passions into their working life. This can be a great way of boosting morale and warding off the ‘grumpy staying’ attitude.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your company find the source of this ‘grumpy staying’ and prevent it from affecting productivity, please get in touch with us.

Recognised globally as the ‘Father of Modern HR’, Dave Ulrich’s thought-leadership has shaped our profession for decades. His most recent book, Reinventing the Organization – written with Arthur Yeung – maps out how employers can reinvent their organizations to flourish in fast-paced and fast-changing markets.

At OrgShakers we think this book should be on every HR practitioner’s bookshelf. However, being published just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that some may have missed it during the challenging months that followed.  That’s why, for International Read a Book Day, we wanted to shine the spotlight back on Ulrich and Yeung’s ideas at a time when they have become more relevant than ever.

In brief, Reinventing the Organization explores a six-step framework for leaders to transform their business into a Market-Oriented Ecosystem (MOE) – a fluid, fast-moving organization unified around a compelling, market-oriented purpose.

In order to start reinventing an organization into an MOE, there are six dimensions that need to be considered:

  1. Environment – very successful companies will appreciate and anticipate the trends and changes in their business context: social, technical, economic, political, environmental, and demographic.
  2. Strategy – simply put, how entrepreneurs aim to grow their businesses and through what paths. Successful leaders don’t just seek market share, they anticipate and create market opportunity.
  3. Ecosystem capabilities – companies that are taking advantage of and sharing information about each person’s or team’s knowledge and other strengths and becoming truly customer-centric, innovative, and agile.
  4. Morphology – the most successful companies have created new organizational forms that enable their teams to capture market changes, quickly generate ideas, experiment, close unprofitable trials and make big businesses out of the successful ones.
  5. Governance mechanisms – the best organizations make their ecosystem truly connected and collaborative by sharing culture, performance accountability, ideas, talent, and information.
  6. Leadership (at all levels) – the top leaders redesign the organization’s morphology and set the context and rules for self-driven units to operate, as well as facing the challenge of encouraging a culture that empowers and orients employees.

Ulrich and Yeung take a deep dive into this framework throughout the book and share how organizations across the world are reinventing their workplaces to become Market-Oriented Ecosystems that are able to not only survive in an ever-changing environment – but thrive in it.

If you would like to discuss how we can help support you in structural transformations and organization dynamics, please get in touch with us!

July is Global Enterprise Agility Month. July is also – more importantly – the month that the Barbie movie comes out in cinemas around the world.

Now, these two things may not seem like they have a lot in common, but walk with me a minute. Before Barbie was brought to life by Margot Robbie, she was one of the most popular toys on the market, spanning all the way back to 1959 when the first doll was launched by Mattel. Since then, she has become the embodiment of agility – in 1961, Barbie was an air stewardess, a ballerina, and a nurse. Since then, she has had over 200 different careers in her lifetime.

But Barbie’s impressive CV doesn’t just highlight the need to be able to adapt to change, but rather to push even further and become proactive instead of reactive. Barbie became an astronaut years before man had even walked on the moon, she became a CEO in the 1980s and President in the 1990s – the first female President the United States has seen thus far. She isn’t just a symbol of agility, she is a symbol of dreaming bigger, and this ethos is one that all employers need to consider adopting.

However, building your company into a Dreamhouse doesn’t just happen overnight. Simply wishing to become agile is not enough, and if businesses want to embody Barbie, they need to be approaching agility from three different angles:

  1. Top-Down Approach – this focuses on the leader’s role in agility. Essentially, managers need to be well-versed in change management, and not afraid to dive headfirst into something new. This is of course within reason; they also need to be able to map out a trajectory of their decisions so to ensure that they are achievable from a business perspective and from an employee perspective.
  2. Bottom-Up Approach – this focuses on the empowerment of your team; if a manager is trained to make the company culture more agile and proactive, it can’t be assumed that their team members are also going to be well-versed in this. Agility is a profound thing, it doesn’t have one set definition or look one particular way, so it is important for leaders to ensure that they are supporting and empowering their people during this process so to achieve the desired cultural fluidity. This is also applicable to an organization’s consumer base, too – you want to empower your consumers as much as you want to empower your employees, and being agile allows for the empowerment of multiple consumer markets.
  3. Side-to-Side Approach – this looks at the actual structure of the business and its processes; the ‘practical’ side of agility. If employers want to become more agile, they need to have the right structures in place to be able to do so. This ties into the other two approaches, as this is what allows them to actually take place. Does the structure of the business allow for leaders to take risks? Are there processes in place to correctly recognise and reward those staff who are putting forward ideas and contributing to the agility of the company? The concept of agility is like being in a constant state of flux, it is the idea that businesses should try to be ever moving and ever-changing and be ahead of the curve as much as possible, but if the processes and structure isn’t there to support this notion then it will be very hard to achieve.

There is no set way to become an agile company, but even this is a lot like Barbie herself. There is no set way for what she does, who she is, or how she looks – it’s all about the context she finds herself in.

If you would like to discuss strategies to help make your company more adaptable and agile to future trends, please get in touch with us!

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