Improving your organisation's speed and agility
By Hewitt Associates who can be contacted at www.hewitt.com
A major challenge for today’s organisations is increasing speed and agility to effectively meet the evolving needs of customers, employees, and shareholders. To help organisations take on this challenge, Hewitt surveyed CEOs and HR leaders in late 2001 about speed and agility in their organisations.
A total of 60 CEOs and 261 HR leaders returned completed questionnaires. Of these, 32 CEOs and 183 HR leaders represented organisations with $500 million or more in revenues (188 large organisations total).
Some highlights from the survey include:
# CEOS SAY SPEED AND AGILITY IMPROVEMENT IS KEY TO BUSINESS RESULTS
>> The majority of participating CEOs (65%) made improving organisational speed and agility an explicit component of their fiscal year 2002 business plans.
>> Intense market pressure driven by customers, competitors, and the fast pace of business was cited by CEOs as the main reason speed and agility is key to their business plans.
>> The importance of speed and agility to business results is further evidenced by the fact that more than half of participating CEOs (54%) set specific speed and agility performance measures in their fiscal year 2002 business plans.
>> Customer service and productivity metrics are most frequently used to assess speed and agility execution.
# CEOS AND HR LEADERS AGREE HR SHOULD HAVE AN ORGANISATION-WIDE ROLE IN SPEED AND AGILITY IMPROVEMENT--BUT BOTH SAY HR IS NOT THERE YET
>> The majority of CEOs (67%) and nearly all HR leaders (91%) believe HR should be a leader in improving organizational speed and agility. But, less than half of CEOs and HR leaders say HR is currently assuming this role.
>> While HR has a way to go in becoming a leader in organisational speed and agility improvement, HR appears to be making progress in improving speed and agility within.
>> Most HR leaders (72%) made speed and agility improvement part of their HR function’s fiscal year 2002 business plans.
>> Half (51%) set specific speed and agility performance measures in their HR business plans.
>> Most gave positive ratings to the speed and agility of their HR functions compared to external and internal peers. Yet, many indicated they have much room for growth compared to speed and agility role models.
# CEOS AND HR LEADERS TAKE ACTION AGAINST SPEED AND AGILITY BARRIERS
>> CEOs see organisational inertia of people and systems (risk aversion, lack of teamwork, legacy technology) as the biggest obstacle to operating with greater speed and agility.
>> To overcome these obstacles, CEOs are instituting people motivators/behavior changers--changing culture, developing goals, accountabilities, and incentives.
>> HR leaders cited many different barriers to speed and agility improvement. However, the biggest was lack of agreement on what to do among business leaders.
>> Higher-quality workforce is the biggest payoff HR leaders expect from overcoming speed and agility barriers.
# FIVE AREAS OF MAJOR HR FOCUS EXPECTED TO POSITIVELY IMPACT BUSINESS RESULTS IF DONE WITH GREATER SPEED AND AGILITY
>> Most HR leaders expect some to significant business result improvements from increasing speed and agility in five major areas of HR focus—talent management, corporate change and restructuring, HR service delivery, health benefits management, and to a lesser extent, retirement benefits management.
>> Given the importance of speed and agility to business results and the desire for HR to take more of a leadership role in speed and agility improvement, our survey report drills down more deeply to learn what HR leaders say is being done to improve speed and agility in these areas of HR focus.
# THE CEO QUESTIONNAIRE COVERED THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
>> Role of speed and agility in the organisation’s strategy
>> Top barriers to improving organizational speed and agility
>> Top efforts to overcome speed and agility barriers
>> CEO views on HR’s current and desired role in improving organisational speed and agility
>> Speed and agility role model organisations
# THE HR LEADER QUESTIONNAIRE COVERED THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
>> Role of speed and agility in HR’s strategy
>> HR leader views on HR’s current and desired role in improving organisational speed and agility
>> HR organisation’s speed and agility execution compared to that of other entities
>> Significance of improved speed and agility in areas of major HR focus to business results
>> Activities in each HR area yielding the biggest business results if done with more speed and agility
>> Results expected from increasing speed and agility in each area of major HR focus
>> Speed and agility barriers faced by each area of major HR focus
>> Speed and agility role model HR organisations
Reprinted by permission www.hewitt.com