HR & Organizational Development – 5 Core Aspects

Businesses whether small, mid-sized large or sole practitioners need to go through a process of re-alignment and change to continue to be relevant.  Crucial to the change process is the investment into HR as a pivotal component in the organizational development process.   Companies that do not a have dedicated HR function are missing out on having someone who is the champion for the change and who is committed to bringing employees on-board.

There are many aspects to organizational development and the role of HR within each.  The focus here is on 5 core areas.

  1. Employee Engagement

A business that is in the process of rebranding or changing the scope of work activities needs to ensure that the employees are engaged.  HR is the catalyst for having that engagement happen through working with teams, and individuals addressing the issues arising.

  1. Talent Management

Every business needs to do its best to provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills and become engaged in new processes.  HR is in a unique position to assist with employee development including those employees who are a challenge to manage within the business.

  1. Strategy Development

HR plays a significant role in a business that is expanding or contracting.  The subtle and significant changes within a business during an expansion or contraction phase cause employees to be reactive.  The role of HR is crucial as a communications conduit throughout the process.

  1. Team Effectiveness

Working with both team leaders and the team members is imperative when it comes to addressing effectiveness.  The relevance of HR in this area is focused on having each team member contribute.  Team leader are then able to put into place other features that have the overall team performance improve.

  1. Work Process Redesign

Streamlining or restructuring workplaces is a relatively common practice.  HR is vital in any redesign.  Work roles are redefined, employees are shuffled, this requires a HR person to fulfill as the changes require utilization of several skill areas including individual assessment, training and in some cases redundancy.

Organizational development is a complex area that demands a qualified and experienced HR presence.  Businesses that gloss over the importance of the HR function do not fare as well as those who have invested in it.


Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s,

Change Managers – The First Place to Focus Your Attention on Your Project

As a change manager or change agent you know full well that the success of the overall initiative you are working on depends on having stakeholder buy-in.  Large, small or in between change is a word that is frequently dreaded in the workplace.  There is always a level of resistance present.  A level of acceptance is also present.  The true challenge is bringing on board those who are undecided.

The fence sitters typically make up about 60% of the workforce.  In my experience this 60% is where the focus of any change management initiative needs to be targeted.  Bringing about the undecided faction makes a significant difference and presents the change process with the momentum necessary to succeed.

In advance of the project kick off ensure your communication strategies are sufficiently developed to bring on those employees and managers who are sitting on the fence with a wait and see attitude.  Early demonstrations of the efficacy of the change process are important to have a higher conversion rate.  Regular feedback and town hall style meetings to share the stages of the initiative and what is working are necessary as validation for the process.  Other communication strategies are also useful and it is important to tailor the style used to the audience.  Take the time on the front end to know the demographic you are working with and deliver messages that resonate with each area.

Time spent on the pre-paving aspect will have stay ahead of the undecided quotient and allow for a productive conversion and change implementation.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s,

Procrastination Is Good for Creativity

Most of us have come to believe that procrastination is not good for us or our business.   Adam Grant author of “Originals – How Non-Conformists Move the World” has a different point of view.   He asserts procrastination is often a good thing especially when it comes to creativity.  From a productivity point of view procrastination is clearly not beneficial.

Time for pausing and re-evaluation of projects is important.  Waiting for the right time to launch a new project or initiative gives you the opportunity to re-access, tweak and enhance for an improved launch.

What are you working on that requires creativity and that has you pause in the middle of a project and re-evaluate?


Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s,


Power Poses – Do They Work?

Researcher Amy Cuddy claims power poses work in terms of influencing your thinking and thereby your behaviour patterns.  Working with men and women in a broad cross section of industries, mining, industrial, health care, manufacturing, construction, and various government agencies it has been my observation that they do work.  Further to that they work equally well for both genders.

Women and men who sit huddled at their desks with shoulders hunched in and head bent down do not appear to inspire confidence.  Nor do they appear to inspire collaboration.

On the other had men and women who take up space – stand confidently – arms their sides or on their hips with a solid stance inspire confidence and the desire to work collaboratively with them.

What I have observed suggests that Ms. Cuddy’s research has validity.  That a power poses do influence the thoughts and behaviour of the individual.  Power poses appear to also influence the behaviours of those around them.

Ms. Cuddy suggests that individuals practice power poses for two minutes prior to having an important meeting, discussion or even job interview.  Her suggestion may have significant merit.  Certainly a two minute time investment is worth trying out to determine the validity of her research personally.  At the very least you may find your scope of influence at work or in your personal life growing.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s,