Developing dilemma handling and change skills

I’ve been invited to write a blog, take part in a quick Q&A, or film a video to promote the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition. I’m facilitating a workshop on day two – W6 Developing OD&D and change skills to drive new business models.

I’m sitting on a train which, for me, rules out a video – so that leaves a dilemma.  Blog or Q&A? I’ve found that I’m more and more developing dilemma handling skills in my work. I wonder why I’m having to do this. Partly it’s because my clients are faced with so many choices in driving their current business model let alone any new one they may be interested in.

Should we focus on the home market or on export markets? Should we add services or ‘stick with the knitting’? Should we be local or global? Should we choose a human workforce or automate our processes?

Their dilemmas are an outcome of current operating conditions: Brexit, trading uncertainties, political uncertainties, and technology advances. In helping them to answer these types of questions I’m growing an interest in global politics along with forecasting and horizon scanning skills.

As clients reflect on the context there follow questions about their business models:  Are our products, and services right? Should we be diversifying or consolidating? Should we be looking at different customer segments? Are we designed to be scalable up or down as needed? To help address these types of questions I find I’m drawing on skills in identifying and explaining frameworks and methodologies that can help – target operating models, business capabilities, business/operating model ‘canvases’, social and organisational network mapping, and so on.

I also find that leaders are often confused and uncertain about stuff that feels potentially faddish. I get asked how businesses managed to do well before the phrases ‘target operating model’ and ‘agile/agility’ entered their business language.  As I encourage people to think critically, be reflective, listen to diverse views, challenge assumptions and be brave I am gaining these skills myself.

Now I’ve written a blog, asked a lot of questions and given some answers on the OD & D skills needed to drive new business models. Maybe I’ve managed the dilemma of blog or Q&A by combining them in a ‘both/and’ way.  In my workshop at ACE we’ll be looking further at these change skills. Come along and learn more there.

Naomi Stanford, Organisation Design Consultant

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