Optimis | December 2013 | Culture Change – Staff Mobility
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December 2013 | Culture Change – Staff Mobility

02 Nov December 2013 | Culture Change – Staff Mobility

The leadership of a global non-profit organization committed to an ambitious agenda of reform in order to meet the strategic challenges of its evolving environment. A major issue for this organization was the lack of mobility among professional staff possessing the required skills needed in the field.

Situation:

The leadership of a global non-profit organization committed to an ambitious agenda of reform in order to meet the strategic challenges of its evolving environment. A major issue for this organization was the lack of mobility among professional staff possessing the required skills needed in the field.
Cultural norm of limited staff mobility
An analysis showed that the organization was constrained by long established norms and internal practices that preserved the status quo of limited mobility. There was strong resistance to staff movement, especially to the field from HQ. The governance structure favored a high level of regional independence and further reinforced limitations on staff mobility across the organization.
Implications of the lack of staff mobility
The organizational and strategic implications were significant – professional and technical talent needed in the field was not optimally matched to emerging needs and talented professionals were not getting sufficient opportunities to develop through multiple assignments in different locations. This further reinforced a lack of integration of the various operations and some stagnation in the talent pool. Efficiency and effectiveness was impacted and the organization was not performing at the level required to deliver the new strategy.
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Solution:
An extensive analysis of the issues was performed by Optimis based upon existing internal documents and extensive staff-stakeholder interviews. The first step in the solution was to design a global policy framework for mobility and gain approval and support at the highest levels of the organization. The new mobility policy was carefully integrated into the existing HR structure and a series of recommendations were made for changes to support the new mobility policy.
It is important to note that this is a multi-year culture change initiative that began with creation and integration of a mobility policy framework. The next steps are to fully align the policy with the larger HR strategy, develop the processes required for mobility and create-execute an implementation plan for the new policy.
A full change management methodology has been defined, including a program office structure, project streams, and applicable project and process development management tools.

Results:
The policy development process has raised staff awareness to the priorities, issues and solutions for implementing mobility practices in the organization. Senior management has approved the geographic mobility policy and the first phase new policy will be implemented in January 2015, recognizing that the preparation work required for the implementation is significant and will need to take place in 2014.

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