Your Organizational DNA - Adapt or Go Out of Business

Your Organizational DNA -  Adapt or Go Out of Business

May 2020

Written by: Kelly Renz, President & CEO

The phrase, “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste” has a completely new meaning to us now.  My cohorts from grad school and I keep in touch still, and have asked each other, “Who took the notes from the global pandemic class?”  That’s right, there wasn’t one.

So, organizations are going to have to write their own story for the talent recovery.  Organizational DNA, the cultural, behavioral and environmental fabric of our companies, have forever been impacted because of this pandemic.  We absolutely need to step back and evaluate what talent we will need as we move forward – chances are it is different now.

Why do you need to consider your Organizational DNA?

Workforce data is power. Mapping the blueprint of your organization’s DNA –the pre-existing and innate organic characteristics, style, culture and competencies – lays the groundwork for your HR strategy roadmap.  Without understanding the natural organizational DNA, initiatives and programs have a difficult time relating to the people, and ultimately don’t stick.

Organizational DNA is your competitive advantage through knowing your talent’s make-up.  Knowing what makes your talent tick, and how to ultimately motivate your people to their highest performance, unlocks the real potential of your workforce. 

Organizations are going to be doing more with less again when it comes to people as we move into the COVID-19 recovery phase (and this is expected to last for months or years to come), so you need to have exactly the right talent.

How do you measure Organizational DNA?

Organizational DNA is measured through a strategic assessment process.  Using data from assessment tools that measure natural behaviors, motivators, capabilities and how individual’s operation under different stresses and circumstances, you will gain insights into how to best position your talent.  This goes beyond the “right person, right seat”.  Organizational DNA insights will drive “right person, right seat, right development plans, right team dynamics, right time, right outcome”.  We think of measuring Organizational DNA like that of taking an MRI vs. an x-ray – you just get more in-depth information to make critical business decisions.

Examples of what you learn through Organizational DNA insights:

  1. What are the common traits, characteristics, capabilities and competencies of your highest performers?  And what are the common threads between average and lower performers as well? 
  1. You then benchmark your recruiting and selection process to hire to the higher standards of higher performers.  What could you accomplish with 25% better company performance, or even more?
  1. You identify the strengths and developmental gaps of your talent so that your precious development investment is highly targeted at developing capabilities that will actually move the business needle.  Don’t waste time and money on rote leadership programs or training that don’t have the needed impact.  Meet your talent where they actually are to get them where they need to go. 
  1. With the right talent, your distinct and special culture is far easier to nurture, cultivate and maintain.
  1. Adapt or Go Out of Business.  During times of organizational stress and change, you can know how to align people to meet the challenges – who can step up and who possesses the right abilities to drive through ambiguity.
  1. Know who your emerging talent is and cultivate future leaders.  Spend time with the right people to grow them now.

Overall, you will have a lot of talent decisions to make.  Don’t fly blind.  Use the innate data of your workforce to help you ensure you have retained the right people for our new operating environment.  A lot has changed – your talent strategy will need to change and adapt too.