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    Corporate Plasticity in Changing Workforce Dynamics

    Corporate Plasticity in Changing Workforce Dynamics

    Sep 7, 2021 | Mergers & Acquisition

    Changing Workforce Dynamics

    The nature of the workforce is changing, and will continue to change as each generation enters organization life. This change may be greater than in the past due to the rapid changes in those factors depicted in above figure. With the changing workforce HRM must adjust to address their needs. Companies practicing “traditional” HR approaches may not cater to the needs and expectations of their employees thereby sub optimizing organizational outcomes. To deal with the employee’s need HR professionals are required to understand employee socio-cultural expectations and how they can be meet or accommodated. Significant changes to HR practices are needed to deal with the changing environment. To address socio-cultural environmental changes; the professional must consider the changes in the employee’s life related to education, employment, lifestyle, relationship and values and culture.

    Corporate Plasticity fig1

    Figure 1: Social Cultural Environment

    Need for Corporate Plasticity & HR Dynamism

    The traditional HR practices  may  not  consider  the entire changing socio-cultural environment around it leading to mismatch among the kind of employees, their needs and HR practices. In such situations the employees in the organization  are left  with  unfulfilled  needs  and  dissatisfied   from   the workplace. Thus to avoid it the researchers. suggest to incorporate various aspects of socio- cultural changes as mentioned in the above figure. The employees those have their needs met will have increased satisfaction and be more inclined to create quality products and services. An organization can certainly create satisfied and committed workforce by catering to the needs of employees with the help of innovative HR practices. To develop innovative HR practices, environmental scanning is must and while considering environmental factors  the  socio-cultural  factors  as mentioned in figure 5 can be considered and it  would ultimately help an organization to achieve its goals through increased efficiency and better performance of its employees.

    Corporate Plasticity fig2

    Figure 2: Socio-cultural Environment and its linkages to HR Practices

    They realised that most executive teams spent their time on two dimensions of the business—strategy and functional excellence. To this now, they propose to add a third dimension, corporate plasticity. Chevreux presents a two-fold definition. ‘Corporate plasticity is the ability of individual agents— whether individuals, departments or business units — to work together and collaborate in pursuit of a common objective. The second aspect is for these agents to reconfigure themselves to face a so far unknown challenge or to reach a new state.’ The development of the human brain is a demonstration of the second aspect of plasticity, he says. Humans’ brains are not fully developed at birth and as they interact with their surroundings and environment, they continue to develop which makes humans more intelligent than other animals, he explains. The same applies to corporations. The right combination of strategy and functional excellence can at best provide a business with a competitive advantage, which, while crucial, is often not enough for long term survival. When corporate plasticity combines with functional excellence, it provides the company operational excellence and when it combines with strategy, it gives the company the ability to be versatile and reinvent itself. “The third dimension of corporate plasticity is crucial to the survival and success of the company. There are seven characteristics which can serve as markers of the ability of an organization to be plastic. These are: purpose, focus, culture, spirit, network, knowledge and leadership. It’s not necessary for a plastic organization to have each of these characteristics, but a company that has corporate plasticity would exhibit one or more of these. Plasticity encourages people to look beyond the traditional paradigms in which they operate. So a retailer might then look at how changing his strategy or using an existing value proposition might give him an advantage over an ecommerce player.

    Corporate Plasticity’s Magic Seven

    The key abilities that enable an organization to be plastic:

    Purpose: Has the company discovered, selected and expressed what it is meant for?

    Focus: Does the company have the courage to deselect and ignore everything that is not in line with its purpose and see it through

    Culture: Does the company create the conditions that allow people to work and excel across boundaries and outside predefined roles.

    Spirit: Does the company inspire people to feel part of a cause that is bigger than themselves?

    Network: Does the company provide the means, freedom and encouragement for people to continually nurture and grow their internal and external networks?

    Knowledge: Does the company encourage experts to provide their knowledge and others to use expert knowledge and how readily is it available?

    Leadership: Do the company’s leaders personify each of these principles?

    5 points to ponder

    5. Strategy and functional excellence aren’t enough to survive in the long term.

    4. Corporate plasticity is the ability of individual agents to collaborate towards a common objectivity.

    3. It is also the ability to reconfigure themselves to reach a new state.

    2. Corporate plasticity combined with strategy makes the organisation versatile.

    1. Corporate plasticity combined with functional excellence gives the business operational excellence.

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