Publication Tomorrow’s Adaptive Organisation

by Luke Robinson _______5th March 2012

Executive Summary

Tomorrow’s Company is delighted to have established a new strategic partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to explore, through a series of provocations and roundtables, the theme of Tomorrow’s Adaptive Organisation.

Through this partnership we will be exploring the issues, challenges and choices facing tomorrow’s companies and above all what this means for the ‘people agenda’.  Leadership and talent, behaviours and culture, will all be essential to deliver future success. As a result, this puts new pressures but also new opportunities on the HR profession, which our new programme will explore.

The theme of Tomorrow’s Adaptive Organisation is deliberately provocative and broad ranging – it enables a range of issues to be discussed linked to the changing business environment in which companies are now operating. It also builds and extends the research undertaken previously by both organisations (for example, CIPD’s Shaping The Future and Tomorrow’s Company’s Tomorrow’s Global Talent).

Through this partnership, CIPD and Tomorrow’s Company will explore what this changing business landscape means in practice for HR leaders, through a series of provocations relating to ‘Tomorrow’s Adaptive Organisation’ (TAO), as outlined below in the diagram.

The first roundtable in the series of the dialogues was led by Sir John Egan. Former chief executive of Jaguar and BAA, he shared his experience of how to establish high performing boardrooms and his views of the role that HR does, could and should play.

The output from the second roundtable event is now available. ‘People, trust and authenticity, the qualities of a good leader’ by Ian Powell, senior partner and chairman of PwC UK told his story of being a leader in a professional services firm – how he is a ‘lifer’ at PwC, and gradually moved up through the organisation until he became chairman of the UK firm in 2008. Through his different experiences in varying roles, he developed his leadership approach based on authenticity and integrity.

The third report of the series of roundtables was led by Paul Drechsler. Paul Drechsler, Chairman and Chief Executive of Wates Group, agreed to share his views on the role of HR alongside leadership. A summary of his speech is included in this report, along with the main themes that were subsequently discussed by the attendees. The report, ‘HR: The strong voice of the twenty-first century organisation’ can be read here.

‘Learning through success is much more difficult than learning through failure.’

In the fourth report from our series of roundtable dialogues that the CIPD and Tomorrow’s Company are hosting to discuss how HR professionals can work with leaders and boardrooms to help shape tomorrow’s sustainable and adaptable organisations, Andy Wood, Chief Executive of Adnams, agreed to share his views on leadership, cultural change and social media. The report, ‘Getting ordinary people to do extraordinary things’ can be read here.

‘The role of the leader is to get ordinary people to do extraordinary things.’