2020 WCD Thought Leadership Commission
Work has Changed: How Boards Navigate Disruption and Drive Human Capital Transformation
Disruption is a primary concern for today’s boards. Market disruption—such as Amazon displacing physical retail—is simply expected. To further complicate matters, we are beginning to see disruptive undercurrents in the workforce and recognize that this is an equal threat to the long-term sustainability of businesses.
No matter the industry, ownership structure, or mission, what organizations are expecting their employees to do is rapidly changing. How, when, and where the workforce operates is also changing, and for the first time ever, it is comprised of up to five generations, all at various stages of engagement. Yet despite this upheaval, most companies continue to rely on the same hierarchical organizational structure, processes, and leadership models.
The fact is, there have been very few changes in how human capital is managed and compensated even though so much about employees and what they are being asked to do is different. The “attract-retain-motivate” model may no longer be enough to ensure an adequate labor supply and a fit-for-purpose workforce.
- How can boards help their companies refocus on talent management and eliminate out-of-date methods of organizing and running a business?
- How can they support the innovative leadership styles that are needed in order to manage ongoing disruption to the talent pool?
- How do they build supportive corporate cultures when individuals are physically isolated?
So what can the board do? The solution ultimately lies in leadership. You will see in the report, the Commission addresses the board’s role, as well as offers suggestions that management can take on in the short term. The report also provides a quick reference chart covering the key issues: The Changing and Disengaged Workforce, Organizational Structure and Processes, and Leadership, to identify key transformational opportunities, along with recommended actions from the board and management.