Home Concepts Organizational Theory The Organizational “House of Culture”

The Organizational “House of Culture”

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While these quotes may not describe a consistent and clear linkage between talent management and culture, my previously described model for the “House of Culture” suggests that a well-developed talent management strategy and process can be a major driver of an organization’s culture, while a poorly constructed talent management strategy and system would conversely negatively impact an organization’s culture.

The Physical and Virtual Workplace

Tapscott and Williams (2006) comment that “The old notion that you have to attract and retain the best and brightest inside your corporate boundaries is becoming null. With the costs of collaboration falling precipitously, companies can increasingly source ideas, innovations and uniquely qualified minds from a vast global pool of talent”. This description has huge implications to the notion of corporate culture. In one large technology company I was working with recently, I was participating in a working session on a future strategy to manage talent. One of the ideas I proposed to the group was the notion of flexible sourcing – instead of only considering talent management in the context of permanent employment, rather consider more flexible and agile talent sourcing in key areas of the business, in this case for major projects that require speed and agility. The group simply could not get their heads around the concept. As Tapscott and Williams describe, these ideas are “often received with coolness, or worse – mockery or hostility”. In this case my ideas were met with blank stairs and a simple closed-door response. In another large company, a small start-up acquisition had taken three years to complete, but was held up at the last moment for months because the facilities company refused to finalize the acquisition because physical offices, desks and equipment were not available. The senior executive concerned could not understand why these acquired specialists even had to occupy an office, never mind move to a physical location owned by the company. But this is the old mindset – if you are an employee of an old-style culture, the company dictates where, when and how employees work. This is unlikely to be the case in the future of work, and indeed for some fast moving companies, this is how it is today. Access to knowledge, and the ability of people to collaborate on projects with the use of collaboration technologies is changing how we  think about corporate culture – talent, behaviors of people and cultures will morph from large-scale project to project based on the kind of work and talent required to drive success within much shorter timeframes. For knowledge work, the notion that work takes place in a specified physical office environment on a fixed 8 to 5 type timeframe will be redundant.

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