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Kendall Future of (How We) Work Task Force Notes: Change Management
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Future of (How We) Work Task Force

Meeting #11: Change Management


As we transition into an evolving hybrid workplace, what are the trends we’re seeing and what mindsets should we be cultivating to set our people and organizations up for success? 

During our eleventh Future of Work meeting, we explored cutting edge thinking on change management and discussed how we are preparing our people for what comes next. We were joined by a local expert, friend and fellow Cantabrigian, Dr. Camille Preston who specializes in developing capacity in executive leaders equipping them with the tools and perspectives needed to build the trust, transparency, new systems and bandwidth to help teams work more efficiently together.

In Dr. Preston’s recent blog post on managing Pandemic Related Burnout, she talked about how the pandemic has created different stressors for different groups – for some it’s the stress of balancing working from home and childcare, for others, it's the stress of having to adapt quickly to new roles.

There is something so deeply human about the experience of the past year, and we are  so excited to think about how we will be moving our organizations forward while centering our focus on the humans that drive them.

Dr. Camille Preston Presentation

2021 promises to bring more change, but unlike the quick shifts made early in the pandemic, many current changes will permanently alter how we live and work – particularly through four human capital trends:

Hybrid workplaces mean “out with a one-size-fits-all model of work” and “in with a customized employee experience.” Some companies, like, have already announced plans to offer their employees multiple ways to return to work post-pandemic (e.g. remote, hybrid, or entirely onsite). The impact Hybrid Workplaces will have on organizations, include:

As remote and hybrid workplaces become the norm, organizations will need to recruit talent exceptionally skilled at adapting, self-managing, and collaborating remotely. In the flexible workplaces of the future, change will become the new normal. Successful organizations will be those who:

  1. Recruit and retain employees who hold a strong capacity to take ownership of their upskilling and reskilling
  2. Support the expansion of this capacity over time

Training and reskilling responsibility will shift from managers and HR to individuals, and vertical growth will become as important as horizontal growth.

As change becomes the norm, change management will need to shift to an open-source model. Open-source change management, like open-source code, will permit managers to gather the most input possible and adopt the very best solutions. It is also more collaborative and inclusive – fostering trust on teams.

Small Group Discussion Highlights

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