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Interview

Shape the way your business operates by design

Organizational design can be HRs North Star for navigating to success, if you let it.

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Photo by @RLTheis via Twenty20

Unleash Your Organizational Effectiveness Only a truly effective organization will be able to gain and maintain a competitive advantage, so how can organizational design get you there?

If HR leaders want to be truly effective and capable of responding to transformation in the moment, they need to have the tools to be able to make these reactive decisions.

Organizational charts are already an important tool in HR when it comes to management and workforce planning. They display complex structures and provide essential information at a glance. But an org chart can be much more of a strategic tool than HR leaders may realize.

Michael Grimm is one of the founders and part of the management team at Ingentis. In 2018 he became CEO of the US-based subsidiary, Ingentis Inc. His, and the Ingentis team’s mission, is to evolve the traditional organizational chart through data visualization and workforce modeling and thereby help business leaders make more informed decisions.

UNLEASH sat down with Michael in an exclusive interview to discuss why visualization of HR data is the cornerstone for HR’s success. Check it out!

What more can there be to an organizational chart?

First of all, it is important to note that “there is nothing wrong with traditional organizational charts”, as Michael told us during our interview. “It is the unused potential of visualization in HR we should talk about. Org charts are great to get an easy overview. You just have to enhance the pure hierarchy view with additional information, including non-hierarchical structures. By doing so you get valuable insights, especially when it comes to organizational design and organizational effectiveness”, he explained further.

Data visualization tools can provide HR leaders the opportunity to analyze formal and informal relationships within their organization and how people are connected inside the system. This offers them an overview of the organization, which they can use to successfully shape the people strategy and help their business become more sustainable and effective.

What is especially interesting is that it doesn’t really matter whether there is a hard line, a dotted line, or no line at all between employees. What matters is that leaders and decision-makers are able to use these charts and data insights to connect their people in a meaningful way and maximize the organic exchange of information. In order for this to happen, it is imperative that the information provided by data visualization tools are consistent and clearly presented so that leaders are able to take valuable and quick actionable insights from it.

A recent Harvard Business Review article speaking about transformational leaders noted that one key action these types of pioneering leaders take to become successful is to deploy tools that sense, collate, analyze, and visualize data so that leaders can act on it. Transformational leaders are continually thinking about what their organizations should become, anticipating how employees and customers will react and change. 

This is where data visualization tools like Ingentis org.manger can help HR leaders succeed.

The superiority of images – it’s a thing

There is a theory called the pictorial superiority effect which states that images are more likely to be remembered than words. Even though to this date there is no final explanation for its existence, the effect has been demonstrated repeatedly in several experiments.

After watching our interview with Michael, we bet that the pieces you’ve taken away are the words we presented on screen, and perhaps Michael’s outfit change? That’s because our brains are wired to take in these visual stimuli, and remember them. Data may be king, but displaying information visually is much better than a bombardment of numbers in a spreadsheet.

In a whitepaper from Ingentis they detail the importance of HR data visualization in more depth; “While HR systems are perfect for managing HR data, it is a challenge to draw useful conclusions from the overwhelming amount of information stored there. Let’s say you need to know every department’s direct and indirect headcount as well as the vacancies. Of course, the report exported from the HR system will provide you with all the necessary numbers. But how easy is it to gain valuable insights?”

This is where the visual display of data not only supports HR leaders in their own work but also facilitates reporting and presenting information to other leaders or employees within the business.

Better by design

In our recent article, “Better by Design: Adapting Your Business By Certainty, Not Chance” we outline that organizational design cannot be considered a one-off-project, but instead, it’s a continuous, cyclical process.

The visualization of up-to-date data can support an organization in keeping that process alive. “An org chart obviously helps you design new organizational structures. The more information you are able to visualize in an easy to comprehend way, the more this visualization will support you during your design process”, Michael told us. “Imagine having calculated information within an org chart and those numbers are constantly updated while you design new structures and hierarchies. This is extremely beneficial since you get instant information about how your changes might affect all sorts of data – i.e. budgets, costs, talent, D&I”, he goes on to explain the significance of modeling capabilities in connection with organizational design.

This is exactly what software like Ingentis org.manager can do for you providing a solid basis for your organizational design activities and workforce decisions.

There is much to bear in mind when laying the foundations of a successful organizational design strategy. Using the right tools can help analyze and reconsider established processes and structures. This is essential to ultimately make the right decisions and boost your firm’s efficiency and competitive edge.

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