Insights Blog

  • Jon Wilton

Organisational Development & Workforce Resilience: A Continuous Business Challenge



The Current Climate

In periods of unrest and financial turbulence, there is a significant gap between companies that build resilience and those who rely on outdated structures based on yesterday’s markets.

We believe that it is a mistake to view your Organisational Development as a process used primarily to prop up internal business structures. These structures have usually evolved to meet current demands, and they have often have become static.


‘Static’ here means that your current structures represent the past and present only. In today’s climate, this is a risk to future growth —particularly to an organisation’s ability to adapt to change.


If your current internal structures and culture react to change using this present-past organisational footprint, there will be a variety of issues when you invest in business transformation.


We have found a variety of reasons why organisations use a ‘current model’ as a design choice:


  • They have been successful with their current organisational footprint, so why change anything

  • Putting the workforce through a change process is ‘painful’, so they see what can be done without too much disruption

  • There is a lack of understanding around how organisational capability can drive innovative solutions in the marketplace

  • The costs of the current organisational structure are a stumbling block to change. Current costs are known, new structures are assumed to be more expensive


Consequences of the ‘Current Model’ for Organisational Change

Organisations are increasingly facing business challenges from rapidly changing market conditions, globalisation, and pressure from shorter Go-to-Market cycles for new products and services.


Businesses don’t always have the relevant data analytics to understand new trends or changing consumer behaviour —leading to obsolete products and ‘burning’ working capital.

We offer a solution with our Organisational Design Process combined with tools to measure Workforce Resilience. By establishing the readiness for organisational change, in your workforce, culture and internal structures, we can help you plan for a successful and competitive future.



Your Priority is your People

Before embarking on organisational design projects it is essential to understand your Business Challenges and People Challenges.


We see projects fail because so often the ‘People Factor’ becomes an afterthought. Companies start a complex transformation with no benchmark for the change readiness of their workforce.

They sometimes start with estimates to completion that are a guess or idealistic hope at best. An evidence-based understanding of the work resilience of your workforce supports your board decisions; providing better accuracy for the expected level of success and timescales.


Why is Workforce Resilience so Important?

Work­force re­si­li­ence is a huge factor in any large-scale busi­ness transform­a­tion. If you don’t en­sure re­si­li­ence is high enough be­fore business trans­form­a­tion the out­comes will include:


  • Di­sen­ga­ge­ment

  • Project fail­ure

  • De­lays

  • Change fa­tigue

  • Lack of con­sis­ten­cy in man­age­ment styles

  • Siloed teams, poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­flict be­tween dif­fer­ent skillsets and ap­proach­es

Our Evidence-based Workforce Resilience Solution

Our solution always starts with diagnosing the mental state and level of resilience of your workforce. This starting point is essential to understand the change readiness of your organisation and it gives a clear indication of any organisational limitations that can frustrate the full success of your change initiative. It prepares you for the initial work that must be completed before beginning organisational change.


Cambridge MC and Aura: Creating a Workforce Resilience Consultancy Platform

We use AURA, a comprehensive assessment tool to help the leadership team make informed change management decisions. AURA will help you uncover pain points at the level of individuals and teams. This data feeds into to a targeted action plan to mitigate risk and improve wellbeing.


The advantages of AURA:


  • Combines psychometric assessment design principles with real-world experiences of burnout symptoms

  • Measures 93 symptoms across 5 dimensions of resilience; plotting a scale from full resilience to burnout crisis

  • Enables profiling of organisations, teams and individuals to target actions for maximum impact

  • Online reporting: evaluating the data from different angles to highlight practical actions

  • Empowers teams to build healthier work environments

  • Provides benchmarking data for your company. This allows you to compare your baseline with industry equivalents; or you can benchmark similar functions with your industry equivalents


Benefits of our Approach and Solution

Our consultancy platform will give your board the necessary ‘hidden’ information to put in place a realistic strategy for change management.


Our approach ensures:


  • Con­sist­ent man­age­ment styles and mes­saging: one face and one voice for the or­gan­isa­tion

  • The in­fra­struc­ture and skills needed to man­age a work­force during a peri­od of fast growth

  • A high-per­form­ance cul­ture - we con­sider men­tal health and re­si­li­ence when plan­ning digi­tal trans­form­a­tion (giv­en the rap­id shift to re­mote work­ing this is even more pres­ci­ent in the cur­rent cli­mate)

  • A more ac­cur­ate timeline for your trans­form­a­tion

  • A holistic HR function. HR is gen­er­ally poorly rep­res­en­ted in the boardroom; this is to the detriment of cor­por­ate cul­ture. HR is gen­er­ally tac­tic­al, but we want to make it cent­ral to all opera­tions

  • We don’t leave you with just a plan. We check in with you on a reg­u­lar basis to see how things are go­ing. We then provide a fi­nal ana­lys­is of your pro­gress, usu­ally 6 months after our ini­tial engagement.


Benefits of our Approach and solution

If you want to find out more about our unique approach to organisational change —including bringing HR functions into boardroom discussion, workforce resilience and change readiness analytics and achieving consistency in management styles and communication across your business—then please get in touch with Cees van der Vlugt, head of Human Capital Management, at cvandervlugt@cambridgemc.com.


About Us

Founded in Cambridge, UK, we created a consultancy to cope specifically with the demands of a fast-changing digital world. Since then, we’ve gone international, with offices in Cambridge, London, Paris and Tel Aviv, 100 consultants in 18 countries, and clients all over the world.

If you are interested in our Business Transformation and Human Capital services, you can find out more information here.