The Essential Fifth Element highlights the importance of understanding the interdependence between the workplace practices described in each of the four Elements. Each bundle of practices described by an Element does not exist in isolation but is influenced, for better or worse, by the extent to which it is aligned with the others. A major reason why change initiatives don’t deliver their full potential, or even fail completely, is that the organisation as a whole is not seen as a system of interdependent parts. New ways of working in one part of the system can trigger antibodies in the others.

For example, it is no use trying to change line management roles and behaviour without the active support and encouragement of senior leaders.

These Interdependencies must therefore be taken into account in designing and implementing action plans for change. Identifying interdependent workplace practices reveals the key to successful action planning and implementation. The following table shows the key interdependencies for the Structures, Management & Processes Element:

Interdependent Workplace Practices for the Organisational Structures, Management and Processes Element

As the following row suggests, leadership and employee representation must be fully aligned with the creation of a streamlined and empowering organisational structure and processes.

Co-Created Leadership & Employee Voice Sustained understanding, commitment and persistence is required from senior teams in order to achieve the systematic alignment of organisational structures, management roles and processes with the vision of an innovative, high performing organisation.

Employee forums should also monitor and review the alignment of Structures, Management & Processes, and make continual suggestions for improvement.


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