The 3D HR Journey: from Transactional to Transformational [Session Summary]


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The following article is a short summary of a presentation by Marcelo Ballario Yoshida, the VP of HR Latin America, Bayer Corp Sciences at The CHRO Virtual Summit 2018.

One of the introductory messages in Marcelo Ballario Yoshida’s presentation at The CHRO Virtual Summit was to ask a very salient question; “how do we adapt to a world where the only constant is change?”. Indeed, one of the biggest upcoming challenges for most HR departments will be moving from transactional, to transformational HR. Ballario Yoshida suggests that the majority of HR departments complete the individual basics of transactional HR well, for example performance management, or recruitment. However, given the current rate of change, access to information, and availability of advanced technologies, now gives HR professionals the ability to dedicate their time and energy to transformation tasks such as developing; purpose, meaning, authenticity, and sustainability (among many).
“We want to build an organization that is capable of learning”
To begin this process, Bayer implemented a ‘3D’ model for culture, change, and transformation with three key areas of concern. The first of these areas focuses on the development of agile organizations, particularly with regards to culture and structure. Bayer first approached this by creating an expectations matrix, which was carefully aligned with their business strategy. Due to the internal requirements of Bayer’s driving ambitions, it was essential that all employees in the organization had the desired entrepreneurial mindset; questions were to be constantly raised, customer centricity was to be key, and personal responsibility enshrined. All internal hierarchies were to be analysed and taken into account, because despite a flattening trend, questions had be continuously asked around how to make gains towards agile efficiency. Ballario Yoshida also suggested that the organizational span of control – between transactional and transformational tasks, should be analysed and considered. This is because HR needs to enable growth towards the transformational goal by looking at how to re-arrange tasks to allow people the optimum chance for personal growth. Finally, team interfaces are essential (such as focus groups) so that the organization can clearly see what needs to be done across disparate parts of the company.
“For culture to exist in an organization you have sponsors, propagators – I’m talking about leaders – I’m not talking about hierarchy”
The second ideal is the development of leaders. In order to transform leadership practices, it’s essential to start with the individual. Ballario Yoshida described that Bayer developed simply asked their leaders to reflect upon four questions to help them re-assess their leadership situation. From these reflections, further training structures were put in place to ensure that continuous learning platforms were embedded and available for the leaders to use. These platforms included; online assessments, group sessions, peer coaching, experience sharing practices, and more light-hearted teamwork games. The idea was that of these initiatives helped to create a leadership bond among the group, which was to be passed on holistically to all employees in the organization through positive interactions and coaching.
“Prepare people for the challenges they not only have today and tomorrow, but for five years, because we know how much change is going to come in five years”
The third and final aspect of the 3D model is the development of people. It’s arguably the most important part of the model, for without people who have the possibility to develop themselves, the entire organization would very quickly stagnate and lose ground to its competition. In order to develop people, Ballario Yoshida suggests a very (deceptively) simple axiom – collaboration. The reason collaboration is so crucial for all employees, is that it has several knock-on effects. It makes tasks easier, it draws people closer together, and it fosters innovation and innovative thinking. This axiom only becomes more important in larger organizations, with teams and departments sometimes physically and conceptually blind to each other. In order to foster collaboration, the CHRO and senior HR leaders need to first lead by example, then ensure capability building procedures are embedded across the entire organization which give employees more chances to collaborate. This is all aided by technology and agile practices, but it still needs leaders to get things going, and to curate an environment where high engagement is the default setting.

If you missed Marcello’s presentation (or indeed any others), you can sign up on The CHRO Virtual Summit website for free and view it until June 30th!

The 3rd HR Congress Brussels, November 27-28 will feature a selection of sessions that will explore this topic and much more! Make sure you follow The HR Congress Blog and #HRCongress18 to stay posted on all the latest news, updates and content from the world of work!