As EBM closely follows the principles behind evidence-based medicine it should not come as a surprise to you if we say that the EB manager should always act like the best doctors. Doctors check symptoms before they try to diagnose the root cause of the problem and prescribe a solution.
This is why EBM has special relevance for HR management because often HR departments are the worst culprits for prescribing pills (competence frameworks, leadership programmes, 360° feedback, psychometrics, engagement surveys, diversity programmes etc.) without fully checking out the symptoms first or bothering to follow any rigorous, diagnostic process.
The other similarity with medicine is that an EB-HR manager sees the organisation as an organic system, just like human anatomy, where an injection into one part of the body influences and affects the whole body. Fortunately, there is a well-established, strategic planning framework, or anatomy chart, that EB-HR managers can use to pinpoint symptoms of organisational ailments that indicate damage and inferior levels of performance.
Using the organisational anatomy chart
This framework is complex and dynamic but it can still provide a simple set of headings to ask whether each part is working as it should and to look for symptoms of poor direction, weak leadership, low commitment, fuzzy thinking, unclear objectives, structural weakness, systemic failure etc. These headings are: -
- Vision – does the company have a clear view of what the future might hold?
- Mission – does it have a crystal clear goal?
- Strategy – has it worked out a way to get from A to B?
- Culture – does the culture match its strategic objectives?
- System – can it be confident it will produce what it needs to?
- Business and operating plans – do these translate strategic objectives into operational imperatives and produce value?
- Structure – is it flexible and adaptable enough?
- Process – is everyone clear what the process is and how it works?
- Roles – does everyone know where they sit in the organisation and what their contribution is?
There are of course 2 ways to use this framework: -
- Start from the bottom with an existing problem (like our sales activity example) and then track back, up to the top, to find the underlying, root causes or
- Start at the top of the framework, identifying priority areas requiring treatment, before offering remedies at whatever level necessary
We will be using this framework as the basis for all our ‘EBM Lessons’ as it underpins everything we need to do under the heading of EB-HR.
For personal development linked to this topic visit the Consummate Professional Series