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Structure your organisation for more flexibility and resilience

I have an inkling that a key source of conflict at work is unclear boundaries and unclear accountabilities. The rapid rate of change and increasing uncertainty in the world, is adding extra pressure to this messy situation.

Traditional job descriptions can provide clear boundaries initially but they often fail to keep pace with the changing needs and dynamics of organisations. Resulting in employees either being rigidly confined or stepping on others’ toes, neither of which benefit the individual or the organisation.

What if we could redesign job descriptions to:

  • Have clear boundaries and accountabilities

  • Flex and adapt as situations change

  • Engage and motivate people

  • Increase trust and resilience within teams

We can have this… if we are genuinely able to offer complete autonomy within clear guidelines.

Can you think of a time when you’ve had complete autonomy within clear guidelines at work?

Unless you are self-employed or working in a progressive organisation, this situation is rare and certainly not commonplace. I’d like to see this change and for this to be the norm rather than the exception. Which is why I’m keen to explore how Dynamic Roles enable autonomy, reduce conflict, develop individuals and build resilience into the core of an organisation.

What are Dynamic Roles?

Dynamic Roles are a departure from traditional job descriptions, which are rarely looked at once they are written. Instead, they focus on how individuals steward multiple roles and how those roles evolve in a more flexible and purpose-driven manner. Rather than being confined or confused by boundaries, roles clarify boundaries and encourage individuals to take on different responsibilities based on their expertise, interests and energy.

Accountability and stewardship

One of the core principles of Dynamic Roles is invitation rather than allocation. Allowing individuals, with the support of the group, to decide how best to contribute to the purpose of the organisation. This creates an environment where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated.

This foundational shift in the way many of us relate to others at work, comes from moving from a parent-child to an adult-adult dynamic at work. This fosters a greater sense of accountability and stewardship. Employees have the freedom to leverage their unique skills and collectively make meaningful contributions to the organisation's goals.

Flexibility and Adaptability

In a world where change is the only constant, the ability to adapt quickly is essential for organisational success. Roles-based working facilitates this adaptability by enabling teams to respond swiftly to new challenges and opportunities. Instead of being confined to static positions, employees can readily shift their focus and expertise as required, maximising efficiency and harnessing the collective intelligence of the organisation.

Continuous Growth and Learning

Dynamic Roles create a fertile ground for personal and professional growth. As individuals explore different responsibilities and areas of interest, they acquire new skills and knowledge, enriching their own capabilities. Moreover, the organisation benefits from a workforce that is constantly evolving and adapting to changing demands, ensuring its long-term sustainability and competitive edge.

Challenges and Considerations

While Dynamic Roles offer numerous advantages, their implementation requires groundwork. Organisations or teams who work in this way have an established culture of trust, embedded learning rituals, and an understanding of decision making methods.

Time spent together is crucial for fostering collective understanding and reorganising the work. Depending on your situation, time is also required for regular sense-checking. This time commitment may pose challenges for some. Viewing it as an investment in long-term time savings, enhancing team cohesion, and cultivating adaptability and resilience can assist in overcoming this obstacle.

Leadership support is vital for this way of working to flourish and small experiments within teams is a great place to start.

Want to learn more?

In this era of rapid change, progressive organisations use Dynamic Roles as a way to structure their teams and provide the foundations for agile, innovative, and resilient workplaces. If you’d like to learn more about Dynamic Roles and explore if this way of working would be useful to you and your organisation, join us for our Introduction Course on Dynamic Roles, online, on the 11th of July.


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