Strategy execution in the ‘new normal’
In a recent report by 451 Research (now a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence), Senior Analyst Conner Forrest provides third-party analysis of how Catalant “helps to manage multiple aspects of strategy execution” through our SaaS platform.1
Forrest notes that the “demand for stronger alignment between business strategy and execution is one that has been consistent” in 451 Research’s survey data. In fact, according to a recent 451 survey on workforce productivity and collaboration, enterprise leaders cited “matching employee skills to business goals/outcomes” as the number one thing that would improve their management and deployment of capabilities on their teams.2
“Catalant’s ability to match skills or roles to key business outcomes speaks to needed skills management improvements identified in our [Voice of the Enterprise] data,” Forrest writes, commenting that Catalant could “emerge as a unifying platform for business strategy relative to projects, programs, plans, and resources.”
While it’s impossible to know the full effect the coronavirus will have on the global economy, the lessons large companies learn are likely to have a lasting impact on the workforce and corporations of the future. According to a 451 Research survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on enterprises, 66.9% of respondents reported that work-from-home policies will be expanded over the long term or made permanent even after the pandemic is over.3
As the economy stabilizes and businesses adjust to this ‘new normal’, leaders are starting to shift focus from simply sourcing short-term, tactical work collaboration tools to developing more durable digital workplace capabilities that will help them to build organizational resilience and drive strategy execution over the long term. Managing remote teams is one thing – ensuring that work across those teams is aligned with an evolving corporate strategy is quite another.
In a recent 451 Research survey on “work execution goals and challenges,” enterprise leaders reported that their biggest obstacle was “managing people resources effectively,” followed closely by “lack of alignment between departments.”4 Strategy, transformation, and enterprise PMO leaders know that it’s always a challenge to align your workforce with your strategic objectives — even more so when your strategy and workforce must adapt to sudden disruptions and evolve with a rapidly changing market.
Many of our customers have told us that some divisions or business units are soaring in post-pandemic market conditions, while others are facing significant headwinds. This imbalance creates stress for many large organizations, as high-performing parts of the business must produce beyond capacity while anemic parts of the business may have extra capacity due to slowed demand. Research supports that companies that are better at reallocating talent to rebalance in such scenarios significantly outperform their competitors5; however, talent mobility remains cumbersome within most large companies despite widespread adoption of workforce management and project planning tools.
Respondents reported that work-from-home policies will be expanded over the long term or made permanent even after the pandemic is over
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Coverage Initiation: Catalant matches internal employees and independent contractors to jobs and projects
Most large organizations simply lack visibility into the work that is being executed, how the work is progressing, and the value the work is driving. They also lack data on who is doing the work, whether those people are right for the work, and whether they are engaged or productive. A recent 451 Research survey on workforce productivity and collaboration shows skill shortages are pervasive in large organizations and identifies “better identification of internal candidates” as one of the top methods to overcome capability gaps. Yet, without better visibility into work and workforce, most large organizations are unable to effectively reallocate resources to adapt to the changing needs of the business.
For many organizations, especially those that had to reduce their workforces in response to the shocks of the pandemic, flexible access to external candidates has also become increasingly important to overcome critical capability gaps and build organizational resilience. By engaging contingent workers for strategic projects, companies are able to maintain a more variabilized labor model and minimize fixed costs of operation, enabling them to flex up and down with the changing needs of the business.
There is an incredible amount of pressure on enterprise leaders to better align their work and workforces with their strategies as they continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’. The difficulty of strategy execution is highest (and the cost of misalignment or inadequate talent access greatest) for offices charged with orchestrating organization-wide initiatives. “Use cases for the Catalant platform,” Forrest writes, “include enterprise portfolio management, transformation workstreams, post-merger integrations, organizational redesigns and centers of excellence. Catalant is most effective on work that is cross-functional.”
1 451 Research, “Coverage Initiation: Catalant matches internal employees and independent contractors to jobs and projects,” April 2020.
2 451 Research, “Voice of the Enterprise: Workforce Productivity and Collaboration, Work Execution Goals, and Productivity Challenges,” 2020.
3 451 Research, “Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Coronavirus Flash Survey,” March 2020.
4 451 Research, “Voice of the Enterprise: Workforce Productivity & Collaboration, Work Execution Goals & Challenges,” 2020.
5 McKinsey, “Linking talent to value,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018.
6 451 Research, “Voice of the Enterprise: Workforce Productivity & Collaboration, Employee Lifecycle & HR,” 2020.
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