HR must find new ways to tackle change

Press Releases

16 Feb 2015

Report: HR in a disordered worldThe Institute for Employment Studies has launched its annual Perspectives on HR report, a collection of articles addressing the challenges for the HR function in today’s turbulent times.

To help HR professionals rise to those challenges, several of the articles consider how the function steers itself through change, or how it helps others do so. IES urges employers to consider how more established ways of managing change can be replaced by evolving fluid approaches.

The report suggests new ways of leveraging HR tools such as coaching and innovation, alongside new approaches to change itself.

The writers also consider the current issues for HR staples such as talent management and business partners, as well as new angles on topics such as capabilities and ethics.

All of these papers are united in their desire to place the HR function and its people ahead of events, better able to work with change, support those who experience it, and reflect on their own contribution in the process.

Penny Tamkin, IES Associate Director, comments:

“In a world of change, people management practice is often chasing events, thrown onto the back foot of change and trying to respond to its impact and to diminish its negative effects.

“These articles fully acknowledge the difficulty of trying to second guess what change is needed, how it might be responded to or how HR can help and assist organisations in adapting to change.

“What we do know, and highlight, is that change is even more complex than we might traditionally acknowledge and we need new skills to help us cope with it.”

The topics covered in IES Perspectives on HR 2015 are:

  • Organisational change: finding your way as you journey into the unknown
  • Organisation design in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world
  • Leveraging coaching for organisational change
  • Innovation: turning good ideas into reality
  • The role of the line in talent management
  • Beyond competence: shifting perspectives of capability
  • HR business partners: yes please or no thanks?
  • Ethical dilemmas in HR practice

The report is available to download for £15 from


Notes to the editor

Penny Tamkin is an associate director at IES and has over 20 years’ experience of what helps people perform better at work and the contribution of management and leadership, human capital and learning and development. Penny has published and spoken widely on these subjects, conducted research and evaluation studies and worked with UK policy makers and organisations of all sizes to develop new thinking, understanding and practice.

The Institute for Employment Studies is the UK’s leading independent centre for research and evidence-based consultancy in employment, labour market and human resource policy and practice. It is apolitical and not-for-profit, its activities being funded through research and consultancy commissions, and from its corporate membership programme. The Institute aims to improve employment policy in the UK and internationally by carrying out authoritative research of practical relevance to policy makers and those responsible for implementing policy programmes and initiatives


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