Organisational design: the dark art of any company restructure

Organisational design: the dark art of any company restructure
Promoted by Organisational design: the dark art of any company restructure

Is it just us, or does it seem like most companies these days seem to be in a perpetual state of change?

This increase in strategic change could in some part be driven by the continuous disruption of industries and how companies now need regular shake-ups in order to succeed. However, it appears that this high level of organisational design may also reflect the disappointment with the outcome of previous attempts to introduce changes.

A high number of change programmes fail, with a large percentage simply running out of steam whilst, in other cases, some fail to meet their objectives or improve performance once implemented. Could this be down to the organisational design or the actual implementation of the new model

In a study conducted by Mckinsey, they found that; “the most successful organizations combine stable design elements with dynamic elements that change in response to evolving markets and new strategic directions. Corporate redesigns give organizations a rare opportunity to identify the stable backbone and set up those elements ripe for dynamic change.” The most successful companies see organisational redesign as a chance to rebuild the landscape and direct the future of the company.

What is Organisation Design all about these days?

Today, organisational design involves the processes that people follow, the management of individual performance, the recruitment of top talent as well as the development of employee’s skills. When the redesign of a company lines up with its strategic intentions, there is a higher chance of employees being able to execute and successfully deliver these changes.

All organisational change programmes should start with a corporate self-reflection. Asking questions about the purpose and direction of your company is surprisingly effective when it comes to keeping the focus on a new design strategy.

study conducted by Deloitte echoed this sentiment – it found that whilst effective organisation design delivers significant improvements in business performance, most companies fail as they don’t go far enough in addressing real organisational or structural issues, and that; “businesses embark on organisation design projects in search of benefits they can’t achieve through organisation design alone—or even at all.”

But – all hope is not lost! There are things you can do to encourage a successful redesign.

How can you get it right?

  • Spend time to define the purpose of the organisation, it is critical to engage with leaders and people in the business to ensure that they buy into the change (before decisions are made).

  • One of the key aspects of any change programme is to get the business in a position to change what it does and get it to stick! Make sure that you put time and resource into business change, this will likely include significant cultural change, comms and training – otherwise, people will only revert to how they previously operated.

  • Interim executives have proven experience of moving the programme forward towards implementation (typically right after the management consultancies have developed the top-level strategy.) Make sure you get this right before hiring interim executives you can read our handy guide here.

  • Next, you’ll want to assemble a leadership team that has the right capability and is bought into the new strategy.

At this point, you might well need to talk to an Executive Search business that has experience of landing these types of programmes effectively…

To discuss further, you can email me on [email protected]

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.


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