In this period of crisis, the situation is far from being ordinary for anyone. Although the effects may differ from person to person, we are all experiencing a reduced sense of certainty, increased anxiety, and a reevaluation of things we once took for granted.
Organizations are also reconsidering their operations and methodologies, often revisiting fundamental inquiries about their mission and objectives. In the engineering sector, our clients are actively confronting the difficulties associated with manufacturing ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). Similarly, our tourism clients have prioritised ensuring the safe return of individuals and contributing to the continuous flow of essential commodities like food and medicine.
As a consultancy, we often encounter the task of finding creative methods to carry out crucial assignments. It is intriguing to witness the extent of productivity that can be achieved in the virtual realm once we adapt to the new guidelines for interaction. I highly recommend reading Sarah Beart’s insightful blog on virtual work, as it provides valuable insights on this subject.
It has come to our attention that numerous organisations are required to reassess and adjust their structures or methodologies to align with the current reality. While the fundamental principles we adhere to remain applicable, certain aspects now require heightened emphasis.
Discover Our Tweaked 10 Expert Tips for Effective Organizational Design
1. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the strategy and view organisational design as a chance to involve people in the strategy’s development and implementation. Particularly during times of uncertainty, it becomes even more crucial to work together to make sense of things. In workshops, we often experience moments of clarity when the implications of a strategy memo become much clearer. This is especially true in the present circumstances.
2. Formulate a compact and exemplary group of designers to tackle this task and provide them with a well-defined scope. With adequate facilitation assistance, they will devise solutions that align with the overarching strategy and future aspirations, while also fostering a sense of ownership toward the newly proposed design.
3. To effectively communicate, it is crucial to pay extra attention. The past six weeks have showcased CEOs who have excelled in maintaining open communication, understanding that a lack of transparency breeds distrust and paranoia. This principle applies to organizational design work as well. It is essential to place even greater emphasis on clearly communicating the process and decisions to individuals who are not involved in the design team.
The role of business change consultants involves understanding the client’s needs and objectives, conducting an in-depth analysis of the organization’s processes, systems, and strategies, and recommending appropriate solutions and strategies for improvement. They often collaborate with key stakeholders within the organization, such as executives, managers, and employees, to gather information, identify issues, and develop effective strategies.
4. To adequately commence the re-design work, it is crucial to create an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the current structure. This assessment should include both positive aspects and areas requiring improvement. By openly sharing this evaluation, including the flaws or “warts,” you can ensure that all involved parties have a common understanding of the existing state, providing a solid foundation for the redesign process.
5. Trust in the effectiveness of our well-established design process to yield positive results for your organisation, even though the specific outcomes may not be immediately apparent. We often tell workshop participants, “We have not experienced any failures so far.”
6. Be cautious of relying solely on a hastily sketched plan, whether it comes from the CEO or an expert consultant, as the definitive solution. While it may have merit, it lacks the necessary level of organisational buy-in for successful execution.
7. To effectively carry out organisational design, it is crucial to strike a balance between speed and thoroughness. While the task holds significant implications for any organisation, it should not be rushed. It is essential to allocate an appropriate amount of time to ensure the accuracy and thoughtfulness of the process. This does not necessarily mean spending years on it; our expertise demonstrates that a timeframe of 6–8 weeks is generally sufficient to develop a well-considered and resilient organisational design.
8. Clients have expressed pleasant astonishment regarding the remarkable outcomes achieved during recent virtual workshops as they adapt to the new normal of remote collaboration, demonstrating their ability to accomplish quality work even in the absence of physical interactions.
9. Take proactive measures to prepare for implementation. Any major redesign will necessitate the allocation of implementation resources, such as leadership time, HR, internal communication, and project coordination. It is vital to anticipate and be prepared for these requirements.
10. To ensure a smooth transition, it is crucial to establish a plan for providing support. When individuals take on new roles, they will be responsible for various management tasks, such as setting new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), implementing new governance processes, and creating new leadership teams. Additionally, they may also need to provide significant emotional support to the members of their teams. Typically, it takes around six months for individuals to fully adapt to a new structure. However, this timeline may be extended, and failing to offer the appropriate support could result in the potential benefits of the redesign not being realised.
We trust that these suggestions and recommendations prove to be valuable. Do you have any insights or additional information from your personal experience that you would like to contribute?