Organizational Design was for a long time a domain of the HR community. Unfortunately HR has neither decision power or budgets to drive anything. HR typical does what HR always does and that is hardly advanced, but rather good old personnel administration, payroll processing, time management and training coordination. In order to do this HR needed the classical job description, a job requirements profile, role definitions, organizational units, pay grades, succession plans and a physical workplace to sit the employee at.

Although many organizations leadership has long understood that this model is outdated, very little has been done about it. New software solutions have been installed, but to a large extend, these solutions have only manifested the old processes. Coachings, Training and Seminars have been dumped on the workforce, but with very few objectives that were met. Team building meetings, social events and interdisciplinary teams have helped to get along better, but without particular insights into what went wrong in the first place.

An advanced organizational design takes care of these shortcomings.  An advanced organizational design

  1. uses taxonomies for competencies, skills and knowledge that are geared to drive performance
  2. clarifies the paths for decision making up to the very top
  3. provides all means to do the job most effective and efficient
  4. defines peer-to-peer rules of engagement between leaders and team-members
  5. clearly states what objectives are to be achieved for each workplace and what criterias have to be met
  6. names responsibilities and accountabilities across all end-to-end processes or value chains
  7. demonstrates using individual remuneration schemes the value that each workplace creates
  8. links workplace results to strategic measures
  9. offers ways to initiate feedback, reviews and improvements from all levels
  10. enables each individual to deal with change in a non-disruptive way

Organizations who manage to establish this, will not only improve performance but proactively counter any danger of dysfunctions which may result in increased absenteeism, resignation, stress / burn-out or low morale. This way, an advanced organizational design also reduces cost and increases competitiveness.


Skills - Knowledge - Experience

What every leader may dream of is this: the right skill at the right time at the right cost in the right place with a guarantee that all investments in that skill are secured. Unfortunately that is not the case.

During times when we were speaking about human capital, one very famous sentence was coined: “our capital is leaving every night and we are lucky if it returns in the morning.”  Another phrase goes like this: “if we train our staff, they might just find a better job on the market, in which case we will have lost our investment, however, if we don’t train our staff, the cost might even be higher in the end.

For many decades the need to train and develop employees has been undermined by the suspicion, that employees would use such training to advance their career elsewhere. Hence, trainings were given low priority, typically excused with a non available budget. And it is true. A few you years ago, the cost of training were immensely high because of classroom trainings, where people needed to be present.

Today, with online learning, learning management systems and  video conferencing, the cost have drastically declined. It is now possible to leverage the investment or even scale it for mass deployment.

Furthermore, new technologies allow us to, more or less, train people on the job without the burden of absence and high cost. New communication features make it fun and interesting to exchange with colleagues on a global level. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to mediate the right knowledge to the right people or connect with the experts immediately.

Sofisticated Human Resources Management Systems help in either recruiting the right skills or developing them, through the use of qualification profiles, strategic development plans and training management systems. In many cases however, these systems become legacy systems, with old development plans and obsolete qualification requirements, simply because they exist and nobody questions them. In todays fast-paced world, however, adaptability to new challenges and technologies demands that development plans are targeted towards the future not towards objectives of the past.

Getting skills, knowledge and experience right, is not a one-off effort, but continuous improvement at its best.


Clearly defined Objectives

It may not seem as a big deal, but the clarity, with wich objectives are defined make all the difference. For example: an objective that says reduce time to market, increase output or sell more products is not as clearly defined as "sign 10% new clients in each division by the end of the year with a minimum of 5 Mio sales signed and to be materialised by the end of June the following year".

Clearly defined leaves little room for interpretation. It therefore gives both sides, employee and employer, a chance to negotiate better, set the right expectations and avoid disappointments.

Clearly defined objectives also have a psychological function. An objective that appears achievable is more tangible and therefore increase motivation, engagement and good spirit.

Clearly defined objectives need to be personal however. When objectives are not assigned with a responsibility or accountabiltity, things may get messy. If achieving the objectives turns out to be impossible, the blaming game typically starts. Even worse: in anticipation of such result, the cooperation might suffer early on.

What seems not to be a big deal, can in fact bring the organizations performance down to a point, where whole end-to-end processes are affected.

That does not have to be the case. We can help you in making sure, that objectives are just the way they should be.

Open Communication & Effective Leadership

There is probably only very few companies that would not say about themselves, that they are motivating open communication. Yet, in many countries the number one reason for people leaving their job is the relationship to their leader, which in turn comes down to communication.

At the center of this is the issue of trust. Trust is something that needs time to grow. There is trust in your leader, in your peers in your subordinates but also the trust in the company, in ones own career path with that company, in the promises made during the recruitment interview etc. Trust is needed everywhere.

Trust can grow when people communicate in an amicable, non-ambiguous and committing kind of way. Trust requires authenticity. When someone stands by what he/she is saying, in other words "walks the talk", then he/she is viewed as trustworthy.

Trusted leaders are people that would never deceive their teams, that are clear about expectations and that keep their words. The only way to jeopardize trust, is by communicating in a way that reveals deception, hidden agendas and lack of reliability.

An advanced organizational design seeks to create leaders that know about the meaning of trust and value trust as the single currency that enables a great working relationship.

We can help build the trust that your teams need.


Appreciation = Motivation

A workforce that is motivated gets more done, i more willing to go the extra mile and will stick together when times get difficult. Motivation amoungst the people that work together is like an energy bar: you might not see a big difference without it on a regular day, but you will not stand a chance when things get tough.

People can be motivated by many things though. It all comes down to personal preferences. Some people are motivated when they can help others, some people get motivated by collecting knowledge and becoming the go-to person, some people are motivated by achievements, some people are motivated by appearance, design or harmony while others are motivated by function. Of course there are also those that are motivated by wealth, riches and a good salary.

While a company can only offer jobs that come with a salary, the variable is typically not the job, but the salary. Jobs, i.e. positions or roles, come with a clear description. There is hardly a lot of flexibility in what the job entails. A production floor engineer does what is need to produce something, a sales person works with customer and a controller produced numbers and reports. They all know what the job entails and choose the job because it meets (hopefully) their needs for motivation. Bottomline: the job may offer some flexibility, but not a lot. When an employee is not motivated, the job details don´t include any levers that can change that.

The greatest lever to increase motivation comes down to personal advancement, either through remuneration or career advancement. When you increase someones salary, you are saying: i value what you do even more. When you send someone on a training track that prepares him/her for a higher-level job, you are telling that person, that you trus him/her and that you value their contribution so much, that you are willing to trust them even more. What greater sign of appreciation are there.

An advanced organizational design needs to take care of the motivations that each workplace requires. No company can afford to loose an employee that has the skills, experience and relationships that get the job done. Leaders need to make sure that their team members are motivated.

We can help create the right motivation.


Reduce the spanners in the work

It shouldn´t need mentioning, but this is one the biggest obstacles to getting the job done: the little things. Imagine a new hire, needing to hit the road running, by loging on to the ERP system and produce some reports - only, the IT department has not received a request to create a user. Imagine a controller using a 10 year old PC on Excel spreadsheets that have increased by a factor of 100 since the computer was first procured. Imagine workplaces that are right by the window, where you can bet to see the suns reflection in your screen for most of daylight. Imagine not getting access to some folders on a shared drive, because of some given rules. Imagine having to use intermediate computers to transfer data from one place to the other, because of different formats. Imagine not enough paper for the printer at any time. Imagine a manager not being accessible at all. Imagine a training program not being available, an outside connection to a free training program not being allowed and the IT department not supporting the newest version of the software program you should use. This could go on and on.

Advanced organizational design needs to make sure that any workplace has what it needs. But many times workplaces aren´t equiped with what´s needed. Rather, old equipment will be given to the new team members, making sure that their motivation gets a tough kick right at the beginning. Unfortunately this doesn´t even get recognized by others on the team, since they might just have adjusted to the predominant conditions already.

Advanced organizational design creates a workplace that is equipped with everything it needs, whether it be materials, tools, machines or access rights. Only when there are no spanners in the work, can the job be done.

While many of those responsible for the organizational design would say, that theirs is just fine, we like to remind anyone, that is quite easy to become operationally blind. Let´s have a look at it together.


An Advanced Organizational Design focusses on performance

I will help you in create and implement a highly advanced organizational design that aims to

  • improve communication
  • speed up processes
  • eliminate bottlenecks
  • reduce errors and failures
  • increase motivation
  • strengthen workforce loyalty
  • drive competitiveness