Blog

Culture in the Time of Covid-19

In the time of Covid-19 all conventions are challenged. We are struck with the headline in today’s paper, “To Curve the Coronavirus, Hong Kong Tells the World Masks Work.” We’re dazed by this reminder of the overwhelming power of culture in the way people think and...

Best Practices for Redesigning Your HR Function

HR transformations are one of the most commonly requested function redesign projects at Kates Kesler. Here we share a few design and change insights from our work with sophisticated HR leadership teams at dozens of companies, including Cargill, PepsiCo, Shell,...

Rwanda: When Government is run like a Business

You should visit Rwanda. Most tourists come to this east African country of just under 13 million people to see the mountain gorillas. But, if you are interested in organization and governance you should also follow how this country is developing economically and...

Singapore: Using Organization Design to Shape a Nation

Your customers are pushing you to deliver complex solutions of products and services in innovative ways. Sounds like the challenge facing many companies today, no? In fact, this is one of the core strategic challenges facing Singapore. As a visiting fellow to the...

Establishing an Organization Design Transformation Office

  Our clients typically don’t run in to issues completing the design phase of their organization transformation. At the start of a project, the CEO states the importance of the design work. Teams are motivated by the challenge and the involvement in the process....

Organization Change? Think like a Marketer

When the time comes to communicate organizational change, leaders tend to default to Human Resources or Corporate Communications to develop the message. While these teams are often highly skilled at communicating, their lens tends to be mitigating risk, rather than...

The Integrated Holding Company: Is Such a Thing Possible?

The demise of the GE business model has called into question the wisdom of trying to find strategic and operational synergies across a diverse set of businesses. GE is stepping away from building an “industrial internet” shared platform and is rapidly paring the...

Transforming Global Functions

We regularly work with leaders of complex, global companies who want to transform one or more of their functions (Finance, HR, Marketing, Supply Chain, etc.). The objective is typically to build new capabilities that will fuel growth while configuring the function to...

Organization Design in China

Organization design and development are relatively new fields in China. But, as leaders of local companies become more sophisticated in their strategies and expand outside of their domestic markets, they are facing the same issues we see elsewhere: legacy companies...

The Fit Between Talent and Organization

Talent is priority number 1, 2 and 3 in most corporate human resources functions today. It’s no surprise, forced by a tsunami of tech-enabled business change and global competition and intensified by one of the tightest labor markets in decades. The investment of...

The Tower and the Square in the Collaborative Organization Model

We recently had the opportunity to speak at a conference of the top 300 leaders in one of our client companies. They are 14 months into completing a major realignment toward global brand business units as well as the redesign of all enterprise functions, aimed at...

Sequencing a Complex Enterprise Design Initiative

Global companies are typically composed of three dimensions: Geographic market units (regions, countries, or country clusters) Global business units (products, brands, categories, or customer segments) Global operating and support functions (R&D, Supply Chain,...

Agile is not the same as Agility

I was recently invited to speak to a leadership team and explain the difference between Agile and Agility. The company is a traditional financial services company, providing trading services to other companies. New product and market opportunities, customer...

Moving Past the Decentralization vs. Centralization Debate

A recent survey of clients conducted by Mercer earlier this year focused on the types of organization change that business executives are planning to make in the next two years. Eleven different design options were covered in the questionnaire, ranging from flattening...

Structuring a True Global Network

Networks, councils, and teams are not a new idea in business. Too often they are set up with good intentions, but not well-designed, or they are allowed to outlive their purpose. When these horizontal teams are empowered to deliver business results and designed and...

Talent Prediction 2017: The Ability to Navigate Complex Organizations

Organization design is the number one topic on the mind of business and HR executives who responded to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital report. We are not surprised. Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed a tremendous increase in strategic complexity across the...

The Design Process for Activation

The design and activation of a global operating model is a major undertaking that deserves a well–thought-out process and project infrastructure that is likely to be in place for two or more years. We are often invited to work with an executive team on a new...