Blog

Developing Leaders and Organization at the Same Time

The best global leadership systems develop people and the organization simultaneously. No other business process has more impact on shaping culture than company-wide talent development forums. Calibration and development councils can become the control centers for...

The Anchor Layer

Activating global collaboration is difficult and expensive to engineer under the best of circumstances. Unnecessary vertical layering of business units and functions and proliferation of profit centers make it even more difficult. Horizontal connections are more...

Rewarded vs. Unrewarded Complexity in Organizations

Complex organizations are a result of complex business strategies. But not all complexity is equal. Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, makes a case for distinguishing between what he calls rewarded and unrewarded complexity. Rewarded complexity drives a...

The Role of the Executive Team in an Integrated Company

We work with many large, global organizations as they move toward more integrated operating models. One of the key levers in creating real connections across business units, regions, and functions is the redesign of the executive team. It is perfectly appropriate for...

Bridging Organization Design and Performance Webinar

The economic recovery of 2010-2015 has triggered a number of high-profile mergers, but even more break-ups and spin-offs among large global companies, particularly those based in the US. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, Kraft, Royal Dutch Philips, Hewlett Packard,...

The Challenge of Activation

There are only so many ways to design enterprise structure. The gravitational pull to greater complexity, and all the challenges that come with it, is powered by the need for new sources of growth in diverse geographic markets across multi-product divisions with...

Transformation with Speed: How to accelerate to the future state

We coach our clients to take a thoughtful approach to design work and do believe that time spent up front involving people in shaping the future organization accelerates implementation. However, once a new framework is set and the leader announces the change, then...

Bridging Organization Design and Performance

The economic recovery of 2010-2015 has triggered a number of high-profile mergers, but even more break-ups and spin-offs among large global companies, particularly those based in the US. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, Kraft, Royal Dutch Philips, Hewlett Packard,...

The Relationship of Pay Grades to Organization Design

As  global companies seek the benefits of scale, HR plays an important role in the design of organizations and the grading of jobs. But are the two activities connected? And if so, how? Organization Design and Global Grading are interconnected elements within an...

Organization Change: i4cp Interview with Amy Kates

i4cp (Institute for Corporate Productivity) recently interviewed Amy Kates on organizational change. Download insights from Kates Kesler's experience guiding change in large complex...

Response to Ram Charan HBR Article – “It’s Time To Split HR Up”

Ram Charan’s provocative article (It’s Time to Split HR, HBR, p 34, July-Aug 2014) voices a common frustration we hear both from business executives and frankly, HR leaders themselves. Despite stated aspirations to be forward looking thought partners on matters of...

Organization Design Lessons from the Supply Chain

What do General Motors’ Mary Barra, Apples’s Tim Cook and Intel Corp’s Brian Krzanich have in common? All are high profile examples of a current trend to elevate leaders with substantial supply chain experience to the CEO’s office. Boards are beginning to realize that...

Organizational Fitness for Growth: Five Insights for CEOs

Learning from Big Companies We recently completed a study for the CEO of a very well known, global sports-apparel brand company. He wanted to challenge his team, as part of the strategic talent review process, to think about whether or not the company’s organizational...

Jay Galbraith Obituary

Jay Galbraith: 1939-2014  At Kates Kesler we are mourning the passing of Jay Galbraith on April 8, 2014, at age 75. Jay’s Star Model™ transformed organization design and his work forms the basis of the frameworks and methods that we use every day in our work at Kates...

Maximizing Agility and Leverage in the Global Organization

Very large multi-national product companies need to find creative ways to enjoy the benefits of scale while remaining agile. This is especially true in developing markets where competitors can move very quickly with few of the obstacles that big companies face....

The Challenges of Performance Management

Performance management is still a puzzle waiting to be solved in many companies. Three types of choices need to be made when designing a performance management system. We find too much attention paid to the second and third set, and not enough to the first: 1.     ...

Building Organizational Muscle

We often use the term “organizational muscle” as a way to bring the concept of “capabilities” to life. It is a useful analogy. If execution of strategy is the goal, then the organization is a means to that end. The measure of success of any design is what it allows...