What Makes an Adaptive Company… A Few More Thoughts

Martin Reeves sets out three elements of an adaptive company: flexible strategy approaches, leaders able to fit strategy to context, and smart change methods. We would add three more: 1. Horizons of Work Most companies today have to work at three speeds at the same...

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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...

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Greg Kesler and Larry Bossidy Talk Org Design

Greg Kesler was recently a featured speaker at the World 50 Supply Chain executive forum, where he and Larry Bossidy spoke to members on how organization design helps to drive global supply chain strategy in companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, Royal Dutch Philips and...

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Design Process

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....

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Decision Rights


Corporate Center Design in Complex, Global Companies

“How are you adding value?” That’s the question Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Coca-Cola Company, asked the functional leadership of the company in March of 2005. Isdell challenged his corporate leaders to rethink how they were...

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Global Design

Designing the Global Organization

The path to success for the globally-ambitious business has never been easy. Economic shifts, political protectionism, and infrastructure gaps in emerging markets have been obstacles for decades. These challenges are exacerbated for leaders in the twenty-first century...

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Jay Galbraith

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...

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Aligning Organization Design and Leadership Talent

Talent management and organization design are powerful allies. Most companies still treat them as two separate sets of activities. More companies should make this critical connection when looking for results in the areas of: Driving Major Change: Legacy leaders are a...

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Management Processes

Management Process: Small Clues with Big Consequences

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported on how Procter & Gamble’s CEO is under scrutiny by investors and the board for a stalling turnaround effort. For me, one of the most thought-provoking parts of this story was reported nearly at its end. P&G's Stumbles...

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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....

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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:...

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Organization Design Capability

Organization Design Overview

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Balance Alignment with Agility to Achieve Culture

Calls for organizational alignment have headlined strategy publications for the last 20 years. A McKinsey 2014 paper, “The Aligned Organization,” summed up the claim that achieving real alignment gave an organization a strategic advantage. “It has a clearer sense of...

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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...

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Supply Chain Design

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...

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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...

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