Blogs & Articles

Embedding Diverse Perspectives into Your Operating Model

Embedding Diverse Perspectives into Your Operating Model

When companies improve their diversity, stock prices jump (Neale, 2018). The theory is that people in diverse groups work harder, share information more broadly, and consider a wider range of views than groups that are more homogenous in terms of race, culture,...

The Value of Tension in Organizational Decision Making

The Value of Tension in Organizational Decision Making

In the most recent American midterm election, voters delivered a split Congress, an outcome usually understood to slow legislative progress to a near halt. When neither party is able to drive their agenda through Congress, pundits and voters alike bemoan the...

The Organization Design Energy Gap

The Organization Design Energy Gap

Anticipating the emotions that leaders are likely to experience during the organization design process is one of the most important skills of an advisor or executive. How people feel about the design and their place in it can make or break the success of the...

ESG: A Perfect Training Ground to Build New Organizational Muscles

ESG: A Perfect Training Ground to Build New Organizational Muscles

Why do companies with strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) results tend to perform better financially? Lower operational costs and stronger employee and customer engagement are a few visible reasons. However, our interviews with over twenty business...

Integrating Your Acquisition: Don’t Leave it to Chance

Integrating Your Acquisition: Don’t Leave it to Chance

A technology company CEO approached our team to redesign her organization, a mix of legacy and newly acquired teams. The leader wanted to build an efficient, adaptable organization that could benefit from the legacy company’s scale. However, she wanted to be careful...

Designing an Organization with Executive Vacancies

Designing an Organization with Executive Vacancies

When there are vacancies on an executive team, it can be tempting to slip into a holding pattern on enterprise decisions until those roles are filled, however, the reality is that teams are routinely in flux. As your strategy, technologies, and operating models...

Quick Feedback: A Small Gesture with An Outsized Impact

Quick Feedback: A Small Gesture with An Outsized Impact

“Very nice. You have very good client relationship skills, Sara. I liked watching you in action. It was a difficult situation.” I received this note from a senior partner following a recovery meeting with a potential client. It probably took 20 seconds to write, and...

Love your Organizational Problems, not Just your Solutions

Love your Organizational Problems, not Just your Solutions

As human beings we are hardwired to act. Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert argues that humans are "exquisitely adapted to respond to immediate problems, such as terrorism, but not so good at more probable, but distant dangers, such as global warming."1 As a leader you...

So, you’ve built a new capability, but no one uses it! What gives?

So, you’ve built a new capability, but no one uses it! What gives?

Cari, a leader in the company's new Data and Analytics unit, was frustrated to hear about yet another team which hired an external contractor to do the work her group was set up to do. She had spent the past 18 months building this new organization. She had hired top...

Embracing Healthy Tensions in a Matrixed Organization

Embracing Healthy Tensions in a Matrixed Organization

As a company strategy becomes more dynamic and ambitious, leaders will often shift to a matrixed organization model to help the business excel at doing more than one thing simultaneously. The matrix is designed to bring forth the voices that need to influence key enterprise trade-off…

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Designing an Effective Cloud Center of Excellence

Designing an Effective Cloud Center of Excellence

In many of my recent technology-driven transformation projects, the design and implementation of a technology Center of Excellence (CoE) has been considered as a solution to ensure clear ownership of expertise. However, in some cases, the implementation of the Center of Excellence was…

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Have you designed your change and project management capabilities?

Have you designed your change and project management capabilities?

Change management is not just a skill or a process. It is a capability that needs to be designed.  In an earlier post focused on transformation governance, we explored the importance of clearly defined Transformation Office infrastructure, well-resourced design...

How to scale shared success through collaboration and trust

How to scale shared success through collaboration and trust

Shared success is a goal of most organiza�on change. It is the magic that happens when individuals work together to benefit the whole—not just within teams, but across product lines, geographies and func�ons. Fueling shared success takes more than asking people to collaborate. It requires…

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Is Strategy still Relevant to Organization Design?

Is Strategy still Relevant to Organization Design?

The axiom has always been to start with a clear strategy if you want to design a sound organization. But, is detailed strategy work even relevant in a world where the external environment is continually changing, requiring companies to regularly shift direction and...

Start Slow, Finish Fast: Rightsizing Your Organization the Right Way

Start Slow, Finish Fast: Rightsizing Your Organization the Right Way

When organizations are looking to find cost savings, people costs are typically a significant portion of the budget and an attractive target for cost reduction, but beware! Reductions in staffing levels can destroy or erode organization capabilities or “muscle” that...

Organization Design for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Organization Design for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We facilitated a meeting in April 2020 for a team of ten people. In the past such a meeting would typically have the eight co-located members sitting together in a conference room and the other two on video. The pandemic meant that for this meeting everyone was...