Rethinking the Rules of Organization Design in Emerging Markets

The typical organizational design process is like drawing a blueprint, building a house, and moving in. This is the familiar strategy-structure-staffing sequence that has come to dominate the practice. Ongoing organization effectiveness work in emerging markets is revealing that this tried and true pattern for effective organization design still applies, but there are some unique considerations that need to be grappled during the push forward into a new frontier. We will highlight four key issues—speed, entry and evolution, leadership development, and unique design needs—that can change the rules when doing organization design in high-potential markets.

To tweet or not to tweet? But is that really the question…

In the age of social networking, the question is being asked more and more by both ourselves in the consulting fraternity and within our clients – what tools should we use to ensure we have a productive social presence. Is being out there (a passive presence) sufficient or should organisations be more proactive and involved in social communities? As the online dialogue gains prominence, it poses some challenging questions for organisations such as, what if people start saying things about us that we don’t like? Should we respond or not and if so, how?

Not All Work is Equal

Published on Human Resource Executive Online in July 2009 this article explores who differentiating and strategically balancing the effectiveness and efficiency of work activities can be difficult for many organizations — often because leaders lack a framework with which to analyze the way various activities affect the value proposition to customers. Here are some best practices HR executives can use to help their organizations find efficiencies without jeopardizing strategic differentiation.

The Tale of the Tape

This article will compare two recent redesign efforts, within two different companies to paint a picture of how to drive successful organisational design and change. Both of these businesses had been the player in their respective industries, both had always achieved very nice profits for their owners and traditionally both had always been able to exert their size and dominance in the market to such an extent that competitors were few and far between.

You Really CAN Move the Needle with Metrics

We’ve all heard many times the idea that “people will do what they’re measured on.” Is it really true? If I told you that the defect rate for this company’s premier product dropped from 12% to 1% in only three weeks and then further declined to 0.5% in just three more weeks, you’d probably think I was making it up. Well, that is exactly the result that occurred—and it occurred solely from beginning to measure quality in parallel with measuring productivity (in this case, speed). Perhaps what is even more revealing is that there was no incentive linked to quality improvement. All the while, workers were being paid a bonus for speed—which, incidentally, did not suffer when quality improved. That they were not being equally rewarded for quality made no difference. The metrics alone changed their behavior.

Strategy: Making Tough Choices

One vicious reality facing organizations today is the need to have a clear strategy. With the unlimited opportunities and choices out there, the challenge is making choices that support, reinforce, and align with your organization’s strategy. Without a strategy, the only chance for success is winning the ‘operational efficiency rat-race,’ which is the zero-sum game of cutting costs and enhancing productivity at a pace faster than competitors. More than one company has found itself drowning in the noise of ‘strategic static’—lowering costs and attempting to survive the rat race.