Cost Cutting Should be Strategy Driven

So you have to make cuts. Make sure they’re the right cuts. “Here I am—most unwelcome, I know. Against my own will, too, since no one loves a messenger who brings with him bad news.” Sophocles’ play Antigone expresses well the distaste of delivering bad news. It’s one of the toughest parts of being a leader. And often the bad news is that costs must be cut.

Clear Strategy Removes Noise

We all deal with a flood of information. Spam, unwanted correspondence, and irrelevant information stuff our inboxes and voicemail. It can be difficult—despite sophisticated technological communication systems—to get clear and relevant information.

Time for a New Structure? Or Will There Be Buyer’s Remorse?

Only by living in a house do we come to know intimately the many disadvantages of our particular structure. Depending on our attitude, this may become all we see. We may long for another house – one without the downsides that daily irritate us. We romanticize about how much better our lives would be in that other house, without those issues that have fatigued us. But we may learn that another house brings a new set of downsides. Sometimes it makes sense to give up our current structure and move to another house, but sometimes we learn we’ve just traded one set of problems for another.

Organizational Megalomania

Everyone has limited resources. Everyone must choose where value will and will not be offered. Understanding and appreciating this enables organizations to focus limited resources on the most strategic and differentiating activities. It enables leaders to be smart about where they prune costs. Believing that your organization can do everything—that it can be everything for everyone—prevents an organization from really differentiating itself in a sustainable way.

Business Coaching – All Talk and No Action?

By Ken Brophy, AlignOrg Solutions, Asia Pacific and Reece Notton, Director, Grafton If you have experienced being coached and have felt ‘underwhelmed’ due to lack of objectives and outcomes, you are not alone. Coaching has multiple meanings and associations and is used by everyone, or so it seems, from the

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?

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.

Competitive by Design: How HR can build a 21st Century enterprise

Welcome to the era of hyper-competition, outsourcing and cost reduction. As if the pressures of day-to-day operations weren’t enough of a burden, the demand for growth continues to be on the mind of executives.

But how can an organization be expected to keep costs under control and grow at the same time? It’s a challenge confronting even the best HR organizations. Nevertheless, growth and cost reduction can be designed into the same organization.

Growth germinates from the distinct value offerings an organization offers customers, especially when the value is greater than that offered by the competitors. And growth is sustainable when differentiation is designed into the organization. Therefore, increasing productivity and lowering costs for activities that don’t create competitive advantage constitutes the smartest type of pruning.