Improving the Odds of a Successful Organization Redesign

The process of an organization redesign can often feel like a marathon. Redesigns regularly take months, and in some cases can stretch into years. That’s an outcome nobody wants, because redesigns are inherently disruptive. The longer a redesign lingers, the more you risk disengaged employees, unsettled daily operations, and disenfranchised stakeholders. The best defense against a drawn-out design is to have a carefully thought out plan of action and a strong, positive launch, which can help ensure a successful organization redesign within a reasonable timeframe. 

Undertaking a significant organization redesign is the ultimate challenge in multitasking. There are a variety of factors for leaders, organization members, and supporting team members to consider. Success isn’t simply measured by achieving the desired business outcomes, but also in how well employees embrace and pivot to adopt new performance expectations.

Whether your desired outcome is better productivity, improved customer service, implementing new technology, or product innovation for improved market share, a successful organization redesign relies on a strong foundation. You can achieve this by involving the right people, developing effective methods and processes to facilitate the realignment, and adopting an agile approach to the work.

Alignment: Key to A Successful Organization Redesign

An organization is a complex system that needs its processes, structures, metrics, talent, and company culture properly aligned to function efficiently. In our organization design work, we utilize the Cube Model—featured in our book Mastering the Cubewhere each side represents a particular system.

Side 1: Work processes. Those that differentiate you as an organization and help you win should be prioritized. Competitive work needs to be done as effectively as possible for a strong market position.

Side 2: Structure and governance. In the same way that the work of an organization should organically follow its strategy, the structure of an organization should follow naturally from the work to be done. Structure enables work and the optimal use of limited resources.

Side 3: Information and metrics. The information system of an organization includes data as well as the technologies and tools for using, sharing, and storing it. This provides the metrics used to make decisions and drive accountability.

Side 4: People and rewards. Aligning the recruitment, hiring, development, training, performance management, and succession processes of an organization involves motivating people, maximizing their potential, and ensuring that all systems are set up to support a successful organization redesign and acheive the strategic goals of the organization.

Side 5: Continuous improvement. All parts of an organization must be agile enough to constantly adjust and easily pivot to changes in its marketplace, industry, infrastructure, and people.

Side 6: Culture and leadership. While leaders can control the other sides of the cube through direct decision making, culture is more typically influenced rather than dictated. Through organizational choices, leaders can shape company culture in ways that contribute to differentiation and value.

Using this model enables leaders to acknowledge employees’ varied thoughts on the different aspects of the organizational system that need to be improved. Rather than it being a smattering of items to fix or improve, the Cube Model provides a framework to organize and sequence the effort to transform the organization.  Because certain elements in an organization drive other elements, progression through the sides of the cube follows a specific sequence. This helps leaders facilitate a complete, successful organization redesign and alignment to keep their organization running effectively, efficiently, and productively.

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