Strengthening Process Improvement work through Optimizing Organization Design®

Many organizations that we consult with have introduced, or are in the process of introducing, process improvement approaches to the way they operate. While we don’t consult on this type of work, we’ve found that our approach to Optimizing Organization Design® provides a framework that both strengthens and protects process improvement in three valuable ways. The first value of our approach is determining the levels of positions that will be necessary for a given process. While most process … [Read more...]

Sustaining the performance improvement benefits of organization design

Part of the job of consultants is to leave an organization in better shape than they found it. This isn’t exactly a ground-breaking statement, but it’s an important jumping off point for discussing how to sustain the performance improvements of optimizing organization design. Recently, there have been a number of instances where we’ve been brought in by a client that had recently conducted a ‘restructuring’, and were now looking for a more evidence-based approach to improving organization design … [Read more...]

An alternative to Holacracy management

One management trend that’s caught my attention recently is the Holacracy management system. Holacracy, as defined on their website, is a “complete system for self-organization” that looks to create a replacement for organizing work. Much has been written on the subject, with viewpoints ranging from it's destroying companies (here, here and here) to it being a corporate saviour in a world where hierarchies are killing innovation and stemming employee motivation (here, here and here). A recent … [Read more...]

Organizational restructuring: four common pitfalls to avoid

  2015 was a difficult year for Canadians – with the price of oil plummeting organizations were forced to significantly downsize their workforce. All told it was estimated that over 100,000 jobs were lost across the Alberta oil fields. On top of this, some of Canada’s largest companies (Bombardier, TD, Scotiabank) undertook major organizational restructuring initiatives. The terms downsizing or restructuring generally refer to organizations reducing their operating costs through … [Read more...]

Building the foundation for millennial engagement

What do millennials want? As millennials look to assume over 50% of the global workforce by 2020 (PwC, 2011), you can safely assume that this question is top of mind for most business leaders. Perform a quick google search and you’ll find over 16 million, often conflicting, answers. Many reports will say that millennials are fundamentally different than the previous boomer and gen x employees – they are light on loyalty, place extreme value on work / life balance, and prefer communicating … [Read more...]

Organization Hierarchy: What’s Wrong With It…And How To Fix It

Hierarchy is basically defined as different levels in an organization. Hierarchy generates considerable discussion and controversy. Many consider it to be old fashioned, inappropriate or just plain wrong. What’s Wrong With Hierarchy? Let’s start by agreeing that there are many issues related to how hierarchy is used. It can be “command and control”. This would be micromanaging and it is inappropriate. Employees should be in positions that are “right sized” so that they can use their … [Read more...]