Organisation design and change

There’s always a tension between reacting quickly to new challenges and opportunities and taking a measured or planned approach to change delivery… a tension that often results in huge risks being accepted without full understanding of their consequences…

…of course senior management always want quick results…

why formalise design when things are changing so much? Surely it’s best to react quickly to new circumstances and start to deliver what’s needed right-away, not tomorrow?

…the risks are indeed high, and in a complex organisation can seem to be potentially overwhelming for middle management juggling with ‘business as usual’ and the demands of taking on new work – here are some:

  • Lack of end 2 end process integrity results in significant re-work, multiplying the case load
  • Isolated and independent improvement initiatives – such as automation of manual processes – disrupt and invalidate resource planning, the recruitment and training of new capacity – wasting and demotivating valuable human resource capital
  • Output quality requirements – whether customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance or cost to serve – cannot be achieved because quality assurance procedures fail to correct process variations and deviations: nobody really knows how well we are performing, we all ‘hope for the best’

Opportunities to mitigate these kinds of risks include:

  • Communicate a jargon-free NARRATIVE for the desired or ‘target’ changed process and organisation/capability to deliver that everyone can understand and identify with
  • ALWAYS impact assess any change, and involve every possible stakeholder to avoid unforeseen consequences and undesirable outcomes
  • NEVER neglect the ‘people’ side of change – consult BEFORE planning and implementing process changes

Article by Simon Slater – Blue Alumni