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ORGANIZATION DESIGN: TIME TO RESHAPE

What would your company look like if you could rebuild it from scratch? Not many people answer this question by saying: “Exactly the same.” 20 or 30 years ago, entrepreneurial activity was far more predictable than it is now in the current age of digitalization. These days, most companies have to cope with new challenges, and to do so they have to change their organizational structure.

THE NEED FOR RECONFIGURATION

IIn a non-volatile environment, giving a company a hierarchical structure and bundling functions may be the most efficient way. Today, however, most companies have to cope with dynamic realities: Compared with earlier days, customers have a much broader picture of what the market has to offer, and they want to be served quickly and individually. Competition to provide the best quality and customer experience is fierce.

At the same time, the framework conditions are constantly changing, be it in terms of technology, regulations, political climate or because new competitors and markets are emerging. Companies that can adapt quickly and efficiently to these changes and put the customer at the centre of their activities have clear advantages. In most cases, hierarchical or classical models are no longer efficient

RESTRUCTURING: A RESPONSE TO CHANGING DEMANDS

Evolving customer needs and market conditions as well as increasing unpredictability and complexity place new and very varied demands on organizational structures:

  • Small teams that work in a self-organized and interdisciplinary manner
  • Fast and decentralized decision-making
  • Agile response to changing conditions
  • Minimization of overheads and long development phases
  • Consistent orientation towards customer benefits

Most organizations find that this means overcoming a number of challenges. For example, team-wide transfer of know-how and joint development must be ensured. Profitability and customer orientation must be harmonized, resources used efficiently and established standards and regulations adhered to.

In addition, a new organizational structure and new forms of cooperation mean further evolution of the corporate culture. This includes the allocation of roles within the company and the expectations of employees and management. The proposed change can only be achieved if the people in the company are engaged, facilitated and supported during the transformation process.

CIDPARTNERS: PASSIONATE ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN

Typical goals of an organizational development process are profitability, efficiency, customer focus, quality, fast decision-making and implementation as well as a high degree of self-organization on the part of employees and teams. These ‘ideal aspects’ cannot always be combined without conflicts of interest arising, and this clearly affects those working in the organization.

This is where we consultants can help our clients to find the best path: Using the company's vision and strategy as the foundation, we develop an organizational design that fits both the company as well as its goals. We use an iterative approach in cooperation with our client and the most important stakeholders. The transformation process (from the current state to the target state) is an essential part of achieving the envisioned result.

Our clients particularly appreciate our holistic approach, our extensive experience in organizational design and change management and our flexibility. Another strong point: We unleash the potential for collective intelligence in organizations and teams. This means stimulating the capacity and enthusiasm of each individual to contribute in (re-)creating the entire organization and actively shaping its future.

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Recognizing patterns, integrating perspectives and setting specific impulses - these are the strengths of Julia Zirn.

Julia Zirn

Consultant

+49.30-31 49 13.20

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WHAT ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN IS

Organizational design is all about finding the most efficient way of running the company. Two different levels must be taken into consideration:

  • Organizational structure: This is where the structure of the company is defined in order to create a framework for efficiency and future growth. Which divisions make sense? What levels are there in the company? What kind of hierarchy is suitable?
  • Process organization: We also refer to this level as a cooperation model. We determine how roles are allocated in the company and how cooperation is regulated. This includes decision-making processes and determining which meeting formats make the most sense.

In good organizational design, these levels are mutually supportive. Together, they ensure that the corporate objectives are both structured (organizational structure) and internalized in the daily work (process organization).

HOW ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN WORKS

There are generally many ways of setting up structure and cooperation within a company. The following steps present an approximate guide towards finding the best option:

  1. The definition of vision, strategy and targets is the starting point. The vision describes the ideal state of the company in the future. This forms the basis for formulating a strategy. The strategy is operationalized by means of targets which mark the implementation of the strategy and thus the realization of the vision.
  2. A current state analysis clarifies where the organisation stands today: What works well and what does not? What are the main challenges? What does the organizational culture look like? What framework conditions are to be considered?
  3. Iterative organizational design: We develop a suitable organizational design together with the client by means of an iterative process based on the defined objectives and starting with the current state analysis. This can only be done by adopting a holistic perspective and continuously integrating different perspectives and feedback as appropriate.
  4. Iterative transformation process: The transformation process must correspond with the corporate culture and be viable within the framework conditions. A coordinated approach is a decisive factor in achieving the desired result.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A NEW ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN

The scope of a new organizational design can only be determined on an individual basis. The initial situation already has an influence on how much change is required: It is not always necessary or advisable to restructure the whole company. Often only a part of the organization is involved, such as a few departments that must be newly set up, merged or restructured.

It is generally advisable to review and adapt the work, e.g. through the use of agile methods and instruments, modern tools such as OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and other dynamic cooperation methods. Experience shows that it is important to support employees and managers by means of training and qualifications to help them cope with new demands.

STEP-BY-STEP CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT

BA step-by-step and iterative approach is an important factor in transitioning to the new target image. This ensures that the organization is not overchallenged and that solutions are found that really take account of how things are. It is important to realize that the ideal design cannot be planned on a purely theoretical basis. It is vital to incorporate different perspectives on a regular basis: What is going well? Where is the most support currently needed?

We enable our clients to (re-)design their organization as efficiently and expediently as possible by deploying our comprehensive knowledge and experience as consultants as well as know-how from various disciplines.