SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN
Approaches to OD
Success in Organization Design
Failure in Organization Design
Principles of OD
Organizational design is a step-by-step methodology
which identifies dysfunctional aspects of work flow,
procedures, structures and systems, realigns them to fit
current business realities/goals and then develops plans
to implement the new changes. The process focuses on
improving both the technical and people side of the
For most companies, the design process leads to a more
effective organization design, significantly improved
results (profitability, customer service, internal
operations), and employees who are empowered and
committed to the business.
The functional structure groups positions into work units
based on similar activities, skills, expertise, and resources
Managers in large companies may have difficulty keeping
track of all their company's products and activities,
specialized departments may develop. These departments
are divided according to their organizational outputs.
The matrix structure combines functional specialization
with the focus of divisional structure.
These cross‐functional teams are composed of members
from different departments who work together as needed to
solve problems and explore opportunities.
The network structure relies on other organizations to
perform critical functions on a contractual basis
Build on your strengths
As Socrates, father of Western philosophy and arguably the
original disruptor, said, “Know thyself.” Go ahead and
acknowledge upfront that retooling your organization is a tough
rock to tackle. Then, identify who you are,
Go beyond lines and boxes
Start by asking how the company’s unique strengths shape how
people work and act. Balance that by asking where your
company structure isn’t currently serving your business goals.
Know your roles Leaders can define technical roles and develop
their teams' skills using Pluralsight IQ. First, measure your team's
knowledge with skill assessments. Then, see how well a team
member fits in a role by viewing the collection of skills needed
Rock your roles
When you identify employee’s strengths, you can align
them to the projects and teams where they’ll be the most
effective. You can balance the needed skills across teams in
the right proportions, per Elon Musk.
You can also identify where teams and individuals need to
grow, so you can seek out the development opportunities
that will serve their needs and position the company for
Support a culture of learning
Organizations that make professional development a high
priority and provide a range of flexible training options
mapped to business needs are the most successful at
keeping their teams at peak performance and skill level.
System and structural failures – the systems you have in
place to get the job done are flawed, at best, fatal at worst.
Systems failures in companies can have many causes,
including a flawed development process, too many defects
causing rising costs and overload or defects
Financial management failure – the accounting
department does not properly track expenses and
departments are overspending, thus cutting into the
organisation’s profit margin. Too many businesses fail
because of lack of financial viability or poor accounting
Customer and marketing failure – you have a
poor marketing plan and you have no idea who
your niche client base really is. Without that
certainty, you will make the wrong decisions
regarding what to invest in, with often dire
Failure at the top – upper management isn’t
making educated decisions, or members of upper
management are simply making very bad
decisions despite the resources they have
available. Too many managers we work with are
too operational in their outlook. This causes
businesses to not be able to see the wood for the
trees, and cannot see beyond the fire-fighting
duties of short-termism.
Declare amnesty for the past
Design with “DNA
Fix the structure last, not first
Make the most of top talent
Focus on what you can control
Benchmark sparingly, if at all
Let the “lines and boxes” fit your company’s purpose
Accentuate the informal
Build on your strengths
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