Corte works with clients that want to go beyond temporary and incremental improvements in team and organizational performance. Our clients have typically tried management training, team building, and one or more reorganizations. They recognize that ongoing high performance requires more than intellectual awareness and change in who reports to who.
Our services begin with a diagnostic assessment to determine what aspects of the organizations structural and social systems to include in scope for alignment and improvement. This makes the design process faster, more accurate, and less apt to cause new misalignments.
The diagnostic assessment includes a review of performance data, operational data, and people systems data. We also perform non-quantitative analysis through individual and panel interviews to understand what people in the organization understand about areas of misalignment holding back performance. The diagnosis begins the process of stakeholder involvement, which is critical to finding the best solutions and implementing them well.
The result is a revealing look at the organization and its opportunities to improve. Often, it is like a stack of boulders, we seek to find a few, if moved, that can move the whole pile in the right direction.
Intentional Design Approach
Intentional Design aligns the organizations structural system and the social system, rather than just tweaking part of one or the other. The misalignment between structural and social systems is the main failure of most new organization designs. Many, if not most, organizations suffer from past failures to gain this alignment.
For example, an organization may have decided to centralize its structure to reduce costs in the field, but did nothing to change the social system causing misalignment in expectation and behavior in the field. Similarly, decentralizing and matrix structures suffer from similar problems. There can also be misalignments within the structural or social system.
Intentional Design considers changes to the organizational structure (what gets grouped together, what gets centralized and decentralized, and who reports to who), but also other aspects of the structural system such as the operating model, job designs, work processes, and reward system.
Intentional Design also evaluates and aligns the social system with the structural system, including the skills of the employees, the methods of coordinating and flexing among team members, how to monitor team effectiveness and create positive team dynamics, the leadership approach, and the cultural norms.
The completed design ensures that all the systems and sub systems are in alignment towards achieving superior results for all stakeholders. Just as seeking improvements in product quality can also improve cost, a well-aligned organization design can improve results for the company, the customers and employees.
Rapid Design Process
Corte works against a project plan that usually has 3-5 milestone events to align all elements of the design over a period of months. We find that longer efforts with more, short meetings don’t create the momentum to sustain real change in teams or organizations.
We use “design thinking” to involve appropriate stakeholders, create iterations of solutions, and to test solutions before implementing.
We recommend and plan for “discontinuous change” in which leadership selects a specific date to cut over to new ways of operating.
Though the design process is rapid, there is ample involvement and communication so that the changes are anticipated and implemented well.
Because we seek improved outcomes for all stakeholder, there are fewer barriers and roadblocks than in organizational changes that sub optimize results for one group.
The design principles that guide our process were developed over several decades and hundreds of organizational changes to create superior designs and drive better implementation.