Evaluating trade-offs

Organization Design (OD) is both an art and a science of finding the right organizational system that best enables business strategy and priorities.

How are you enabling strategy?

Too many times, business leaders with the best of intentions working from past success (usually at another company) slap organization charts on the desks of HR professionals to show how their team looks today and how they need to look tomorrow. Capacity and role clarity (or lack thereof) are usually the most common scapegoats. It's easy to draw boxes and lines, overlooking operating assumptions, missing key linkages with other teams, and ignoring a short list of targeted questions:

  1. What strategic choices are the proposed changes enabling?

  2. What are the symptoms and root cause suggesting organization structure needs to change? First, are we clear on the problem(s) to solve?

  3. Is there a clearly understood operating model today? 

  4. Are there clear priorities and choices (capabilities) that align with the business strategy?

  5. What is the right mix of global (scale) and local (agile) operations? Is there alignment along leaders about the level of integration desired?

Think strategically. Take time to clarify who you're choosing to be and what you need to deliver before trying to resolve gaps by moving hierarchical boxes and lines.  


Galbraith's Star Model™

Jay Galbraith developed the "Star Model™" framework for analyzing organizations in the 1960s. The Star Model™ is the foundation on which a company bases its design choices. The framework consists of a series of design policies that are controllable by management and can influence employee behavior. The policies are the tools with which management must become skilled in order to shape the decisions and behaviors of their organizations effectively.

Organization Design Experience

​My experience in organization design includes supporting sweeping, enterprise-wide change driven by shifts in business strategy, comprehensive function redesign, and incremental organizational change:

  • Retail enterprise design​

    • Channel​ alignment

  • Large retail function/BU design

    • Product

    • HR

    • Product Management/ Merchandising

  • Incremental retail function/BU design

    • Digital Merchandising​

    • Enterprise Architecture (IT)

    • Pricing, Promotions, & Credit

    • Targeted Marketing

    • Omnichannel (Product Management) Resolutions

    • eCommerce Operations

    • Store Operations/ Store Servicing

    • Digital Product Management Personalization, Search, Navigation, Search Engine Optimization

  • Utilities​

    • Customer care design

    • Corporate function design

    • Field management role design

  • Financial services/ insurance​

    • Information Technology​ organization consolidation