March 8th 2018

Executive Summary: Designing Adaptable Organisations for Tomorrow’s Challenges

The context for organisations today is characterised by complexity, rapid technological advances, and digital disruption. Organisations are experiencing fundamental shifts in their business models and have to constantly reinvent themselves in order to remain competitive. Indeed, 89% of respondents to our survey said their organisation had either recently reorganised or had a reorganisation underway. Creating and sustaining an organisational design that enables growth, agility, innovation, and market responsiveness while benefiting from economies of scale can be a key source of competitive advantage.

This executive summary reviews the latest thinking in organisational design, exploring how organisations are resolving a core issue of how to balance responsiveness and agility to customer needs while simultaneously achieving the benefits of operating at a global scale. We present case studies and examples of the organisational design strategies that various different businesses are using, provide practical recommendations that are transferable to almost any organisation, and consider how HR can build expertise in this essential capability to better meet the needs of the business.

Topics covered include:

  • Defining organisational design and looking into why it is a critical capability for HR.
  • Developing a suitable global operating framework model that enables effective strategy execution.
  • How to best deploy innovation and execution networks to improve the coordination of activities across various organisational silos.
  • Using organisational design techniques to find a functional balance between achieving organisation agility and benefiting from global economies of scale.
  • The corporate centre’s changing role
  • Design implications arising from some of the major strategic imperatives affecting most organisations: building digital capability; moving from a products to solutions-driven business model; and balancing the need for efficiency with driving innovation and growth.
  • Exploring HR’s role in organisational design and how to build capability in this key area.

This is an executive summary of the report, where you can read the main findings and organisational design recommendations. A full copy of the report is available to CRF members only.

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This resource is available to CRF members only. To access, please log in with your username and password. If you are not a member of the CRF network and are interested in membership please contact Richard Hargreaves, Commercial Director, on +44 (0) 20 3457 2640 or at

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