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 organisation design that simultaneously enables growth, innovation, and market responsiveness while benefiting from economies of scale can be a key source of competitive advantage.

This research report reviews the latest thinking in organisation design, exploring how organisations are seeking to resolve a core tension: how to balance the need for agility and responsiveness to customer needs while achieving the benefits of operating at a global scale. We present examples of the strategies different organisations are pursuing, provide practical recommendations, and consider how HR can build expertise in this critical capability.

Topics include:

  • What is organisation design and why is it a critical capability for HR?
  • Designing a suitable global operating model that enables strategy execution.
  • How to deploy innovation and execution networks to improve coordination of activities across organisational silos.
  • How to use organisation design techniques to resolve the core tension between achieving organisation agility and and benefiting from global economies of scale.
  • The evolving role of the corporate centre.
  • Specific design implications arising from three 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 organisation 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 recommendations. A full copy of the report is available to CRF members only.

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