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Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations

Author: Patricia Cichocki & Christine Irwin

Publisher: Kogan Page

ISBN: Mick Yates

Summary:Provides a complete road map to design and delivery and covers areas including: job design, sizing the organization and change management.

Organization Design

ISBN: 9780749462567


Here's another very practical book, co-written by a colleague from the Consulting & Coaching for Change program at Oxford University and HEC, Paris (Patricia Cichocki).

The book does an excellent job of putting organization design in context - what it is, how to go about it, and what to expect if you get it right. 

The authors create what they call an Organizational Design Compass, to help take a holistic view of the organization, its strategic intent and alignment needs. And they introduce OPTIMAL, which includes a map to guide the user step-by-step through the design process. 

The compass is divided into quadrants - Norms & Behaviours, Enablers, Structure & Work. Each quadrant is described in easy to follow terms. And OPTIMAL is about designing the brief, taking stock of the change required in the organization, mapping the options and defining the way forward. 

It seems to me that Organization Design is a greatly under-appreciated skill set, and too often we rush at solving problems with a combination of "who do we trust to put in charge" or "what have we successfully done before".

By contrast, this well-researched book lays out our options in a logical and actionable format. I particularly like the author's discussion of "organizational archetypes" - what they are, how they are executed, and how they can best be applied in different situations (e.g. process, matrix network archetypes).

The book is nicely laid out, so you don't need to read page by page - although you will be rewarded with insight if you do. A practised organization thinker can move easily across the sections, picking up ideas and tips as you go.

Recommended not just for experts but also for generalists who need to tackle the subject. And, in these complex and challenging days, who doesn't?

As the publishers review states:

"With the rate of change in organizations at an all-time high, the need for strong organization design has never been more pressing.Organization Design provides a complete road map for the implementation of organization design, covering all areas including downsizing, outsourcing and re-structuring.

Full of hints and tips, as well as a practical toolkit to take organization designers from start to finish, Organization Designoutlines the basic theory, provides a step-by-step approach to implementing organization design, and provides solutions to the recurring challenges to be met along the way."