Transformational Organisation Design

Organisational development practitioners get very excited about the chance to work in full-scale organisational transformation. Organisational transformation is about significant and lasting change in the organisation. It usually involves redesigning what are sometimes called the higher order structural elements such as significant shifts in purpose, or capabilities, or big technology shifts.

They drive (or require) shifts in organisational culture – the scariest beast of change work. We also get a lot of pleasure from working on more transactional issues around minor technology shifts or small-scale reorganisations. But mention large scale change and most practitioners are cancelling their dream holiday for a chance to work on the project.

When drinking beer at a braai (barbeque, for non-South-Africans) I sometimes get asked for our organisation transformation playbook. “So how do you do it”? the fellow at the barbeque might ask. Unfortunately there is no generally useful playbook. Organisational Transformation is very contextual, and organisations are complex works. But there are useful guides. People who can help along the way. Especially a guide with some stories of efforts that failed, and efforts that succeeded. A guide won’t have one plan – rather many options. Anyone who wants to lead or be a part of an organisational transformation project should understand the options, have scars from falling off ideological cliffs, and a set of possible processes for organisational redesign.

Our introductory course in organisational design is all about the options, and we are happy to say that new ways to trigger transformation come along from time to time. In the March 2023 program we plan to introduce delegates to the Estuarine Framework as an exciting development from the Cynefin company that may be useful in charting organisational transformation – adding to the older frameworks already introduced in the program.

From philosophy to practice, the introduction to organisation design is a short program with a big punch. It’s an easily accessible way to think about your transformation project. Come along – register here. Join the crew who have something to say and do with transformation.