The accountability conundrum (again)

Tomorrow’s Organization Design Forum’s peer-to-peer consulting session in which I’m in the hot-seat has been drifting to front-of-mind over the last couple of weeks: prompted by first, a coaching session on how to frame the question in a way that the peer group can tackle it, and then by getting a Zoom invite to the … Continue reading “The accountability conundrum (again)”

Accountability: is it a design concern?

We've had several discussions this week on 'single point accountability'. This sounds straightforward as a concept. Like financial accounting, 'accountability is about giving a reckoning of the actions taken-—and the actions not taken-—that led to the final outcome. Just like in accounting, where your balance sheet must add up correctly, there also has to be … Continue reading “Accountability: is it a design concern?”

The Sacred Tenet of Accountability

Ron Ashkenas points out in an HBR article 'One of the most sacred tenets of management is the need for clear accountability. As such, organizations spend enormous amounts of time and energy defining jobs, roles, and goals -— and then figure out who to reward or punish when things go well or poorly'. I'm sensitized … Continue reading “The Sacred Tenet of Accountability”

The tenth test of organisation design

The Nine Tests of Organisation Design, developed in 2002 by Michael Goold and Andrew Campbell of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre (as it was known then) is well known in organisation design circles. In their article introducing the tests they describe them as ‘Less an intellectual triumph than a practical checklist for addressing the most important issues, our … Continue reading “The tenth test of organisation design”

Supporting a micro organisation design

I’ve been in discussion for a while with a client who wanted further support with her micro organisation which she decided to expand by about 25% and expects the expansion to have significant impact on other organisational members.  She’s a pretty demanding client with clear views on how things should be done but over time … Continue reading “Supporting a micro organisation design”

Designing Empowerment

Many words and phrases in organisational use puzzle me.  ‘Bring your whole self to work’ is a current one, as is ‘empowerment’, and ‘resilience’.  They’re possibly ok as concepts, but what do they mean in practice and what are the organisational design implications of them. Empowerment caught my attention this week as I was with … Continue reading “Designing Empowerment”

Senior responsible officers and project sponsors

Someone asked me the other day how many projects a Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) could realistically be responsible for.  He’d been looking at a list that showed a small number of people being repeatedly named as the SRO for a large number of projects.  One person being SRO for 6 projects, and this on top … Continue reading “Senior responsible officers and project sponsors”

Can we measure the outcomes and benefits of organisation design work?

On a recent 2-day organisation design programme we started to discuss the outcomes of organisation design work – how we identify them and how we know that these are creating the intended benefits and business value. We agreed with one writer’s definitions and statements that: ‘Outcomes, at the most general level, are changes in individuals, … Continue reading “Can we measure the outcomes and benefits of organisation design work?”

Internal consulting models

Here’s a brain-teaser that arrived in my in-box recently: ‘Today, some folks here were discussing the role of cluster leads, that we have in our organisational structure. Cluster leads were appointed when we started self-organizing, categorizing all work that came in into “projects”. Each cluster lead looks after a category/ group of projects and is … Continue reading “Internal consulting models”

Puzzling over the hidden matrix

I’ve been puzzling over a matrix organisation again.  (See my earlier blog Matrix structures: the pessimism advantage) Talking about a matrix seems to elicit the Marmite response – love it or hate it.  Apparently whether you love or hate Marmite is down to your genes.  I wonder if the same can be said for a … Continue reading “Puzzling over the hidden matrix”