Designing High-Performing Organizations

Organization Development is one of the most powerful tools available to senior managers for shaping the direction of their organizations


Designing High-Performing Organizations                                                                                                           

Organization Development is one of the most powerful tools available to senior managers for shaping the direction of their organizations (French and Bell  ).

The organizational design process helps the organization define a strategy to maximize its success.  It is the deliberate act of  aligning the strategy, culture, structures, systems,  processes, leadership, reward systems, and people practices, and policies to create an effective organization.
Organization Development professionals can help senior leaders redesign organizational structure by facilitating meetings to identify areas of improvement, collecting feedback to determine gaps, and leading action planning sessions to set goals and identify outcomes.  Most leaders lack the skills to lead redesign efforts which results in failure to produce the desired outcomes and misalignment of organizational systems.This causes frustration and disengagement.

The process for organization design can take a few weeks to several months and depends upon the size and complexity of the organization. Determining the organization’s strategy is often facilitated by someone with a background in leading organization redesign, such as the OD staff, and the company’s leadership and executive team.

Designing the organization’s structure, processes, rewards systems, and people is typically the responsibility of the leadership team. Although they own the process, it’s important to involve others in the process of gaining input and buyin as well.  It’s important to tie the redesign into the organization business strategy and identify the opportunities for improvement.  Jay Galbraith’s “Star Model” or the McKenzie “7 S Model” are excellent resources for guiding senior leaders through the redesign process.

Once the high-level designs are established, the detailed designs are developed by subject matter expert group.  The implementation plan should include a communication strategy, clear goals and roles, a plan for overcoming resistance and address issues, collecting feedback, evaluating outcomes, identifying issues, refining issues, and sustaining the process through skill development.

Author:  Dr. Nancy Zentis, Institute of Organization Development, offering online OD Certification Programs.  For more information about these, please vist our website:


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