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Orchestrating Success: How two global enterprises implemented a new organisational model for excellence

I am very conscious of the fact that a management consultant is of the tiniest elements within the intricate landscape of global business. And yet, it is eminent how my work is part of something fundamental: usually a transformation, a change in course, a restart.


This case study explores the transformative journey of two distinct clients with a similar quest. Both refined not just key processes of a business function but designed the next version of the organisational model. This outline of our approach exemplifies the convergence of strategy, collaboration, and future-fitness. And it demonstrates the different elements which need to be orchestrated in order to succeed.


Step 1: Comprehensive Organizational Analysis


Deep Dive into Organizational Nuances

Analysing available organigrams and conducting in-depth interviews across hierarchical levels (from executives to frontline employees) helped understand the starting point. This phase aimed at unraveling the complexities and specificities inherent in a global organization of scale. Key findings highlighted variations in organizational set up, divergent promotion cultures, and disparities in decision-making processes across different geographies.


Identifying Key Processes

Central to the organizational analysis was the identification and definition of the key processes across the entire departmental value chain. Each process was examined to understand its role in delivering value to customers and contributing to the department’s mission. This process mapping provided invaluable insights into areas for optimization and alignment with strategic objectives. Also, it allowed fine-tuning the collaboration with internal and external interfaces to increase process speed and quality.

 

Mapping the Organizational Ecosystem

To comprehend the interconnectedness and effectiveness of the workforce, we mapped the organizational ecosystem, identifying influential hubs, potential bottlenecks and inefficiencies. At this point, we made sure to distinguish between “operating” and “support” work and to clarify the relationship between both. This detailed analysis served as the foundation for crafting an organizational model that would not only address current challenges, but especially equip and position the company for scalability and growth.


Step 2: Define Strategic Organizational Frame


Strategic Visioning Workshops

Jointly with key decision makers and opinion leaders, we built the strategic framework consisting of the departments’ vision, mission and key objectives. These workshop sessions aimed to articulate clear organizational objectives that would act as guiding principles for the redesign. The objectives included, i.e. new ways of working, overcoming departmental silos, mutual learning and upskilling, and creating a dynamic framework for innovation and growth across the entire organization.


Alignment with Business Goals

Strategic objectives were closely aligned with overarching business goals, prioritizing agility and adaptability, increasing transparency and accountability, and creating a more unified organizational identity. This alignment ensured that the organizational model would be a catalyst for achieving not only operational excellence but also boost performance and industry leadership across global markets.


Step 3: Tailor Structure to Strategy


Accelerated Innovation

The new organizational model needed to be designed for speed and innovative power. Speed in decision-making, speed in transforming ideas into actions, and speed in capturing and leveraging trends. All innovations needed to display a clear competitive and novel edge, demonstrating thought and ultimately industry leadership. The organizational model reflected this, with designated expert teams and streamlined, partially automated processes to fuel the innovation machine.


Mutual learning and upskilling

The creation of cross-functional teams that cut across divisions, brands or geographies helped to encourage knowledge sharing, upskilling and cross-pollination of ideas. These teams were strategically composed, bringing together individuals with the same vision and objective, but diverse expertise and maturity. This was a departure from the previous siloed approach, fostering an ecosystem of mutual learning.


Overcoming Siloed Thinking

The heart of the organizational model redesign was the reduction of siloed thinking. Several elements contributed to that. One main driver was the mutualization of tasks and activities across business units or different brands. The cross-divisional pooling of resources a) freed resources to focus on core activities b) increased operating speed and quality and c) ultimately created a more unified and collaborative organizational culture.

 

Transparent and fast decision-making

A decision grid is a way of displaying and allocating ownership of important decisions. It helps drive clarity regarding accountability and responsibilities. When setting an organization up for cross-functional collaboration, the decision-making rights need to reflect this. When setting an organization up for speed and innovative power, the decision-making process needs to echo exactly that.

 

Organizational degrees of freedom

One-size-fits-all hardly ever leads to success. The redesign of the organizational model aimed at global harmonization and reduction of complexity. Yet, it also wanted to account for geographical particularities and differences between business units. Therefore, organizational “freedom within a frame” was granted to balance both. This included pre-defined options to organizationally reflect specificities.

 

Augmenting accountability and impact

In order to increase individual accountability, visibility and impact, reporting lines and levels were reviewed and harmonized. The previous organizational set up across geographies and businesses had grown without systematic thought and method. Over time, this led to increased organizational complexity and decreased clarity of roles and responsibilities. Guidance on reporting level and line helped the organization to take decisions at the right level and with more speed. And it also helped improve overall employee satisfaction.

 

Strategic capabilities

An organization cannot be future fit only by being organized differently. It needs the right competencies at the right level. With an assorted and diverse group of stakeholders, we selected a set of organizational capabilities in line with the overall business objectives and vision. We operationalized them, meaning converting the capability into concrete behaviors and actions. This served two purposes: 1) making the vision more tangible and 2) communicating business’ expectations.

 

Step 4: Implement and Iterate on the Organizational Model


Stakeholder Engagement and Management

Recognising the importance of stakeholder engagement, a dedicated focus was placed on managing relationships with internal and external key stakeholders throughout the entire process. This involved regular communication and dialogue, automated feedback mechanisms, and fostering a culture of transparency and trust. Engaging stakeholders ensured buy-in and alignment with the organizational objectives, driving collective efforts towards shared goals. Engaged stakeholders became advocates for the new organizational idea, driving broader acceptance and adoption across the company.


Phased Implementation

Rolling out the redesigned organizational model required a though-through and phased approach. Regional leaders and HR teams played a pivotal role in executing the transition plan. Key countries were identified based on strategic importance and presence of significant workforce. Workshops were conducted to introduce and gather feedback on the proposed organizational model.


Continuous Feedback Mechanisms

Establishing continuous feedback mechanisms was crucial for assessing the real-time impact of the organizational model roll out on employee engagement, innovation, and overall organizational efficiency. As part of the roll-out workshops and feedback sessions were conducted to solicit input from employees across different regions and departments. This iterative approach allowed for ongoing refinement, ensuring that the organizational model remained adaptive to local nuances and leveraged diverse perspectives.


Employee Empowerment Programs

To foster a sense of togetherness, ownership and accountability, an employee empowerment program was established which encouraged a culture of sharing and continuous learning. Recognition and rewards systems were aligned with collaborative achievements, reinforcing the value of collective efforts across different parts of the organization, helping to further de-silo.


Conclusion

The redesign of the organizational model proved to be a pivotal step in balancing speed and sustainable growth. The outlined, high level approach highlights not only the key steps taken to understand and reshape the organizational ecosystem but also the tangible impact on breaking down silos, accelerating innovation, and fostering enhanced stakeholder relationships. The journey of these two multinationals showcases the transformative power of a thoughtfully designed and continuously evolving organizational model in navigating the complexities of the modern business environment.

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