An Introduction to Organisational Design

I’m sure the first thing you wonder is, what exactly is organisational design? Organisational design is the process of aligning an organisation’s structure with its mission or value proposition. Designing an organisation means looking at the complicated relationship between tasks, workflow, responsibility, and authority and ensuring that they support the business objectives.

This process is crucial for small and medium enterprises because it is at this point that organisations often start to evolve rather than to be designed.  As a result, the design that emerges is likely to be flawed with misaligned incentives, process and workflow gaps, and barriers to good communication. How work happens, how information is shared, how you reward people, and how work flows throughout the organisation affects how well the organisation performs.

Small and medium businesses, in particular, are at the right apex of growth to ensure that they get it right.  Most productivity and performance issues are a result of poor organisational design.  Good organisational design helps drive communication, productivity, efficiency, and innovation.  It creates an environment where people can work effectively.

Small to medium businesses often have organic structures, which are more informal, less complicated, and operate on a more “ad-hoc” basis than typical hierarchical structures found in larger organisations.  They tend to rely more on the organisation’s people to take the initiative and adapt and change the way they work as the circumstances change.  There is nothing wrong with this, as there is no actual right or wrong type of organisation. Instead, it is about making sure that that the design fits the organisation’s purpose and its people.

If you’re a small to medium organisation and feel like we’re talking directly to you, give us a ring to hear how we can help you align.

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