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What can whole-system organizational design do for you?

*"&#!!$@" what?! Whole-system organizational design: a great solution for your business!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the left-hand doesn’t know what the right-hand is doing.” If this is a commonly muttered phrase within your organization, consider whole-system organizational design.

I’m often asked to explain what I do: I see your organization as a whole, living system. To that end, I work with your organization, not your operational areas. Whether your organization is in a start up phase, in expansion, or in the throws of a large change, organizational design is the way to set up your business for success.

What is whole-system, organizational design?

Business consultants are fantastic. They serve a very important purpose in establishing your important business functions (i.e., marketing & communication, finance & accounting, HR, and much more). This is very necessary work to get your organization up and running. But what happens if these functions are developed in silos? Or without consideration of how each function needs to be connected. The other consideration is that many business consultants are developing managerial skills rather than leadership skills. This means the focus is on the task not necessarily the person.

In Organizational Development, we provide a holistic look and solution for your business. Looking at all of the functional/operational areas to identify:

  • Often overlooked operational inter-dependencies

  • Connection points, commonality, internal and external hand-offs, as well as creating and sustaining great employee and customer experiences. Establishing consistency within your organization is highly important for both employees and customers.

  • Important functional areas that require tighter processes vs. those areas where looser, employee driven processes are OK.

How it works

We carefully and methodically document each process within your organization to find connection points. Documentation can include swim lanes, written procedures with rationale, and policies. In high-quality areas, this can also include document control to ensure that changes are made only with full knowledge and consent of the organization.

Next steps include carefully creating matrices that detail who needs to what learning and using the appropriate learning modalities to educate the right people with the right information. RACI matrices are also helpful in ensuring that communication remains consistent. This is very valuable for new team members as well!

With these important documents developed, the team will then begin to evaluate the degree of learning materials that are necessary for success. This might include learning for existing or new team members. Job-aids, computer screen shots, documents, photos, among many other items are important parts of this material as well. Typically, team members or operational areas will receive complete binders of material to ensure just-in-time learning for those processes that are not commonly used.

Finally, preparing a full-suite of materials for new team members and contractors is a great part of your organizational socialization practice. This is a sure-way to set up your new team members for success from day one!

Whole system organizational design – why?

There are tremendous benefits from engaging in organizational design. In addition to ensuring that all of your functional areas are operating together, consider the following, it:

  • Helps to alleviate hidden factories, operational silos, and work-arounds.

  • Documents processes to promotes mentoring, rounding, and/or GEMBA walks

  • Socializes new team members more effectively

  • Provides just-in-time organizational learning

  • Alleviates role stress - a very stressful occurrence for your team members, known to decrease organizational commitment

  • Sets up clear expectations around important processes

  • Aids in easier integration for new operational areas as your business grows

  • Easily identifies the five areas where consistency is a must and areas where team members can bring in their own ideas to promote innovation and improvement.

  • Improves communication as your team members understand their role within a system.

What can Archetype Learning Solutions do for your organization?

Most consultants have their tried-and-true tools, or an archetype, in their approach. Your organization is itself an archetype which is why your organization needs a solution as unique as it. Lets connect! We can help create a whole-system organizational design to bring you these great benefits.

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