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Leading Organization Design: How to Make Organization Design Decisions to Drive the Results You Want

ISBN: 978-0-470-58959-5
336 pages
December 2010, Jossey-Bass
Leading Organization Design: How to Make Organization Design Decisions to Drive the Results You Want (0470589590) cover image


Praise for Leading Organization Design

"Designing organizations for performance can be a daunting task. Kesler and Kates have done an admirable job distilling the inherent complexity of the design process into manageable parts that can yield tangible results. Leading Organization Design provides an essential hands-on roadmap for any business leader who wants to master this topic." —Robert Simons, Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"Kesler and Kates have encapsulated their wealth of knowledge and practical experience into an updated model on organizational design that will become a new primer on the subject." —Neville Isdell, retired chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

"In today's world of global business, organizational design is a critical piece of long-term success. Kesler and Kates have captured multiple approaches to optimize global opportunities, while highlighting some of the keys to managing through organizational transition. A great read for today's global business leaders." —Charles Denson, president, Nike Brand

"Leading Organization Design has some unique features that make it valuable. It is one of the few and certainly only recent books to take us through an explicit process to design modern organizations. This is accomplished with the five-milestone process. The process is not a simple cookbook. Indeed, the authors have achieved a balance between process and content. In so doing, Kesler and Kates show us what to do as well as how to do it."—Jay Galbraith, from the Foreword

"Sheds light on the challenges of organization design in a complex enterprise and more importantly provides aninsightful and practical roadmap for business decisions."—Randy MacDonald, SVP, human resources, IBM

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jay Galbraith.

Introduction: Why Organization Design.

1. The Five Milestones.

Milestone One: Business Case and Discovery.

2. Clarify the Strategic Priorities.

3. Define the Case for Change.

4. Set the Design Criteria.

Milestone One Summary: Business Case and Discovery.

Milestone Two: Strategic Grouping.

5. Use the Six Design Drivers.

6. Choose the Best Grouping Option.

7. Embrace the Matrix.

Milestone Two Summary: Strategic Grouping.

Milestone Three: Integration.

8. Design for Operating Governance.

9. Allocate Power in the Matrix: A Case Study in Governance.

10. Redesign Functions to Be Integrators

Milestone Three Summary: Integration.

Milestone Four: Talent and Leadership.

11. Design the Leadership Organization.

12. Make the Right Talent Choices.

Milestone Four Summary: Talent and Leadership.

Milestone Five: Transition.

13. Set the Implementation Plan.

14. Navigate the Transition.

Milestone Five Summary: Transition.

Conclusion: Organization Design in Action.

15. Roles, Involvement, and the Project Timeline.

16. The Design Charette.

17. Conclusion: Learning to Lead Organization Design.


About the Authors.


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Author Information

The authors are managing partners at Kates Kesler Organization Consulting. The organization design approach and tools they have developed together and with Jay Galbraith have become the standard internal design methodology used in dozens of major corporations around the world.

Greg Kesler has consulted with corporations worldwide for over twenty years on organization design, executive talent management, and HR planning. He has published many articles and book chapters on organization design and succession planning and is on the editorial board of People & Strategy journal.

Amy Kates helps leaders and teams assess organizational issues, reshape structures and processes, and build depth of management capability. She is coauthor of two books with Jay Galbraith and an editor of People & Strategy. She teaches organization design at Cornell University, the DTU Executive School of Business (Denmark), and in client-specific programs.

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Press Release

January 03, 2011
Leading Organization Design

NEW YORK CITY – (January 3, 2010) – Business leaders can impact their organizations in three ways – but often only use two of them.

They focus on strategy and top-level talent, but neglect organization design – the deliberate configuration of business units, processes, support functions, geographic offices, reporting lines and responsibilities.  Yet organization design can be the key to global competitiveness, creating agile structures that balance global and local needs and respond quickly to a dynamic, shifting business landscape.

That’s the viewpoint of the just-published Leading Organization Design: How to Make Organization Design Decisions to Drive the Results You Want (December 2010, Jossey-Bass).  The book, by noted organization design and strategy consultants Amy Kates and Greg Kesler, managing partners at Kates Kesler Organization Consulting, shows leaders how to design responsive business structures capable of shifting resources to exactly where they’re needed.

Among the topics covered in the book are:

  • Why strategy and vision are important – but aren’t enough by themselves to create effective performance.
  • Why leaders are mistaken to focus only on central control – and what kinds of authority they should give to local regions.
  • Why it’s a mistake to over-value smooth, harmonious teamwork – and how creative tension can make a business better.
  • How poor organization design stifles talent – and the role that talent should play in the senior leadership team.
  • How to use the Matrix to strike a balance between central and regional needs.
  • The Five Milestones of organization design.
  • The Six Design Drivers, and how they guide the development of successful organizations.

“A business leader can only directly control three levers: strategy, the organization design and the choice of players sitting on the top team. A great strategy will fail, and great talent will be frustrated, if the power and decision networks aren’t clear,” says co-author Amy Kates.

“A well-designed organization creates agility within businesses and across businesses,” says co-author Greg Kesler.  “Organization design opens up new approaches to creating agility, for example by building flexible pools of talent in the back end, with more customer-aligned groups in the front.  It takes courage to make some of these changes, but there are some exciting things happening in this area.”

Leading Organization Design: How to Make Organization Design Decisions to Drive the Results You Want is available for purchase from Jossey-Bass and from leading booksellers.  For more information, go to http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470589590.html

To arrange a conversation with Amy Kates and/or Gregory Kesler, please contact Frank Lentini at Sommerfield Communications, Inc. at (212) 255-8386 / lentini@sommerfield.com.


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