The question “is my organisation design right?” is often asked by leaders and stakeholders.
The Covid-19 pandemic itself has provided a test of ‘rightness’ to many aspects of our organisations’ designs. Companies like Amazon with their robust customer website and logistics network, whilst already thriving passed a test of whether locating themselves (for customers) in an online world was right. Ocado, had to scramble to adapt to a significant increase in customer demand for online groceries, showing they had the right customer channels but the design of their IT systems wasn’t quite ‘right’ and would need to adapt. And the lack of foot traffic has meant a permanent closure of retailers already struggling to adapt in a rapidly changing world. It’s a little like “survival of the fittest”.
We cannot be complacent about our designs. We need to adapt.
The diagram above shows the five steps of design thinking as a continuous process. Rather than asking ourselves if our organisation design is right, we should be asking “is our organisation design as effective as it could be?” Are the quick adaptations we have made during Covid necessary and fit for purpose in the longer term? Can we design in the ability to cope better with a shock (like Covid-19) in the future? Emergence still needs to be tested.
This collection of tools will provide some ways for leaders and designers to make wise organisation design choices and decisions.
Read the tools and consider which are helpful for you assess your design work.