Thursday, August 5, 2021


The leadership team must understand that the road to achieving business success is the interdisciplinary approach which weaves organizational design, process management, people management…

Majority of organizations are designed to improve functional efficiency in the industrial era; usually there are restrictive hierarchies and divided functions to accomplish their duty based on  specialties. 

Nowadays, we move to the hyperconnected digital era with knowledge abundance and frequent disruptions. To streamline information flow and raise business speed, functional borders are blurred and silo thinking is gradually broken down. Companies need to have an in-depth understanding of the gains and pains of organizational design and development, practice the art and discipline of designing an enterprise continually.

We can construct without design but we elevate construction by design: Traditional companies are often operated like the mechanical system that keeps spinning inside-out. But today, in creating a digital organization as an outside-in" and socio-technical system, the premium organizational design should be fluid enough to streamline information flow, flatten the overly restrictive hierarchy to enable cross-functional communication & collaboration, and improve flexibility to achieve business  autonomy. Organizational design is an interdisciplinary domain which needs the artistic imagination of how to keep the staff delightful and the scientific structure tuning for improving business effectiveness and efficiency, as well as keep optimizing the business processes from event driven to people centric to fit the purpose of the business. It is a question of re-inventing and re-engineering people, process, and technology to orchestrate a high performance system.

Organizations are complex, with diverse elements such as people, process, and technology, as an integrated system and functions as organic living things that ameliorate multiple effects and shape business structures, cultures, and systems continuously. Organizational design needs to be understood holistically and applies “simplicity” principles to architect and design an ecological organization that can self-adapt and self-renew, being able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior during the execution of its adaptation to environmental changes dynamically.

Create the structural and aesthetic themes for enforcing business interconnectivities: To enable the business to respond to changes promptly, the organizational structure is solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and ideas flowing. The right mixed structure is the one that allows the right mentality and culture to bloom. The “organizational design” issue is really about how to build the best mixture of important elements that enable the organizational interdependence, enforcing business interconnectivities, and harness adaptability through less hierarchy, frictionless processes, and hyperconnected business dynamic.

To handle the “organizational design” problem smoothly for improving organizational agility, the formal organizational hierarchy and informal business relationship structures wrap around seamlessly to map the flow of information and workload, and enforce mutual respects between organizational structure and process design. So the company is able to enhance interconnectivity, adapting to the change and business emergence. The goal of digital organizational design tuning is to strike the delicate balance between solid and flow, functioning and delight, foster communication, collaboration, and accountability.

High mature digital organizations should integrate the organizational design into the business process design and organizational re-engineering: Organizational design reflects the configuration of the value-creating business processes. An organization with fine-tuned lightweight business processes allows information and idea flow, get nurtured and turn into business value, harness cross-functional communication, and mass collaboration, to create business synergy. Organization structure and its impact on efficiency could play either positive or negative impact on business culture and effectiveness. Thus, you have to make sure that the organizational design is not only in alignment with the organizational "culture," but also helps to cultivate the culture of learning and innovation, as that plays a critical role in how you leverage design factors to restructure your department or reinvent your company.

The successful process improvement initiatives should have representation and input from organizational design management. Organizational design is the ultimate expression of the organization’s strategy, so it needs to expand the lens for catching a holistic business perspective. Process people are best suited for information/workload flow mapping, but organizational design people and senior management are best suited for realigning functions and management. Limited hierarchy with some “unstructured processes” as the digital normality works best to build a creative environment. In creating an "outside-in” people-centric business, it is a question of re-engineering, reinventing, and it requires cross-disciplinary efforts.

The leadership team must understand that the road to achieving business success is the interdisciplinary approach which weaves organizational design, process management, people management, information/innovation management to a holistic problem-solving discipline and proactively plan the total business ecosystem to generate the prosperity of constituencies and renew organizational vision consistently.


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