CoastWise Consulting begins its work with you by first understanding the symptoms and diagnosing the conditions that may point to infrastructure problems--in the context of what matters most: your organization's mission, vision, values, critical success factors, and required results. By focusing on how your organization is designed, how well all who are involved in your success understand and work collaboratively to accomplish the organization's goals, and by creating an optimal, aligned human and organization system, your infrastructure will be a source of competitive advantage rather than an obstacle to getting the outcomes and results that you need.

Are any of these symptoms familiar to you?

  • Employees are unclear about their deliverables, how they need to interface with other people and functions, and how their work contributes to the overall success of their function and the organization
  • It takes too long for decisions to get made--and it's harder than it needs to be
  • Products are late and/or over budget, putting you at a disadvantage in the marketplace
  • Functional organizations are stovepiped, competing for resources and not managing their interdependencies to the benefit of the organization
  • Your relationships with supply chain partners are not getting the returns you'd planned on
  • Reorganizations create instability and disruption that are the result of lengthy and incomplete implementations, unclarity about new responsibilities and relationships, and important things falling between organizational cracks
  • False starts and rework

Those who understand that the right organization infrastructure is as much a matter of strategic intent as business or technical strategy know that it is a source of competitive advantage.

When infrastructure is designed to match and enable the mission and strategies of the enterprise, the hidden costs of not attending to the "soft stuff" will be exposed and reduced. The infrastructure will make it easier for people to do the right thing at the right time. Here are some common benefits of a well-matched infrastructure:

  • Cross-functional teams collaborate effectively to innovate and solve organization problems
  • Interfaces and interdependencies are identified, clearly defined, and well managed
  • Employees and teams are energized, creative, committed, and take initiative to contribute to the company's success
  • Supply chain relationships are co-managed for win-win results for all partners
  • Customers experience your company as easy to do business with
  • The organization learns, adapts, and evolves as changes occur in the marketplace and other internal and external environments

Is your organization's infrastructure enabling your success or is it an obstacle to getting the right things done?

There are three distinct sources of power that can be leveraged to create an enabling infrastructure that is a source of competitiveness for your organization:

Power of Organization Design

The design of an organization is more than its structure--the lines and boxes and arrangement of people and functions. It includes such factors as information and reward systems; management and decision making processes; mission, vision, and values; and people. Driven by the requirements of the business strategy, each element is considered separately, weighing and balancing each in relationship to all of others, identifying the trade-offs that need to be made, and determining the best fit of all the elements.

Power of Clear, Complementary, Aligned Strategies & Goals

This is the "demand signal" for organization and employee alignment and deployment of resources, and it's an essential link for successful supply chain relationships. Each person involved in the success of the enterprise-internal and external-must be on the same page and understand how what he or she does contributes to the big picture in order to coordinate their activities and optimize the company's resources.

Power of Collaboration

The nature of things today is that they are very complex. Problems can no longer be solved by individuals working alone or even by several people working
separately and then merging their pieces. Therefore, interdependence is the universal condition, and collaboration is the required work mode. But collaboration doesn't happen by accident. The capacity and structures that enable collaboration within and across organization boundaries must be designed into the infrastructure and culture of the company.

What Can You Do To Leverage These Three Sources of Power for Your Organization?

  1. Look at infrastructure as the complex system that it is.
    Too often it's looked at not at all or as discrete, disconnected parts. Changing one part of a system without looking at the other parts is rarely (if ever) the best way to create an optimal infrastructure. Tweaking one part without looking at its relationship to and impact on other parts only whacks things out to an even greater extent, causing unanticipated problems elsewhere in the organization.

  2. Become aware of the relationship between infrastructure and results.
    Because an organization's infrastructure operates in the background and is largely taken for granted, many leaders and managers are simply unaware of or overlook the impact that carefully and systematically designing your organization can have on enhancing capability to produce outcomes and results.

  3. Design your organization to match your business and technical strategy and the results you desire.
    Organization structures, work and business processes, formal and informal reward systems, and other design elements can be intentionally created to facilitate, support, and enable the behaviors, relationships, interactions, interdependencies, and innovations that are required to get the results you want.

  4. Get some help from someone who has knowledge of and experience with the complexities of organization behavior and design, large complex systems, and organization change methods.
    Would you run the rapids of the Grand Canyon in a raft without a guide? Not if you value your life-and the others in the raft! Leveraging the Three Sources of Power to get the right infrastructure for your business is part art and part science. Much of this work doesn't lend itself to being quantified, and each organization is unique, so it's important to have someone who's run the river before, knows the subtleties of the process, and will help you pick the best path through the white water, stay off the rocks, and enjoy the momentum as you shoot out the other side.

We work in partnership with the client and his/her internal Human Resources and/or Organization staff to understand the needs of the organization, to develop desired outcomes of the engagement, and to determine an appropriate program or intervention to satisfy these requirements.

We want to work with those who have responsibility and accountability for the direction and results of the organization. We know that unless these senior people are intimately involved in and committed to the project, the impact will be limited. Our clients are typically the top-level manager or leader of the organization or function that seeks our assistance who recognizes that organization change is integral to his/her work and a critical variable in his/her success and that of the organization. We also want to work with the Executive Team of the organization, as they are the strategists and leaders who are collectively accountable for the well being of the enterprise as well as implementation and outcomes. And then we want to be directly involved with those who work in the organization that's engaged in the change or development process. Tops down change initiatives rarely have sufficient understanding or buy-in among employees to create lasting change.

Our orientation and approach are holistic, focusing on the unique and complex systems of norms, relationships, interactions, interdependencies, politics, and business requirements that characterize and define organizations. We are quick to see patterns and predict likely scenarios, outcomes, and leverage points. This level of understanding and these abilities are essential components of architecting change initiatives in large, complex, global organizations. Failure to comprehend, integrate, and monitor these variables contributes to loss of momentum and ineffectual programs.

We are, above all, practical. We work with you to create and implement innovative and forward-looking solutions to the challenges, problems, and opportunities in your organization. Our interventions comprehend the realities of your business conditions, are grounded in good business practices and process innovation, and draw on state-of-the-art human and organization systems theory and methods. This combination insures that the work we do with and for you is carefully thought out and planned, well matched to your unique situation and needs, customized to accomplish specific outcomes, and therefore, more likely to achieve the desired results.

CoastWise Consulting specializes in organization design, strategic alignment, all processes and methods for collaboration, and individual and executive coaching. We have over 25 years of experience as innovators in organization development and change, as designers and implementers of custom solutions based on the client company's unique needs and requirements, and as synergists located at the intersection of individual and organization development. We are known and valued for partnering with our clients to tightly link our work to business needs and requirements and producing specific results. We have worked extensively in high tech, fast growth, innovative companies that lead in their industries.

Our approach is grounded by our belief in and practice of the timeless, transformative principles of awareness, compassion, and gratitude. We also believe that both the life experience of individuals and the effectiveness, productivity, sustainable success of organizations are enhanced when organizations and work environments are intentionally created to support and enable creativity, initiative, and collaboration among all and to value and respect the mutual interdependence that exists between employees and organizations.

Ready to get started? Here's how:

A Self-Scoring Assessment: Discover specific areas of opportunity for you and your company to leverage the Three Powers

Our Custom Solutions: The Power of Organization Design, Strategic Alignment, and Collaboration, as well as Individual and Executive Coaching. How and why they work and what they can do for you and your organization

Lots of Free Information: You'll find a wealth of regularly updated information-articles, newsletters, book reviews, web links, and other resources about our areas of specialty.

A free subscription to CoastWise Consulting's newsletter, The View from The Lighthouse. Delivered to you by e-mail bi-monthly.

Contact us to explore how CoastWise Consulting can help you design and implement an infrastructure that matches and enables your business strategy.

CoastWise Consulting
Mountain View, CA 94040
Phone: (650) 969-3535
Fax: (650) 969-5533


© 2012 CoastWise Consulting                         Site Designed by RKS Marketing & Web Design