UNDERSTANDING AND LEVERAGING YOUR ORGANIZATION'S INFRASTRUCTURE AND
HOW IT ENABLES RESULTS
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.
any of these symptoms familiar to you?
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
takes too long for decisions to get made--and it's harder than
it needs to be
are late and/or over budget, putting you at a disadvantage in
organizations are stovepiped, competing for resources and not
managing their interdependencies to the benefit of the organization
relationships with supply chain partners are not getting the returns
you'd planned on
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
starts and rework
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.
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:
teams collaborate effectively to innovate and solve organization
and interdependencies are identified, clearly defined, and well
and teams are energized, creative, committed, and take initiative
to contribute to the company's success
chain relationships are co-managed for win-win results for all
experience your company as easy to do business with
organization learns, adapts, and evolves as changes occur in the
marketplace and other internal and external environments
your organization's infrastructure enabling your success or is it
an obstacle to getting the right things done?
are three distinct sources of power that can be leveraged to create
an enabling infrastructure that is a source of competitiveness for
of Organization Design
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.
of Clear, Complementary, Aligned Strategies & Goals
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
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.
Can You Do To Leverage These Three Sources of Power for Your Organization?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
to get started? Here's how:
Discover specific areas of opportunity for you and your company
to leverage the Three Powers
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
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.
free subscription to CoastWise Consulting's newsletter,
The View from The Lighthouse. Delivered to you by e-mail bi-monthly.
us to explore how CoastWise Consulting can help you
design and implement an infrastructure that matches and enables
your business strategy.