SOURCE: Kates Kesler Organization Consulting

Kates Kesler Organization Consulting

January 04, 2011 08:45 ET

Business Leaders Can Transform Performance Through Organization Design -- But Often Fail to Do So

New Book by Partners at Kates Kesler Organization Design Shows Steps to Create Agile Structures for Global Competition

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 4, 2011) - 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.

About the Authors

Amy Kates is a managing partner at Kates Kesler Organization Consulting. In addition to consulting work, Kates teaches organization design in the M.B.A. program at the Executive School of Business in Denmark and through Cornell University. Amy is the author of several publications including the books Designing Dynamic Organizations and Designing Your Organizations with Jay Galbraith. She is an editor of the journal, People & Strategy.

Greg Kesler, managing partner at Kates Kesler Organization Consulting, has worked with more than 50 major corporations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific. He has published numerous articles on succession planning, executive development and human resources strategy. Before beginning his consulting career, Mr. Kesler held senior HR-management positions in three Fortune 200 companies in the US and Europe.

About Kates Kesler Organization Consulting

Kates Kesler Organization Consulting is an organization design and strategy firm which provides leading companies with organization design assessment and implementation, executive talent development, human resources capability building, and management development programs. The firm's methodology, which has been refined through 20 years of application and learning, is the standard in the field and is used at companies such as Intel, Bank of America, Dell, Merck, Nike, MetLife, John Deere, Coca-Cola, Beiersdorf, SC Johnson, Gallo, and Disney. To learn more visit www.kateskesler.com.

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