Clients rarely say “we have an organizational design problem.” Instead we usually hear:
- “We don’t have the right people in key roles”
- “Nobody takes responsibility around here; we have too much finger pointing and not enough collaboration”.
- “We are busy putting out fires; we can’t get the important things done”
- “We talk about the need to become more adaptive and flexible, but it’s hard to change.”
While it’s not obvious, our experience working with managers at all levels in many different organizations suggests that these problems are almost always rooted in an organizational design issue. But the connection is rarely made because most organizations can’t actually measure either the extent to which their design is dysfunctional or the profitability cost that results. Managers thus try various interventions aimed at the symptoms – selection, training, process improvement – rather than fixing the more fundamental structural deficiencies causing problems.
Our organization grew from an understanding that the realities and constraints of organization structure can be successfully addressed only if they can be measured – only if metrics exist to reveal them and show their impact. Creating these metrics is what OrgMetrix does.
The theoretical base for our metrics is the design theory advanced by Elliott Jaques nearly half a century ago. It speaks to the complexity of work levels, and the importance of cognitive capability in relation to role level complexity requirements. We have built on that important theory by devising a system of quantitative measures which enable precise evaluation of a given organization’s structure in relation to its human resources and its functional processes.
Our orientation stems from our extensive staff experience – nearly half a century for some of us – as consultants, trainers, and researchers. Over time, we have been involved in projects targeting leadership development, organization development, team building, organization restructuring, change management, quality improvement, and other disciplines of organization development. Our experience has shown repeatedly that assessing organization structure should be an early part of any improvement effort. Without attention to factors such as clarity of roles, design of work processes, role-relationships, and proper selection of people to ensure fit-to-role, the benefits of virtually any improvement initiative typically don’t last.
This made evident a need for a practical cost-effective way to measure and evaluate organization structure. So we have developed a system of metrics and a simulation system that runs on an OrgVue platform. Our system normatively evaluates the functional organization design parameters that bear on organizational agility and resilience. With it, we can pinpoint issues and recommend solutions that open the door to more effective organization function. Effective organization improvement requires evidence-based decision making. And evidence-based decision making in turn requires good measurement – valid, accurate and timely. Our work at OrgMetrix reflects our commitment to meeting this need.