human productivity, llc |

Sample Projects

Organization Design

Designing for Competitive Advantage

This low-tech manufacturing firm had lost significant market share in recent years due to quality control problems, commodity pricing miscalculations and a failure to respond to changing market conditions. For many years this firm had competed successfully by offering innovative products to its domestic customers. The new CEO was determined to return the firm to profitability. However, agressive moves by both domestic and foreign competitors made him question if the firm could simply recommit to an innovative product strategy.  Furthermore, whatever strategy was adopted, the organization would need to be thoughtfully designed to support that strategy.

Diagnostic interviews with the executive team and business unit leaders revealed wide-ranging views regarding the current approach to competition (without executive alignment on this point most strategies are doomed). We provided educational and advisory services to guide the firm?s executive and business unit leaders allowing them to make an informed decision regarding which approach to marketplace competition they would employ e.g., low-cost provider, product innovator or customer intimacy. After careful analysis and scenario testing, the firm chose its basis of competition going forward.

We then worked closely with executive and unit leaders to help them identify the specific near-term and long-term design changes needed to fully support the firm's new approach to competition. These changes once implemented created: 1) strategic clarity at the executive level, 2) performance metrics that would drive strategic behavior throughout the organization, 3) lines of authority that ensured resources were managed in the interest of strategy, 4) strengthened core processes to consistently deliver customer value and, 5) people practices that ensured the workforce was fully engaged in doing their part to achieve strategic goals. During design implementation, we coached the executive team and the business unit leadership teams in change management practices that enabled the workforce to understand their role in the redesigned organization and to stay productive during the transition period.