What is organization design?

Organization design is the deliberate process of configuring structures, processes, reward systems, and people practices to create an effective organization capable of achieving the business strategy. The organization is not an end in itself; it is simply a vehicle for accomplishing the strategic tasks of the business. A well-designed organization helps everyone in the business do her or his job effectively. A poorly-designed organization (or an organization by default) creates barriers and frustrations for people both inside and outside the organization.

Our philosophy is to analyze the current organization and catalog what is working and what is not working. From the strategy we develop criteria that guide us in developing and choosing between different organization alternatives. The Star Model™ is the framework we use in our analysis and subsequent recommendations. To learn more about the Star Model™ click Star Model™.

We view organization design as a continuous process, not an acute event that happens every decade or so. A healthy and effective organization is one that grows and evolves in response to both external and internal pressures and opportunities. This philosophy can be shown schematically in the diagram below:

org design
We work in a number of different ways depending on the client’s preference. Some clients want large group buy-in to the process and its result, while others would rather set up a small executive team to work with the consultant on devising a new organization design. Still other clients prefer to do the work themselves but have us come in to critique the process and progress at various points along the way.

The books and papers that we have posted on this website can help you in your quest to get the organization you need. Please see the Resources section of this site for more information. Otherwise, please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions you might have.

Featured Book

  • Designing Matrix Organizations that Actually Work

    Designing Matrix Organizations that Actually Work

    Matrix doesn't fail, but managers often fail at implementing the matrix. Learn how successful companies have mastered the matrix.

    Read More
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What People Are Saying

  • "Jay Galbraith is no doubt the world’s leading expert in organization design. Jay joined us at International Paper for a major redesign effort in one of our key international regions. In a very short period of time, he was able to lead the management group through a design process that resulted in a more focused, customer-centric organization."
    — Diana Bell, Director, Global Talent Management and Executive Development, International Paper.

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Contact Galbraith Management Consultants

303 S Broadway Suite 200-403
Denver, Colorado 80209

Telephone: +1.970.389.4107

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