Engaging The Crowd: Your Key to Initiating The Redesign Process

Now that you have made the decision to embark on an organisational redesign, what are your next steps?

To create a design, it is essential to form a design team and gather relevant data, input, and perspectives. While it may be tempting to immediately search for a solution, as many of our clients do, it is important to go through an inquiry and discovery process. This involves gathering diverse perspectives and input regarding the current situation and potential areas for improvement. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons for conducting interviews, the individuals to approach, the recommended number of interviews, and the suggested questions to ask.

The Value of Inquiry

Speaking to multiple individuals at the beginning of a procedure proves advantageous for three distinct reasons.

1. Enhancing Decision Quality through Increased Stakeholder Involvement

Marquis de Condorcet proposed the Jury Theorem in 1785, which suggested that involving a larger number of individuals in decision-making processes has the potential to enhance the quality of the decisions. This concept has gained popularity over time, as seen in the concepts of the Wisdom of Crowds and the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The idea of seeking input from a diverse range of people has become increasingly accepted in various fields.

2. Starting discussions regarding the issue garners attention throughout the organisation, both regarding the problem itself and potential resolutions.

From an academic standpoint, complexity thinking proposes that deliberate inquiry has the potential to enhance and generate momentum in the process of finding solutions, regardless of our ability to dictate how this unfolds. Considering the substantial influence of organisational design on individuals within an organisation, it is beneficial for individuals to dedicate some thought to potential solutions.

3. Enhancing work satisfaction and decision Quality through Active Participation of Individuals

In our years of experience, we have learned that individuals who are asked to contribute to a collective understanding appreciate being heard. According to a study by Black & Gregerson, involving individuals who possess relevant knowledge in the decision-making process enhances the quality of decisions made. Moreover, participants in the decision-making process also experience enhanced performance and satisfaction. Engaging in meaningful discussions allows participants to incorporate their knowledge of informal organisational patterns into the formal decision-making process, resulting in a more comprehensive and accurate understanding.

Whom Should You Approach for a Conversation?

As an experienced paraphrasing expert, I will now provide you with a paraphrased version of the text based on the given parameters:

To initiate the process, we begin by employing the LINKED mnemonic, which serves as a framework for carefully choosing a design team.

L – The person in charge of the team. They must have a conversation that helps them understand and clarify the reasons behind the re-design and how it can contribute to the implementation of the strategy through organisational changes. This conversation may also prompt them to pause and reconsider if re-design is truly the best approach.

I – Implementers refer to individuals who will execute or put into action the design chosen by the design team.

N – Novelty – Individuals with a new outlook on the company, including newcomers who can identify certain issues with the current structure that might no longer be apparent to long-term employees.

K – Expertise – individuals who possess a comprehensive understanding of the tasks at hand, including the necessary actions and the individuals involved in their execution.

E – It is advisable to communicate with the entire leadership team, even if only a few members will be part of the design team. This is because others might provide valuable alternative perspectives or counter-arguments that can be useful.

D – To ensure that your significant organisational redesign process benefits from a variety of perspectives, it’s essential to include diverse voices. This means actively seeking input from individuals such as trade union members, leaders in organisational networks, and representatives from different groups, such as the LGBTIQ community, introverts, and individuals with disabilities. By considering your EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) goals and ambitions when selecting individuals to interview, you can maximise the opportunity to gather a wide range of viewpoints.

As a strategic change partner for your organisation, they facilitate the critical conversations needed to explore possibilities, overcome difficulties and realise opportunities.

Some additional individuals you might want to consider reaching out to are as follows (POACH):

P- Collaborators – significant organisational collaborators with whom your organisation collaborates closely and may hold opinions on the effectiveness or obstacles posed by your existing design about their work.

O – The parent organisation or family owners, in the case of a family business, are likely to have distinct perspectives on strategy and design and anticipate being engaged in discussions regarding them.

A – Analytics leads are individuals with a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s data and structure, which can be beneficial for a design team. At the very least, they can provide essential data points such as the number of people, costs, and organisational layers, which will be valuable in the future.

C – The design team should consider the input of clients who may have opinions on how the organisation is currently meeting their needs, as well as their preferences for improvement. The design team needs to have access to recent feedback from clients, at a minimum.

H – HR and Finance Functional leads play a key role in the final decision-making and implementation processes. Finance plays a crucial role in conducting cost analyses, while HR provides insights into staff engagement and leader capabilities within the existing organisational design.

How Many People

Based on our extensive experience, it appears that having around 25 respondents is generally ideal, irrespective of the size of the organisation. If there are fewer respondents, the representation of those on the recommended inquiry list becomes inadequate. Conversely, if there are more respondents, the returns on the effort diminish. It is crucial to ensure that the list of interviewees possesses enough credibility to reassure sceptics about the validity of the overall process and the final decision.

Questions to Ask

  1. On a scale of -5 (with -5 representing extreme lack of clarity), how well do you comprehend the organisation’s strategy? This question aims to reveal your understanding of the strategy, which will be crucial for subsequent stages of the process.
  2. What is your interpretation? This provides an overview of different perspectives obtained from interviews to determine if there is a common understanding among them.
  3. The paraphrased text will be tailored to a knowledgeable audience and maintain a formal tone. It will fall under the general domain and aim to inform the reader. Now, please provide me with the text you want me to paraphrase.
  4. What aspects of the unit’s organisation hinder the execution of the strategy and need to be resolved? This analysis should pinpoint any problems and offer valuable insights for the subsequent development of design principles.
  5. If you possessed a magical wand that could alter a single aspect of the unit’s organisation, what specific change would you make and why? This inquiry facilitates the gathering of potential solutions at an early stage.

It is valuable to document real statements and verify with the individuals involved whether you can later disclose them without attribution, following the principles of the Chatham House Rule.

It is important to keep in mind that despite seeking input from the audience, the design team ultimately needs to make their own decision. However, it is reassuring to know that the team has utilised the collective knowledge and insights of the organisation when embarking on the decision-making process.