Organization Design

Build the right organizational capabilities and structure to execute your strategy

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Without the right organization design, your strategy is just a wish list

Organization design defines clear roles and processes; letting your people do their best work with more accountability and buy-in—but less wasted effort. It builds an inclusive workplace where your teams pull together. And most of all, it makes you more nimble—ready to change when your market and customers call for it.

Business today is too unpredictable to rely on lines and boxes. You need a blueprint that’s built on your organization’s health as it stands: your purpose, culture and operating model. But you should also focus on the future: what skills will you need to get ahead tomorrow?

We understand all these parts of the organization design. So yes, we can get your teams bought in to your strategy and structure. But beyond that, we know how to turn this buy-in into action — and truly change people’s ways of working.

How We Help You

Our organizational design experts take your business strategy and translate it into a list of what you need to succeed. This list helps us create your new operating framework and organizational design. Then, it’s time to make the change happen. 

First, your leadership team needs to be aligned

  • We get your executive team on the same page when it comes to your strategic direction, priorities and purpose 
  • We build this team as we go so they’ll be able to adapt as new challenges emerge

Then we spot the gaps

  • By combining your data with our benchmarks, we pinpoint where your organization is today and where it needs to be tomorrow
  • We analyze your whole structure: spans, layers, job architecture, reporting lines, and people costs
  • Using our organization analysis and mapping tools and network analysis, we see where work is getting done
  • We analyze your leaders and engagement to understand how you’re communicating with your people
  • All in all, you get an outside-in look at how your organization measures up against everyone else

Next, we design the organization you want to be

  • At this stage, we turn your strategic priorities into an operating model, organizational structure, and set of governance processes
  • Then we build a structure to let people stay on their toes; ready to shift their approach whenever they need to

Then we roll it all out

  • We turn ideas into action using our experience in behavior change
  • We create a practical action plan for the changes 
  • Finally, we win people’s hearts and minds to make sure it all sticks

Job Evaluation Training

Half the world's largest organizations use the Korn Ferry Hay Method℠ of job evaluation, bringing together the right people, jobs, and structures to execute their strategies.


Our experts

Our experts are the best at what they do. We work with your team as an honest and inclusive partner to achieve and exceed your business goals, and we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you achieve greatness.

Let us be part of your success story

Contact us and see how our consulting services can help you achieve your business goals.

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FAQs about organizational design

What is organizational design?

Organizational design structures an organization’s resources, processes and systems, enabling the organization to achieve its goals. It involves designing a company’s organizational hierarchy, governance principles, roles and responsibilities, processes and culture to align with its mission, vision, values and overall strategy.

Organizational design’s purpose is to create a coherent, integrated system that ensures the right people are in the right roles and that the company follows effective decision-making processes. Its goal is to ensure that an organization’s structure facilitates communication and collaboration.

The activities involved in organizational design vary. They may include assessing an organization’s current structure and identifying areas for improvement, defining roles and responsibilities, developing governance mechanisms, designing processes and systems and creating a culture that supports the organization’s objectives.

In the long run, an effective organizational design can allow a business to adapt to changing circumstances, respond to new opportunities and achieve its goals.

What are the key components of organizational design?

Organizational design touches a number of areas of an organization to ensure they work together to attain the organization’s purpose. Key organizational design principles include the following:

  • Strategy: Organizational design considers a company’s vision, mission and goals. It also explores the strategies and tactics the company uses to achieve its goals.
  • Structure: Organizational design consulting examines a company’s formal arrangement of roles, responsibilities and reporting relationships. Specifically, org design looks at how many levels exist in an organizational hierarchy, how large the span of control is for company leaders and what functional areas or departments exist in the company.
  • Processes: Part of organizational design evaluates the formal and informal procedures and workflows that people use to accomplish organizational goals. For example, consultants may review the company’s decision-making, communication, collaboration and performance management processes.
  • Culture: Organizational design includes a review of what makes up a company’s culture, including its shared values, beliefs, assumptions and norms. Consultants assess what elements shape how individuals in the organization behave, interact and make decisions.
  • People: People are at the heart of organizational design. Organizational design principles suggest the review of an organization’s human resources, including the skills, knowledge, experience and diversity of its employees. Org design also considers talent-related practices, including recruitment, retention, and development.
  • Technology: Consultants also look at what tools, systems and infrastructure support the organizational structure and design. They consider access to tools and resources, including information technology, manufacturing equipment and more.
  • Environment: Finally, organizational design consulting assesses the external factors that impact an organization, such as market conditions, regulations, competitors and social trends.

What are the steps involved in organizational design consulting?

The steps involved in organizational design consulting vary from project to project and from organization to organization. The proper steps may depend on why the organization is rethinking its design, whether in response to changes in the market, the launch of a new business strategy or the fact that the current organizational design is no longer fit for purpose.

Common steps involved in organizational design consulting are as follows:

  • Diagnosis: Organizational design consultants begin by understanding the organization’s current structure, culture, processes and performance. They also consider any external factors shaping a company’s environment. They gather data through methods such as employee interviews, surveys and focus groups.
  • Analysis: After diagnosing any issues, org design consultants analyze the data to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the organizational design. This process may include tools such as SWOT analysis, stakeholder mapping and process mapping, among others.
  • Design: Organizational design consultants work with an organization’s leaders to develop a new organizational design that resolves any issues and aligns with the organization's goals and strategy. This step may involve creating a new organizational chart, defining roles and responsibilities, designing processes and workflows and developing a new culture.
  • Implementation: Org design consultants with the organization to implement the design. Implementing the change likely involves drafting a change management plan, building and executing a strategy to communicate the change to employees, training employees on new processes and roles and monitoring the progress of the transformation.
  • Evaluation: Organizational design consultants assess the effectiveness of the new design. Using key performance metrics and feedback from stakeholders, consultants identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement and refine the organizational design.

Why are organizational structure and design important?

Organizational structure and design are critical elements in ensuring an organization is set up to thrive. A poor organizational structure can cause a host of problems, including low employee morale, high staff turnover, poor work quality, lack of coordination between business units, wasted time and ineffective problem-solving. In turn, these problems can lead to missed business targets and overall lackluster performance.

But when organizations get their structure and design right, they can improve their efficiency, streamline decision-making and strengthen their culture.

A sound organizational structure aligns a company’s resources, roles and processes with the business strategy. It clarifies employees’ roles and responsibilities, so they’re more likely to perform better. And it encourages organizations to respond better to shifting market conditions and emerging threats. In turn, the organization can become more adaptable and innovative. As a result, the organization is more likely to earn higher profits and improve the quality of its goods and services. It’s also likely to have a more motivated workforce and be better prepared to weather disruption.