Organization design & culture

It’s hard to imagine a world pre-COVID, and even harder to imagine one post-COVID. The crisis has tested the acumen of leadership and the agility of organizations in ways never before seen. And they have responded by casting aside bureaucracy and inefficiency and giving rise to positive behaviors that have driven rapid transformational change, becoming more agile, decisive, innovative, collaborative, customer-centric, and empathetic than ever before. The opportunity and challenge for leaders now is to lock in these new ways of working so they can accelerate growth in tandem with the flattening of the curve.


Our point of view

During this crisis organizations have become more agile, decisive, innovative, collaborative and empathetic. How do you keep the best of what you’ve become to thrive in the post-crisis world?

5 minutes

5 minutes

See the slides

10 minutes

10 minutes

Read the report

45 minutes

45 minutes

Watch the webinar

Your questions

“Business as usual” after the pandemic will not look like it did before, and this is raising new and complex questions for leaders and organizations to answer. Here, our experts share their perspective and advice.

How we can help you

Organizational capabilities are the critical things your organization needs to be good at in order to achieve your business objectives. They are an enabler of your strategy and they can even help define it. They are delivered through a collection of processes, systems, tools, skills, knowledge, behaviors, governance and structures that, together, allow a company to deliver a defined outcome.

Drawing on our extensive library of organizational capabilities, we work with you to define the 3-4 capabilities that will deliver your business priorities. We undertake an assessment of the maturity of each capability to identify the gap between where you now and where you need to be and then we develop a plan to close it.

Research has shown that organizations that focus on defining and developing their priority organization capabilities grow faster.

This crisis is presenting organizations with two, potentially conflicting challenges:

  • How do we stay in business now? This is all about matching the current workforce to the available work, making rapid workforce choices about redeployment of staff, laying people off or finding new products and services to deliver.
  • Can we sustain our business as we emerge from the crisis? This means holding onto the capabilities that will be critical to enable the organization to accelerate through the turn.

Our dynamic workforce planning and modeling helps you to do both. We work with you to quickly build a baseline of your current workforce and current demand. We define the likely impact of COVID-19 recovery scenarios (L, U, V shape) on your business. And then using our scenario planning tools, we model, in real-time, the impact of applying different workforce and work choices on your ability to survive the crisis and thrive beyond it.

Because we have already done extensive research on COVID-19 scenarios and we can draw on a database of 700 job families and associated demand drivers we can deliver powerful insights very quickly.

Drawing on in-depth research into COVID recovery scenarios, our database of jobs and demand drivers and our powerful scenario planning tools, we can deliver powerful insights fast.

One of the most important characteristics of this crisis is the unknown. Whether your major stakeholders are consumers, patients or customers - their future patterns are much less clear than they have been in the past. But, while you can’t predict future stakeholder behavior, you can build an organization that is quick to make decisions and to execute, and that is collaborative and agile in its approach - to respond to changing needs and demands.

We will work with you to re-design your organization to do just that. Some of the ways in which we typically support organizations to create more agile structures are:

  • Optimizing and minimizing the number of levels in hierarchy.
  • Grouping different function with similar and highly interdependent capabilities together
  • Dividing work into project and process work so that both can be done more efficiently and in a more agile way
  • Creating bigger and more versatile teams, built around end to end accountability.
  • Building smart teams that are diverse and inclusive so that you can get many brains on one problem
  • Defining and engaging the ecosystems around your organization to improve collaboration inside and outside of the business.

We build organizations that are quick to make decisions, collaborative and agile and are able to respond to changing customer needs and demands.

During this crisis, we have seen the power of purpose in uniting workforces. Organizations that already have a strong and enduring purpose have rallied behind it. For those organizations that didn’t, they have effectively created one: the need to survive this crisis. This is working for now, but it leaves a huge risk once the crisis goes away.

We work with top teams to help them define a meaningful, customer-centered purpose and align their leaders and workforce behind it.

We help organizations define a meaningful, customer-centered purpose and align their leaders and workforce behind it.

Because of the many positive behaviors this crisis has inspired (faster decision making, cross organization collaboration, greater agility and empathetic leadership) organizations are finding themselves halfway towards a culture change that could transform them. Momentum in culture change is one of the hardest things to build and so the job to be done for CEOs and leaders is to maintain this momentum, amplify existing positive change and then embed it into the fabric of the firm.

We’ll work with you to define the 2 or 3 most critical behaviors that you need to maintain in order to achieve your business goals. We’ll help you identify your key influences and we’ll work with them and your wider leadership population to help them maintain the behavior change and inspire the same in others. And finally we’ll work with your HR team to embed these behaviors into your talent processes from hiring to performance management and rewards.

We work with your leaders to help them maintain the behavior change and inspire the same in others.

This pandemic has dramatically changed our reality. And, as we accelerate through the turn we will arrive in a world more complex and disruptive than ever before.  To survive, organizations need talent that matches the complexity of the world they operate in. To thrive, organizations need to unlock the power and potential of ALL talent. Building an inclusive organization is key.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many structural inequities in health, access, connectivity, and incomes. As organizations start to redesign themselves for the new world order, they have an opportunity to upend the legacy inequities in their talent systems and build inclusivity into the very structure of their organizations.

We will work with you to apply “inclusive design” methodology to your next generation of talent systems. We will help you avoid the pitfalls of the past of building talent processes for a “default” employee and instead help you redesign them in a way that works for people in all their diversity. For more information please click here.

We’ll apply “inclusive design” to your next generation of talent systems so they work for the many and not just the few.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrust organizations into new ways of working. We work with you to manage these changes and embed the change capabilities you need to get through and beyond the crisis. We help you identify and build change leaders to support rapid adoption of the new ways of working and transforming you into a ‘change-ready’ organization. We help you plan and adapt to new circumstances and communicate the key messages of your plan to the right audiences at the right time, while enabling people to embrace the change with their new skills and behaviors. Our approach is to ensure that you have a plan for the immediate weeks while thinking simultaneously about a long-term future beyond the crisis.

We’ll help you embed the change capabilities you need to get your through and beyond this crisis.

Deep insights at your fingertips – at all times

In our hands it’s more than just data. We use it to build the DNA of outstanding leaders, effective organizations, high performance cultures and game-changing reward programs. In your hands it can continue to inform smarter decisions backed by more than 4 billion data points, including:
– Over 69 million assessment results
– 8 million employee engagement survey responses
– Rewards data for 20 million employees across 25,000 organizations and 150+ countries

Our thinking

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Contact Korn Ferry today