Week 5 Discussion Notes:
Redesigning hardware, however, means making major changes in the formal organizational arrangements – the
structure, producesses, and systems – that dictate how work is grouped, controlled, and coordinated. Such structural
redesign is attractive because it’s one of the few levers senior managers can pull and then experience the satisfaction
of actually seeing something happen. (p 175)
Moreover, restructuring is a potentially powerful tool for something life into low – profile activities. (p 175)
Redesign can also be used to change business processes so they align more clearly with strategic objectives. Yet like
any radical change, structural redesign is risky. As a management tool, it is powerful but imprecise; in the wrong
hands, it can be a machete rather than a scalpel. The changes you get from your redesign aren’t always the ones you
want. (p 176)
THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN: (PG 180 – 181)
Now let’s consider the basic concepts of organizational design as they appear in the light of architectural design.
Any organization’s formal arrangements – its hardware – have three basic elements:
the relatively stable arrangements that define roles and relationships within the organization
the sets of sequenced activities involved in performing the organization’s work.
the electronics and mechanical systems, largely for information processing, which aid individuals
and units in performing their work.
Implication for Leaders of Change: Given all these fundamental elements of culture, or the operating environment –
the roadblocks, the difficulties of changing the informal organization, the levels and sources of culture – what are the
implications for leaders of large – scale change? I believe they are as follows: (p 208)
Culture and Performance are Related:
Without question, there is a relationship between operating environment and organizational performance – and more
specifically, between operating environment and long – term economic success (Kotter and Heskett, 1992).
However, the relationship isn’t the one that’s commonly assumed: a strong operating environment isn’t necessarily a
good one. (p 208)
In fact, not only is a strong operating environment no guarantee of success but as the Success Syndrome illustrates, a
strong informal organization based on years of market domination can actually contribute to organizational disaster
by blinding the enterprise to crucial changes in its external environment. The only truly successful cultures are those
that enable their organizations to anticipate and adapt to environmental change and are associated with superior
performance over a significant period of time. (p 209)
Culture is Contextual:
Culture exists in an organizational context. It is an expensive waste of time to try to change the operating
environment in isolation from strategy and from the other components of the organization – work, formal,