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Levers Of Organization Design: How Managers Use Accountability Systems For Greater Performance And Commitment Hardcover – July 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
What are the nature and extent of tensions of organization design or redesign?
How to get "span of attention" in proper alignment?
What is an appropriate "unit structure"? Why?
Which diagnostic control systems can be most effective? How?
Why are interactive networks essential?
How to establish and then strengthen them?
How should shared responsibilities be determined and then managed?
Then, how to sustain productive collaboration?
Which "levers" of organizational design are most effective? Why?
Which examples best illustrate how to make appropriate adjustment of them?
What are the most effective strategies and tactics when designing organizations for performance?
According to research which Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton provide in The Strategy-Focused Organization, only 5% of the workforce understand their company's strategy, only 25% of managers have incentives linked to strategy, 60% of organizations don't link budgets to strategy, and 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. If true, these are chilling statistics which suggest that few decision-makers in any organization (regardless of its size or nature) would be able to answer, clearly and realistically, each of the questions listed previously. Hence the urgency of their reading Simons' book. I also urge them to check out the several works co-authored by Kaplan and Norton.
Simons' theory is based on levers and sliders. Easy to understand and easy to visualize. Part of the value of the book is that the theory is backed up with practical implementation examples. Like any good learning resource (a.k.a. text book) each chapter provides us with a summary and action steps. I give this book an A+ and consider it a "must read" for anyone in the OD field. It is also recommended for management teams looking to assess their organization design. Using this book will provide the understanding you need to get started.
Chapters focus on:
- tensions of organization design;
- aligning span of attention;
- unit structure;
- diagnostic control systems;
- interactive networks;
- shared responsibilities;
- examples of adjusting the levers; and
- designing organizations for performance.
Central to this book are four key factors that guide effective design decisions: customer definition, critical performance variables, creative tension, and commitment to others.
The book offers great insights and guidance to design an organization that influences how people perform, focus their attention, and how their efforts can be aligned with strategy. Rich in content and value! Very highly recommended.
Span of Control
The most often used concept in organisations is span of control. You pointed out that this narrow definition is not enough when you consider the design of organisations. I find myself wondering how managers within different parts of the organisation define their span of control. Is IT the business of IT, or who is responsible for implementing IT? Who takes ownership for data quality?
Span of accountability
Your discussion on measurement is interesting and enlightening and through my experience I can validate that people use more output measures than input and throughput measures when assigning accountabilities. It is clear that the level and the volume of measures matters.
Span of Influence
This is a challenging measure and will confront leaders and managers to reflect about the level of influence they have over operating units. It will stir a much needed debate in companies provided that consultant's find ways to engage in the transformational discussions it suggests.
Span of Support
The level of support that organisational managers and leaders give could clearly become a key differentiator between successful and unsuccessful companies.
Span of Attention
By combining all the above in a framework of span of attention you have established new way of thinking about the interactions in existence when performing organisational effectiveness assessments. You earned my endorsement of this great book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book meets or exceeds following criteria
1. Ability to develop as well as operationalize organisation design regardless of where you are in your strategic planning... Read more
Solid but unspectacular book. Unlike most business books this one is quite balanced and views org design through the lens of the trade-off, rather than claiming a one size fits... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lance
I am lucky to have come across Robert's work. His knowledge brings a complete shift at looking at work governance & accountability. I got more educated by reading this alone. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sachin Yadav