Past Webinars

Presenter: Marianne Livijn

Topic: The Strategic Role of Middle Managers in Organizational Design

Presentation Date: June 11th, 2020

Description: Organizational design is typically considered a top management discipline in which the C-suite lay out the overall design of the organization. With the increasing complexity that most organizations face, organizations can benefit significantly by involving middle managers in organizational re-design processes. Middle managers have the local insight and knowledge that is necessary for modifying and adapting top level design at the operating level to make sure that the good intentions in the top-level design are operationalized into daily organizational practice. In this session, we investigate how to successfully delegate organizational design at various organizational levels and discuss what this requires of both top and middle managers.


  • Understand why middle managers are essential in organizational design, and why organizational design should be considered a process
  • Examine organizational design from a dynamic perspective in which different organizational levels modify and adapt the design
  • Gain insight into a recent research project that examined the middle manager role in organizational redesign
  • Share your experiences and observations about how to involve multiple organizational levels in organizational design processes.

Marianne Livijn is a senior consultant in UKON A/S, a consulting firm specialized in organizational development and organizational psychology, and has worked with a range of reorganization processes – as a manager and consultant. Marianne recently completed a PhD with the title “Managing organizational redesign – how organizations relate macro and micro design” that looks into the interplay between macro and micro design, and how organizational design is delegated at different organizational levels.



Presenter: Dr. Brent Oberholtzer

Topic: Chaos Containment by Design: Survival for Chaotic Times

Presentation Date: April 29th, 2020


    Currently we have a lot of real-time data, showing how our organizational structures perform in crisis. As design professionals, are we seeing past the chaos and noise to define the right changes so we perform better in the future? This session will combine pragmatic application approaches with group input to gain a fuller understanding of how we contribute best in the coming months. 

    About the Organization 

    Org-ology has been doing organization design work for nearly 20 years for clients from small non-profits to international governments. Our practice includes organization development and project management as well as organization design


    • Apply pragmatic analysis lenses to capture and triage organizational chaos, improving organizational awareness
    • Discuss the real-time, observed organizational impacts of the current global crisis
    • Examine how organizational design can enable effective change and better survival chances in the current and future crise
    • Share your experiences and observations on organizational performance in this crisis.


          Presenter: Phanish Puranam

          Topic: Organizational Design & Development in the Age of Algorithms”

          Presentation Date: February 25th, 2020


          • In this session, we will bring you to the cutting edge of how organizations are being (re)-designed today in the age of algorithmic intelligence. We begin by identifying the limits of traditional top down, “box- and-arrows” approaches to design and show how we can do better by approaching design problems from a “bottom-up” perspective. The new approaches exploit the vast computational power and data resources made possible by digitalization, as well as recent theoretical breakthroughs in conceptualizing the problems of organization design. 

            Highlights for this session are: 

          • Identifying the limitation of current approaches to organization design
          • The use of data to answer the fundamental “people” questions in organizations: who to hire, develop and retain? How to understand the culture of an organization?
          • The “digital twin” approach to learning the most from your data
          • Using graph (network) theory to diagnose structural weaknesses in organizations
          •  Prototyping design changes: in the computer (using simulations), in workshops (through gamification) or in the actual organizational context (through A/B tests).  
          Pre-readings: Please look over this blogpost and video in advance

          Phanish Puranam is Roland Berger Chair Professor of Strategy & Organization Design at INSEAD. 

          Phanish’s research in organizational science focuses on how organizations work, and how we can make them work better. His current research focuses on how algorithms are shaping organization designs.   

          Phanish has published his research extensively in internationally reputed academic journals, and has served in senior editorial roles in such journals. His research has won international awards and competitive grants awarded across the social and natural sciences. He has also served in advisory/training roles with several global corporations as well as public sector agencies.

          His book “The Microstructure of Organizations” (Oxford University Press, 2018) offers researchers a new perspective on organization design. Phanish’s books for practitioners include "Corporate Strategy: Tools for analysis and decisions" (co-authored with Bart Vanneste, Cambridge University Press, 2016) and “India Inside” (co-authored with Nirmalya Kumar, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), which won critical acclaim for its balanced look at the prospect of India emerging as a global hub for innovation. 



          Presenter: Mark LaScola

          Topic: "The Four Big Reasons Organizational Design Project Fail"

          Presentation Date: January 15th, 2020


          Now in its 30 year of business and having completed close to 450 redesigns around the globe, ON THE MARK has amassed a significant amount of practical know-how and guidance as to what works and what definitely doesn’t work when it comes to real operating model transformations. These pitfalls, while preventable, can upend and/or doom a redesign project.  During this webinar, Mark LaScola, Managing Principal of OTM, will share with us the four most significant pitfalls and more importantly, what to do to avoid them.



          Presenter: Richard M. Burton and Børge Obel

          Topic: The Divergent Effects of Digitalization on Organizational Design

          Presentation Date: November 21, 2019


          Digitalization in information systems and intelligent robots is pulling organizations in two different directions – sometimes in the same firm.   In this webinar we examine these two effects with examples and then present a general framework for analyzing and predicting these evolving aspects of organizational design.

          The digital era is characterized by three properties: exponential, digital, and combinatorial, (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014, p. 37).  Now new types of technologies including artificial intelligence, prediction algorithms, face recognition, and sensors and IOT everywhere put ever stronger pressure on the design of the organization. The new technologies change the world in which organizations operate as well as provide the basis for new ways to organize. The general notion that structure follows strategy requires that a digital strategy requires a revisit of the firm's organizational design.

          The digital firm is a general term for organizations that have enabled core business relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and other external partners through digital networks and digital processes (Laudon and Laudon, 2015).  We will discuss a number of examples including GitHub, Amazon, and other examples from banking, and boss-less startups, among others. 

          Fundamentally, organizations are information-processing systems (Burton and Obel, 2004). Uncertainty and interdependency create the need for information processing in an organization. This is in the age of digitalization probably truer today than when the theory was developed. The basic design problem is to create an organizational design that matches the organization’s demand for information processing with its information-processing capacity, Galbraith (1973, 1974).  Underlying the theory is the assumption that “the greater the task uncertainty, the greater information-processing demands by decision makers” (Galbraith, 1973). Further, the more interdependency between the tasks, the more information-processing capacity is needed. Digitization changes both capacity and demand of information processing, but not in the same way in all organizations, as different ways of digitizing will have different effects on capacity and demand.

          Exponential, digital, and combinatorial drives the organization to fast rapid innovation, which requires new organizational form with self-organizing, user driven innovation and self-selection teams. On the other hand, new technologies like AI, new types of sensors and prediction algorithms may make the environment less uncertain driving the organization towards a rule based bureaucracy.    

          In this webinar, we will present some of these divergent effects of digitalization on organizational design, where digitalization can support new organizational forms with minimal hierarchy as well as be the basis for designing new effective bureaucracies.



          Presenter: E. Craig McGee, Ph.D.

          Topic: Designing for Agility

          Presentation Date: October 16, 2019


          Is your organization ready for the next decade?  

          Organization design matters more than ever in the search for enduring success in the 2020 marketplace.  Now is the time to make the most of organizational capabilities and position ourselves for the future. Regardless of the industry and strategy, our organizations need agility in order to shift and advance in global markets. This webinar helps you start with a sound strategic foundation and design the right structures, work processes, and human capital systems that support organizational agility and lead to enduring results.

          Organizing for Agility: A 7 Step Approach TM   

          Solutions, in conjunction with the Organization Design Community, is pleased to announce a webinar on "Designing for Agility: A Seven Step Process".  This webinar covers the theory, practice and tools for creating an agile, highly competitive organization.  It provides a concise, easy to understand 7-step model for redesigning organizations for high performance and competitive advantage, whether it be an existing company, a start-up, a non-profit, or a multinational business.  Participants will learn about a practical, easy-to-apply model for designing a more agile organization.  Practical tools and a case study will be shared to illustrate how this model has been applied in the real world.

          Craig McGee is a Principal of Solutions, a organization design and change management consulting firm.  He has over twenty-five years experience with extensive background in organization development, organization design, team development, process improvement, management development, selection, human resources planning, labor relations, and compensation.  He has served in external consulting, corporate staff and line management roles, and has the ability to blend a strong technical background with pragmatic, sound business judgment.   He has held several board level roles with the Organization Design Forum and is an active member with the Organization Design Community.

          Summary of Qualifications

          Nationwide Insurance.  Market conditions required significant change in strategy for $2 subsidiary.  Assisted senior leadership to clarify new strategy.  Facilitated two design teams of high potential leaders to develop new strategy, management processes, metrics, and business processes.  New customer-centric structure resulted in double digit growth when industry overall was declining.

          Case Logic, Inc.  Rapidly growing (20% annually) manufacturer/distributor of audio, video and computer accessories.  Led executive team to identify management  behaviors, systems and structures required to support high growth.  Implemented product management concept and restructured IS department..  Led executive team to develop more effective communications and decision-making skills.

          Bausch and Lomb.  Designed and managed large group process that  created and steered the implementation of a global procurement process.  Developed detailed implementation process for 3 global teams (each in a different part of the world).  Produced $30M in savings.

          Ingersoll-Rand.  Developed communications plan for new process redesign for major business unit.  Custom designed plan to use different communications vehicles to communicate different messages to different audiences.  Provided change leadership education to multiple business units.

          IBM.  Managed the outsourcing of the North American transportation and logistics function to outside 3rdparty.  Redesigned transportation process and established new operating practices.  Coordinated outsourcing process across seven plants.

          Sybase.  $800 million software company that develops and installs database management software.  Re-engineered product development process.  Restructured functional project groups into product aligned development teams.  Assisted in the integration of a newly acquired business unit into the Sybase structure.   Developed high performance culture that was compatible with overall Sybase culture while maintaining strengths of high performing, entrepreneurial business.  Developed improved work flows within the IS department.

          Anheuser-Busch.  First new plant startup in 13 years for $10B beverage manufacturer.  Startup manager for $500M brewery.  Startup achieved on-time, under-budget, with innovative, high performance culture.  Sustained highest productivity numbers in the system.  Plant continues to be used for development of new brands and packages.



          Presenter: Amy Kates and Greg Kesler 

          Topic:  Global Organization Design for Both Agility and Scale

          Presentation Date: September 9, 2019 


          Changes in business models, as well as digital business transformation, have created pressure on business leaders to organize for both agility and scale. This tension plays out in every company that must leverage investments in brands, products, and services, while being highly adaptable to real differences across markets.

          Companies are relying more on center-led networks to guide complex strategies across regions, while empowering market leaders to respond to local customer requirements. The result is often a front/back matrixed organizations that can drive common product and service platforms while allowing customer-facing teams in the market to can bundle and deliver complex solutions.

          Join Amy Kates and Greg Kesler as they share examples of these design innovations, and provide insight on how the best practice companies they work with are building these new organization models and the internal capability to design and lead them.

          Amy Kates serves as a trusted advisor to business leaders in successful companies around the world, working with them to assess organizational issues, reshape structures and processes, and build depth of management capability. She is a skilled diagnostician and designer and helps her clients to understand organizational options and implications, and to make sound decisions.

          In addition to her consulting work, Amy teaches organization design in the Executive MBA program at the DTU School of Business in Denmark and through Cornell University. She is a Resource Partner to the Center for Effective Organizations at the Marshall School of Business at USC and is a member of the i4cp Thought Leadership Consortium. She is an advisory board member for the Organization Design Forum and a board member of the Organization Design Community. She has also been appointed a Visiting Fellow to the government of Singapore for the 2018 – 2020. In 2018, she joined the board of Educate!, a non-profit focused on secondary school curriculum reform in east Africa. Click here for full biography

          Greg Kesler consults with CEOs and other senior leaders on global organization design and activation, including the development global executive talent.

          Greg has led whole company, global redesign projects for  many leading multi-national companies in the consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, capital equipment, and healthcare sectors. He provides counsel to CEOs and executive teams in designing and activating global operating models and governance practices in large multi-national organizations. He has developed and implemented succession-planning and executive assessment practices at numerous major companies. Click here for full biography.



          Presenter: Jesper Sorensen

          Topic: How to Mobilize and Align Leaders Using Collaborative Design

          Presentation Date: June 27th, 2019


          Successful organizational change require leadership mobilization and alignment - but how do you actually make it happen? Learn how to orchestrate a process where leaders identify the problems to be solved together and collaborate to identify the required organizational changes. This webinar will take you through a step-by step collaborative approach that give leaders a shared understanding of the organisational changes needed to align the organisation with the strategy. The approach is a simple as it is effective allowing you to use it with most frameworks like star, 7s or the multi contingency model.

          Jesper has been delivering organizational changes for more than 15 years. Together with Børge Obel, he also delivers certification courses in organization design. After deploying organization design in more than 45 countries and leading organization design in Shell Downstream Jesper has continued delivering organizational design as a consultant across the private sector. This has resulted in a deep experience with deploying organisation design in many countries and across a wide range of sectors. The webinar is therefore based on the practical experience and methods being using with a diverse set of clients.


          Europe: Organizational Design Community Co/Department of Management | Aarhus BSS | Aarhus University | Fuglesangs Alle 4 | DK-8210 Aarhus V | Denmark


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