Consulting Services – Organization Development

Renew Systems to Improve Performance

Organizational performance is partially dependant on the quality and alignment of the organization’s systems. When aligned with strategy and each other, these systems give the organization and its people enormous strength. On the other hand, when these systems fall out of alignment or when they become ineffective, the organization’s results and the people in the organization suffer.

All leaders must have some capability for designing, implementing and improving their organization’s systems, because the thoughtful development of these systems produces both immediate and long lasting improvement in results.

Align Before Strengthening

It is important to align the system(s) with strategy, corporate values and direction before making it more efficient or more powerful. For example, you would prefer that a poor decision making system be inefficient-this way it wouldn’t produce so many bad decisions. Align the decision making system with the strategy first, and then make it efficient.

Misaligned Systems Working Against Each Other

Misaligned systems


Ways to Strengthen Specific Organizational Systems

Large organizations develop a broad range of systems that help people function amidst the complexity. Most systems could use some strengthening-here is a sample of how to strengthen some of the most common organizational systems:

  • ACCOUNTABILITY. Make sure all organizational leaders clearly understand what results they are accountable for, and make sure that delivering on their accountabilities matters. When accountabilities are not in alignment, act to ensure the misalignment is resolved.
  • DECISION MAKING. Make sure decisions are made by the right people-those with the most information and knowledge. Often, the right people are those close to the customer or with the most technical knowledge, not those with impressive titles.
  • PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL / PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT. Ensure people get timely feedback. Use the performance appraisal to summarize feedback given throughout the year.
  • PROJECT AND/OR CAPITAL APPROVAL. Establish an approval system that evaluates projects with rigor, that helps manage risk and that frees the organization to make good decisions. The criteria and process of the system should enable everyone involved to make better business decisions.
  • REPORTING STRUCTURE. Design the reporting structure to fit the needs of the strategy and the values of the organization. Every form of reporting structure (hierarchical, team-based, matrix and all the others) has its own unique strengths and challenges. Put leaders in place who are able to draw value from the strengths of the structure you have adopted.
  • SPENDING AUTHORITY. Allocate spending authority according to people’s accountabilities and the needs of their job, not according to organizational title. Make sure there are good controls in place for spending authority at any level.

Fall Line Systems has worked with our clients to align and strengthen these and many other organizational systems. Some examples of our recent work include:

  • Assisting Provident Energy to improve the reliability of its cash flow forecasting system.
  • Helping CPV Group to develop an appraisal system to evaluate the performance of its group of Principals.
  • Coaching leaders at Emera Energy to improve the rigour of their project approval system.

The following projects in our portfolio describe our work with Organization Development: