Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Data-Driven Organisation Design



This morning I’ve been at a masterclass on organisation design hosted by Kogan Page and chaired by Andrew Campbell from Ashridge.

The main focus was a presentation from Rupert Morrison, CEO of Concentra, supplier of the OrgVue analytics and visualisation tool for organisation design, and author of Data Driven Organisation Design.

I like the OrgVue tool (and participated on the judging panel at HRTechEurope where they presented their system in the iTalent start-up competition) so I’ve been looking forward to finding out more about the approach behind the tool.

I’d also agree with Andrew and Rupert that organisation design is too often performed in a data free environment and that we need to get better at using data to inform our decisions about OD, and also, and importantly, identifying the right measures to support the questions we need to be answered.

I liked Rupert’s suggestion that this process often starts with intuition and creative thinking.  To me, intuition needs to be continued and combined with analytics throughout the OD process.  Eg in his book Rupert promotes the use of Harvey Balls which I think just tend to distort conversation - people end up spending more time arguing about the splits in the balls, rather than the overall conclusion about the most sensible design.  To me, a subjective / qualitative approach is much better.


But that's not to discount from the need for a more objective and quantitative approach to OD.

Tools like OrgVue make this process easier, providing easy analytics and compelling visualisation, also enabling users to change the main data through playing with the visualisations.




We also need to understand what we’re doing (Rupert talked about the ecological fallacy taking correlation for causation, and ignoring statistical significance) - we can’t leave this all down to technology.
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