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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Organizational Redesign in a Post-merger Context

There are countless scenarios that require Organizational Design. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Organizational Design to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

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Consider this scenario: The organization in focus is a major financial institution that recently underwent a significant merger.

Following the merger, the organization has been facing challenges in harmonizing various factions within the organization. The blending of different business cultures, hierarchical inconsistencies, and functional redundancies result in inefficiencies, hampering the growth trajectory of the bank.

Based on the initial observations of post-merger scenarios, few hypotheses emerge. Firstly, the cultural clash between the merging entities could be causing internal conflicts and stimulating friction. Secondly, overlapping structures and systems could be leading to functional inefficiencies and duplicated roles. Lastly, the integration challenges may reveal gaps in Leadership's role in leading the change process strategically. Mitigation and resolution require a systematic, comprehensive approach to Organizational Design.


A 5-phase approach could be adopted to navigate this complex Organizational Design. Phase 1 'Analysis' involves a clear understanding of the organization's current status by comparing it to industry benchmarks and best practices. Phase 2 'Design' is concerned with designing a future state of the organization aligned with strategic and operational objectives. Phase 3 'Transition Planning' includes drafting detailed action plans to transition from the current to the future state. Phase 4 'Implementation' involves executing the plan, ensuring minimal disruption of daily operations. Lastly, Phase 5 'Review' emphasizes feedback collection and iterative improvements.

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Addressing Client Concerns

Considering the size and complexity of the task, there could be concerns about the timeline and potential disruption of ongoing operations. The methodology emphatically factors in the pace of transition, aiming to minimize hindrances to day-to-day functions. It emphasizes adequate communication, involvement, and training programs to smooth the path for changes.

Another potential concern is the long-term sustainability of proposed changes. The iterative approach of our methodology enables the organization to adapt to unexpected roadblocks and ensures adaptability to future changes.

Lastly, skepticism might arise regarding the impact on employee morale. Aware of this, the methodology leverages bottom-up involvement and change management strategies to involve employees at all levels.

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Expected Business Outcomes

  • Reduction of redundancies leading to optimal utilization of resources.
  • Increased cross-functional communication driving collaborative decision making.
  • Alignment of teams under a unified strategic vision, fostering a unified organizational culture.

Learn more about Decision Making Organizational Culture

Case Studies

Implications of successful Organizational Design projects are observable in numerous industries. NASA, for example, underwent a complete cultural shift after the Columbia disaster, adopting a more open and inclusive frame for communication. In the corporate realm, Microsoft's ongoing evolution from a 'know it all' to a 'learn it all' culture, initiated by CEO Satya Nadella, has driven its recent success.

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Sample Deliverables

  • Current State Assessment Report (Word)
  • Future State Organizational Design (PowerPoint)
  • Transition Planning Document (Word)
  • Implementation Progress Report (Excel)
  • Review and Feedback Action Plan (Word)

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Leading through Change

The success of any Organizational Design initiative is largely dependent on its Leadership. Engagement at all levels, providing a clear strategic vision, and fostering a culture of openness and acceptance is crucial.

Role of Technology

Emerging digital tools can significantly aid the Organizational Design process. Utilizing analytics for decision making, using digital communication tools for transparency, and incorporating AI for workload management can help implement efficient structures.

The Human Element

The human aspect remains central to any Organizational Design process. The expertise and adaptability of people drive the productivity of newly designed structures. Acknowledging this, efforts should be made to design roles that tap into individual strengths and aspirations.

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To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Organizational Design. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Organizational Design subject matter experts.

Metric-Driven Approach

A systematic approach to track outcomes is feasible through the use of key performance indicators. These metrics provide insights into the Organizational Design effectiveness, thus serving as a guide for continual refinement and adjustment.

Learn more about Key Performance Indicators

Aligning Leadership and Organizational Vision

Leadership plays a pivotal role in the success of post-merger organizational redesign. It is imperative that leaders are not only aligned with the new organizational vision but are also active proponents of it. A Bain & Company study suggests that when leaders model the behaviors they want to see throughout the organization, change efforts are 5.3 times more likely to be successful. Therefore, the first step is to facilitate a series of leadership alignment workshops to ensure that every leader understands and commits to the unified vision and strategic objectives. This will involve creating a leadership charter that outlines the expected behaviors and leadership styles that are congruent with the new organizational culture.

To further ensure that leadership is effectively driving the change, a leadership scorecard will be developed. This will track leadership effectiveness against the agreed-upon behaviors and objectives, providing transparent feedback and areas for continuous leadership development.

Managing Cultural Integration

Post-merger cultural integration is often one of the most overlooked yet critical aspects of organizational redesign. A KPMG report indicates that 83% of mergers do not boost shareholder returns, often due to cultural mismatches. To tackle this, a cultural assessment will be conducted to identify the core values, beliefs, and behaviors of each merging entity. The findings will inform the development of a cultural integration plan that includes the creation of a new, shared set of values and behaviors that honor the strengths of both legacy cultures while fostering a new, unified culture.

Employee focus groups and cultural ambassadors will be instrumental in this process, serving as the voice of the workforce and champions of the new culture. These groups will also help identify potential areas of resistance and develop strategies to address them, thereby ensuring a smoother cultural transition.

Streamlining Processes and Systems

Redundancies in processes and systems not only lead to inefficiencies but can also cause frustration among employees who must navigate them. To address this, a process optimization exercise will be conducted. Utilizing Lean Six Sigma methodologies, this exercise will map out all key processes to identify waste, redundancies, and opportunities for simplification.

Additionally, an IT systems review will be initiated to determine the compatibility and necessity of existing systems. Where possible, systems will be consolidated or integrated to reduce complexity and improve user experience. This will be supported by a change management plan that includes training and support structures to help employees adapt to new systems and processes.

Learn more about Six Sigma User Experience

Improving Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are the lifeblood of any organization, especially post-merger. To enhance these, a communication framework will be established, which will detail the channels, frequency, and content of communication. This will ensure that information flows effectively both vertically and horizontally across the organization.

Collaboration tools will be evaluated and implemented to facilitate better teamwork, especially among cross-functional teams. These tools will be selected based on their ability to integrate with existing systems and their ease of use to ensure high adoption rates. Regular collaboration workshops and team-building activities will also be instituted to build trust and improve interpersonal relationships across the organization.

Focusing on Employee Engagement and Morale

Employee engagement and morale are critical for the success of an organizational redesign. According to Gallup, organizations with high employee engagement report 21% higher productivity. To drive engagement, a comprehensive engagement strategy will be formulated, which will include regular pulse surveys to monitor employee sentiment and targeted action plans to address areas of concern.

Recognition and reward systems will be reevaluated to align with the new organizational values and to promote behaviors that support the redesigned organization. Career development pathways will be clarified, and opportunities for growth will be communicated to ensure that employees feel valued and see a future within the new organization.

Learn more about Employee Engagement

Ensuring Continuous Improvement

The final aspect of the redesign is to establish mechanisms for continuous improvement. A learning and development plan will be created to build capabilities that support the new organizational design. This plan will include leadership development programs, skills training, and continuous learning opportunities that are aligned with the strategic direction of the organization.

A feedback loop will be integrated into all aspects of the redesign process, allowing for real-time adjustments and ensuring that the organization remains agile and responsive to internal and external changes. This feedback loop will be supported by a robust set of KPIs that track the effectiveness of the redesign and identify areas for continuous improvement.

Learn more about Continuous Improvement Agile

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Optimized resource utilization leading to a 15% reduction in operational redundancies.
  • Enhanced cross-functional communication, resulting in a 25% improvement in collaborative decision-making efficiency.
  • Unified organizational culture achieved, with a 30% increase in employee alignment with the strategic vision.
  • Process and system streamlining led to a 20% improvement in operational efficiency.
  • Implemented a comprehensive employee engagement strategy, leading to a 10% increase in reported employee satisfaction.
  • Leadership effectiveness scorecard indicated a 40% improvement in leadership behaviors aligning with organizational goals.
  • Cultural integration plan successfully reduced cultural clashes by 50%.

The initiative's overall success is evident from the significant improvements across key operational and cultural metrics. The reduction in operational redundancies and the enhancement of cross-functional communication have directly contributed to operational efficiencies, demonstrating the effectiveness of the organizational redesign. The achievement of a unified organizational culture and the significant improvement in leadership behaviors are particularly noteworthy, as these are critical for long-term success post-merger. However, while the increase in employee satisfaction is positive, the 10% improvement suggests there is room for further enhancement in employee engagement strategies. Alternative strategies, such as more personalized engagement initiatives or enhanced career development programs, could potentially drive higher satisfaction and productivity.

For next steps, it is recommended to focus on deepening employee engagement through more tailored programs that address individual and team needs. Additionally, leveraging advanced analytics to gain deeper insights into operational efficiencies can identify further areas for improvement. Continuous leadership development, focusing on fostering a culture of innovation and agility, will be crucial to navigate future challenges and opportunities. Finally, establishing a more dynamic feedback mechanism that allows for quicker iterations and adjustments to the organizational design will ensure the institution remains resilient and competitive.

Source: Organizational Redesign in a Post-merger Context, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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