Guide 04

Business Organisation

In this guide, we reflect on the design principles behind well-organised professional service businesses, look at different organisational design models and learning why having a Board is so fundamental to business success. You will also progress your thinking about how to organise for optimal client service delivery.

Guide 04 (the second in the ‘Planning’ part of the series), looks at business organisation. This important guide is deliberately set within the ‘foundation set’ of the series as, so often, firm structure just evolve as a function of arbitrary circumstance and human accident. Indeed, it is not uncommon in mature organisations for staff to have forgotten how they ‘even got here’ in relation to their current structures and ways of working. The first point made in this guide, in rejection of this state of affairs, is that how you organise (structures, decision-making forums, coordination systems, roles and responsibilities etc) should always be as a function of deliberate, thoughtful design. In final analysis, the successful professional service firm leader is – invariably – an excellent organiser. And, excellent organisers are really careful planners when it comes to the design of their organisations.

When you couple an effective culture with an intelligent organisational structure you unleash a powerful multiplier effect; an efficiency that will invariably outmanoeuvre competing firms. This guide looks at the design principles embedded into high performing firms and explores, in detail, 10 key organisational elements in order to give you ideas as to how to design, or improve, your own business structures. There are a number of ‘Case Study Corner’ and ‘Top Tip’ call-outs within that bring all of these aspects to life.

Resources and Downloads

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  • R0401 Organisation Review Questionnaire icon

    R0401 Organisation Review Questionnaire

    This questionnaire facilitates a review of your current organisation; specifically, it will help you examine how well It follows the key design principles found in successful professional service firms and whether all the key organisational elements are in place. Like other questionnaires in the series, this is best completed by you and colleagues such that results can be compared and resulting action plans (to close any gaps) agreed.

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  • R0402 Example Board Terms of Reference icon

    R0402 Example Board Terms of Reference

    If you accept the strong recommendation of Guide 04 to establish a Board or just need to add a bit more rigour to one that already exists, this MS Word document provides an example Terms of Reference. Indeed, the headings within this template can be used to define the workings of all your key organising forums.

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  • R0403 One-page Organisation Summary icon

    R0403 One-page Organisation Summary

    As discussed in Guide 04, when your company gets to a size where a ‘go to market’ structure improves sales and delivery effectiveness (and clear accountability across the business is needed generally) the use of a simple ‘one-pager’ to capture lead roles can be a valuable communications aid. This MS Excel file provides a simple template for the creation of such a ‘one-pager’.

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Related Services

Dom is available to review your current organisational structures and support any re-design efforts. This can range from the all-important workings of the company board, through to helping you optimise your overall ‘leverage’, schedule/resource management, operations, client delivery, business development and ‘go to market’ structures. Specifically, Dom is available to work with a small number of firms as an external board advisor to support executive teams in organising their companies through its various growth/maturity stages.

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