What does it take to successfully design the organisation of the future?

The rules of the game are changing and the organisations need to follow. But what will it take to design the organisation of the future?

We admire them and we want to be like them. The high-performing, innovative, super agile, and highly responsive organisations of the new age. Be it Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, or Google. They have all taken us by storm.

No matter our desire to be like them – we hardly can. Not to generalize – companies sure come in many different shapes and sizes, yet a vast number continue to operate according to industrial age models that are 100 years old or more. Models weighed down by legacy practices, systems and behaviors. These practices, systems and behaviors must be confronted and discarded before we can move on – and we better move fast.

Resistance from company leadership is the biggest threat

As organisations become more digital, they face a growing need to redesign their organisational structures to move faster, adapt more quickly, embrace the dynamic career demands and facilitate rapid learning and up-skilling. The report of Deloitte – Human Capital Report 2017 shows that some of the world’s leading organisations are moving past the design phase to actively build this new organisation. Regardless and due to the complexity of the change of organisational design, many business leaders are not confident they will get the process right.

Often, organisational redesigns fail because they get reduce to a cost-cutting exercise or face resistance from company leadership. In fact, many consulting firms anecdotally report that up to 70% of reorganisations fall short because of “creative disobedience” from the executive team.

Less hierarchy more agility

To successfully design the organisation of the future, we first and foremost must design less for efficiency and more for speed, agility and adaptability.

Efficiency and effectiveness thrive in siloed organisations with clear structures, processes and based on predictable commercial patterns. Yet in the era of continuous digital disruption – predictability and structure belong to the words of the past.

On the contrary, successful organisations of the future will be the ones that shift away from hierarchical structures to more flexible, team-centric models.

These organisations will facilitate environments that encourage people to meet each other, share knowledge and create project-based teams. Moving from team to team without risks is and increasingly will be a critical attribute of the best performing companies.

How facility executives can support the change

To design for the organisation of the future, does not only require a solid plan, support from leadership, and great change management. It requires strong facility management capable of translating the plan to workplace actions. Facility Executives must take responsibility for:

  1. Understanding how new digital technologies can break siloes, speed up the traditional ways of working, and enhance cooperation
  2. Building processes that support mobility of individuals and teams to ensure a quick project turn-around
  3. Analyzing and understanding the current ways of working and identifying biggest opportunity gaps for higher agility
  4. Adapting workplace design and facility services to fit new user needs and enhance collaboration
  5. Implementing user feedback tools for immediate input from the facility-end user to better inform decisions

Learn how to strengthen the workplace of the future. Download the ISS white book: New Ways of Working – The workplace of the future.