Companies come in all shapes and sizes, and how they take shape often depends on who is in charge. Each time new leadership takes over, there is often a company reorg. This is your opportunity to put your stamp on the company and improve your organizational design.

“Today, the average tenure for the CEO of a global company is about five years. Therefore, a major re-organization is likely to happen only once during that leader’s term. The chief executive has to get the reorg right the first time; he or she won’t get a second chance,” says Gary L. Neilson, Jaime Estupiñán, and Bhushan Sethi on strategy-business.com.

There is no perfect organizational design. There are simply too many variables to factor into the process, but there are a number of common organizational design principles that can help guide you and help you improve the current structure of your company.


1. Solve your business issues first:

One of the first things leaders attempt to change is the organizational structure to get things done their way. The truth is that no structure will fix the underlying business issues of your company. Address these first, and then address organizational design issues later.

2. Leverage your top talent:

Your best employees are your greatest resource. You can do this by designing and creating positions that help you get the most out of the people who occupy them.

3. Build in accountability at all levels of your organization:

A culture of accountability is one of the key drivers of success in organizations. Design your company so it is easy to hold people accountable for their responsibilities, without having to micromanage everything from the top down.

4. Build on what works:

While a new leader may want to put their stamp on the company, there is something to be said for building from an area of strength. Before making changes, identify the key strengths of the organization, and use those for the foundation to improve organizational design.

5. Hierarchy needs to fit with your company purpose:

How your hierarchy is structured needs to be aligned with your company goals, objectives, and purpose, meaning it will be different in every company. Focus on creating a hierarchy that makes sense, given your current business strategy.

These tips will help you take a more strategic approach to how you assess, design, and structure your organizational design.

Bruce Powell

Bruce Powell