When pursuing revisions to your Organisational Design

Think outside the structure


Given the uncertainty that pervades the world of work it is no surprise that challenging operating models is a staple agenda item in our discussions with Executives.

However, the field of organisational design is challenging and difficult to get right. Knowing where to start and how to effect the change that yields the greatest value can be a minefield.

In a ‘busy world’ this challenge can lead organisations to go down the path of least resistance. This involves tinkering with structures on PowerPoint rather than delivering meaningful change.

Organisations need to be understood as open systems operating in complex environments.  This requires change that goes beyond line-management structures and instead focuses on the entire model covering processes, technologies, people, culture and supply chains.

So where do organisations start? Regardless of whether it is a start-up or a large Enterprise?

Adhere to these steps

  1. End-state – take time to build clarity and consensus on outcomes, cross-checking with strategy
  2. Analysis – evaluate the as-is, define problem statements depicting gaps to achieve the end-state
  3. Principles – co-create design principles to enable objective rather than emotive decision making
  4. Design – define and work through design questions to address the gaps
  5. Blueprint – define the end-state based on the capabilities that need to be implemented
  6. Plan – outline and sequence transition states to realise the end-state


High quality design is about looking at organisations holistically, factoring informal and formal ways of working (e.g. culture, processes and third parties etc.). Combining this with a systematic approach to implementing change delivers the greatest value.

" It’s crucial to see organisations as systems rather than linear line-management structures. Adopting a holistic approach to design delivers change that improves the effectiveness of how work gets done. Julian Thornley, HR Tech and Change Partner at EA.

Selected Projects


0.1 Impact

Off-shoring central functions to reduce cost, without risking quality

Our client, NCP, was to transition multiple back-office functions to a lower-cost offshore location which would provide a more cost-effective model that would provide a platform to scale and improve future service. The Client selected EA to act as a partner to lead the strategy, design, and implementation of the new offshore hub.


0.2 Transformation

Establishing a new strategic delivery office capability

Our client, Vocalink (a Mastercard Co.), wanted to get control of their change portfolio, ultimately with the objective of understanding priorities, financials, capacity, capability and whether risks were truly under active management control. EA were brought in to help support.


0.3 Technology

Rapid implementation of a global retailer’s HR system

Our client, Boden, a global online fashion retailer with c1.7m customers, £350m+ revenues and over 1,300 staff. They wanted to consolidate disparate HR & Payroll systems into a scalable, future-proof and integrated cloud solution. Following a thorough procurement process, they selected Workday as their preferred platform solution and EA to help deliver the programme.