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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated content, rich source of ideas - provides you with a robust approach to all aspects of Organization Design., 28 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations (Paperback)
It has been said that "You know a well designed organization, when you come into contact with one." This book shows you, how to go about designing one.

Sophisticated and comprehensive in content and coverage, it provides at the same time some very useful material for the reader seeking guidance on Organization Design. Which by its nature is a complex and wide ranging subject.

This book is a step change from other US/UK/European books. That are either dated in thinking, or narrowly defined by their scope, and range of ideas/models/solutions presented.

The depth and breadth of content/tools presented in this book, fills a gap in the literature/guidance available in the field of Organization Design. Among the many strengths is the coverage of the translation of strategy into action, eg how to go about effective implementation. Which research shows about two thirds of Organizations get wrong. Its not what you know or are planning its how you do it! This book handles the importance of the role of change management and the role of HR in obtaining results, when you are undertaking Organization Design. This not often dealt with effectively by other experts in this field.

This book goes beyond what is currently on the market on this and other key areas. For example the very strong chapter on taking stock the change required in your Organization. I also liked the authors use of questions to help focus your thinking and sharpen up the options/way forward, available to you. Another strong point is very useful guidance with regard to choosing preferred options/alternatives with regard to Organization Design, see page 187, for an example of the authors approach:

" After completing your assessments and comparison you will be able to reduce the number of options and refine and strengthen the remaining options, but there may still be too many feasible options. to help you pick between those that are close, in most cases, the preferred options(s) will be the ones that:

* Have a simpler design rather than a more complex one.
* Are more specific about details and assumptions.
* Can adapt most quickly to major external changes.
* Are expected to be easiest to implement.
* Involve least change, eg fewer position changes.
* Offer greatest improvements through economies of scale.
* Best meet the needs of customers."

In places the authors have a tendency to over-elaborate the messages/approach they seek to put over. Considering this is a quality first book from these authors, this is a relatively minor point.

In summary, this book is not just about Organization Design. It is about making your Organization more effective and flexible. A subject that is high on any managers agenda.

Stan Felstead - Interchange Resources UK.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical guide or useful reference book, 7 July 2012
This review is from: Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations (Paperback)
This book provides a useful framework for delivering an OD strategy and provides a step-by-step guide to designing an organisation that is sustainable. It is well structured to guide the reader through undertanding design and the challenges of OD and pays particular attention to the recurring challenges that need to be addressed in order to maintain design integrity to deliver a sustainable business.

It is evident that the authors have the depth and breadth of experience in this field and the OPTIMAL model is simple to use. This book is not just for strategic HR teams but for leaders and managers undertaking organisational change.
It is in three parts - part one puts OD into context - between strategy and culture; both of which are critical to delivering business performance. This section introduces the OPTIMAL model which helps practitioners undertake the analysis in a structured way.

Part 2 provides the tools and techniques to support the analysis; and considers the various organisation archetypes and building blocks essential to designing organisations. It highlights some of the key characteristics that organisations may want as well as those they want to avoid; providing the practitioner with plenty of ideas for numerous situations.

The final part provides an insight into how to ensure design integrity, and more importantly, how to maintain it through a 'design authority'. It describes how this works in practice through the different phases of change itself and includes how to assess the capability and maturity of an organisation once established.

This is an excellent guide for the novice to OD but equally is content rich and different from other OD books for the experienced practitioner. Well worth buying!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air - helpful and encoraging, 7 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations (Paperback)
This book is a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope (!) for those of us who are experienced senior managers but not OD practitioners but are about to engage in transformational change.
The book has plenty of methodology and tools, but also recognises that the reality of organisations is never as clean as we would like, so the what to do when... section is very helpful.
As a lay reader with a hundered other things to do I found the style to be helpful without being patronising and I loved the quotes at each chapter heading - sometimes alost too close to the bone !

A must buy.
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Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations
Organization Design: A Guide to Building Effective Organizations by Christine Irwin (Paperback - 3 July 2011)
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