1000 words (9 minutes reading time) by Colin Weatherby
I am intrigued by the thinking behind council organisational restructures. It seems that every new CEO feels the need to redesign the organisation to make it work better. Are they successful? The question on my mind is, how can a restructure make the organisation perform better?
I recently came across a useful publication on the topic that has been provided by the Victorian Public Sector Commission. It is entitled ‘Organisational Design’ and is part of the ‘Leading Public Organisations’ series. The intention is to provide ‘prompts, thought starters, practical ideas, and reminders for leaders and managers working in Victorian public sector organisations’.
There were certainly some useful reminders. In the first section on ‘the basic concepts’, the reminder is that organisational design is a consequence of the organisation’s goals, the work it needs to undertake, how that work is divided up (and how the bits are then connected, especially information flows), and how the work will be authorised and governed. The design is communicated through formal documents (e.g. the organisation chart, position descriptions, instruments of delegation) and informally through workplace practices (i.e. ‘the way things are done around here’). The design is also dynamic and changes in response to formal decisions (e.g. work allocation) and evolutions in practice (i.e. the workarounds that develop over time).Continue reading