Education for the higher educated

Advanced Organisation Design

Ashridge Business School

  • Description
  • Overview

AOD Interactive Brochure

What does this programme cover?

If you are planning, directing or advising a change in organisation, you will have been frustrated by the lack of rigour and excessive politics in decisions about organisational structures.

The Advanced Organisation Design programme will ease these frustrations. The programme is built round a rigorous framework for making organisation structure decisions and for identifying linking processes, skills and attitudes that are needed to make the design work. This is an opportunity to raise your skills in an area most companies under manage.

Who is it for?

The programme gives advanced training to experienced OD specialists, line managers and senior HR professionals. It is particularly suited to HR business partners working closely with a function, division or business unit, especially those who have been on CIPD's 2-day Organisation Design course. It is also suitable for consultants and other professionals whose work involves organisational design.

What will I learn?

  • The theory and tools of organisation design work - organisational charts, a language of organisational roles and relationships, the nine tests of good organisation design and a tool for defining decision responsibilities.
  • The process of organisation design - the steps of analysis, who should be involved, how long it should take, how changes should be communicated and your role in the process.
  • The methods other participants have used in their business design work.

How will my business benefit?

  • You will be able to assess the suitability of the current structure or of a proposed new structure.
  • You will know how to lead an organisation design project.
  • You will be able to identify where a company's structure is weak and generate ideas to make the structure more effective.
  • You will be able to decide where processes, skills, people decisions, values, reward systems and leadership styles need to be strengthened to make your chosen organisation structure work.

Course Content

Steps in the design process

The course covers the frameworks of organisation design work. Many of these tools are used at more than one point in the design process. Some are only relevant in certain circumstances. In particular the course focuses on:

  1. A framework - the Star Model - for understanding organisations.
  2. The stakeholder model for assessing organisation performance.
  3. A list of structural archetypes that defines the main alternative ways of structuring an organisation.
  4. A way of drawing organisation charts that communicates the relationships that should exist between different parts of the structure: the organisational model.
  5. A language of roles and relationships that helps clarify the part each box in the structure plays in helping the organisation succeed.
  6. A list of ten levers of organisation design - 4 hard levers (such as structure) and 6 soft levers (such as rewards). These are the levers that can be used by designers to help make the organisation more effective.
  7. The nine tests of organisation design, including 4 "fit" tests (e.g. the design must align with the strategy) and 5 "good design tests" (e.g the design must ensure that departments are accountable or that there are an appropriate number of layers).
  8. A framework for understanding strategy so that it can be translated into implications for organisation design.
  9. The RAPID tool for allocating responsibilities for decisions.
  10. A process for doing organisation design work that involves a diagnostic, listing design criteria, developing options, evaluating preferred options and communicating and implementing change.

Nine tests of good organisation design

Nine tests of organisation design

Course Structure

This is a four day residential course. The tools and frameworks are presented to participants, then used in short exercises some focused on case studies and others focused on current organisation issues facing participants. Larger cases are used to help participants link the tools together. Action learning sessions help to demonstrate how the tools can solve real problems faced by participants.

Syndicate groups are used to help participants share their experiences and support each other as they learn together. Action learning groups help participants develop new perspectives about their own issues.

Each participant leaves with a toolkit and has access to a working website to help him or her after the programme. Faculty members are also available by email, telephone and in person to help participants when they are back at work -, and

Level University
Form Part-time
Incompany No
Open enrolment No
Lead time 4 days
Location Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK
Costs €5527
Class location type At the institute
Titles No title
Required language skills English
Country United Kingdom
Completion Certificate