10 Principles of Organization Design – Short Version

These fundamental guidelines, drawn from experience, can help you reshape your organization to fit your business strategy. 

By: Gary L. Neilson, Jaime Estupiñán, and Bhushan Sethi 

The chief executive has to get the reorganization right the first time; he or she won’t get a second chance.

  1. Declare amnesty for the past.

  2. Design with the “DNA.”

  3. Fix the structure last, not first.

  4. Make the most of top talent.

  5. Focus on what you can control.

  6. Promote accountability.

  7. Benchmark sparingly, if at all.

  8. Let the “lines and boxes” fit your company’s purpose.

  9. Accentuate the informal.

  10. Build on your strengths. 


A 2014 Strategy Survey found that 42% of executives felt that their organizations were not aligned with their strategy, and that parts of the organization resisted it or didn’t understand it. The principles in this article can help you develop an organization design that supports your most distinctive capabilities and supports your strategy more effectively.

These 10 fundamental principles, which we have observed and cultivated while working with hundreds of diverse organizations, can serve as your guideposts for any reorganization, large or small. Armed with these collective lessons, you can avoid common missteps and home in on the right blueprint for your business.


About Amr Badran

An Egyptian Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer since 1997. I've trained on Management, Leadership and Soft Skills to thousands of people from many nationalities, backgrounds and professions in more than 10 countries across the Middle and Far East. I've also provided my consultancy service for issues of Strategic Planning, Marketing, Sales and Capacity Building. Holder of an MBA and a Candidate for Doctorate in Business. Find more about my Management and Personal Skills Courses at AmrBadran.com and feel free contacting me at Amr@AmrBadran.com
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