Organization Assessment

Like doctors, we believe that intervention without diagnosis is malpractice.

Why is something happening? What is the cause? Why is something else not happening? What is blocking it?

How long a diagnosis takes, and how extensive it is depends on the context. But, we know that visible symptoms indicating either pain or joy do not always represent the true underlying causes.

And before knowing what action to take, we need to know the true causes.

Diagnostics are an essential part of improving organizational effectiveness, especially in accelerating the implementation of a new strategy.

An assessment provides evidence. The data must be gathered in a manner that is rigorous, valid and targeted to extract specific information.

Data is important also beyond its value as evidence. It provides a common language among senior managers for understanding issues. It cuts through opinion, hearsay and gossip because it is virtually impossible to argue against the evidence.

In an organizational assessment we see four stages

diagram of the four stages of organization assessment

Change readiness

We analyze change readiness when a company has developed a new strategy that requires a change in the fundamental nature of their business.

A gradual transformation in structure, processes, skills, and mindsets may be required. And before embarking on this journey, it is very helpful to know in detail the appetite for change, and the likely acceptance of the new strategy by leaders and staff.

The new strategy has been developed, but what is the appetite of the organization to adopt it? How ready are employees to listen and work with it?

Assessing Organizational Health

Diagnosing organizational health is a more general assessment of an organization. We often use, as our guide, The Tushman-Nadler Congruence Model of Organizational Effectiveness. This is a research-based and tested thirty-year-old heuristic that is an excellent organizing framework rooted in the social and behavioral sciences.

The Congruence Model follows the widely accepted social systems view of organizations. It states that when one part of the system changes, all organizational elements need to change, a lot or a little. AND they need to be congruent with each other. If one becomes unbalanced or out of sync with the others, the change is in danger of failing.

M&A Due Diligence

Before starting a merger integration we recommend doing organizational due diligence. In other words, digging into one or both merging entities (depending on existing data and familiarity) with the objective of testing for:

  • Strategy clarity, values and culture (beliefs, founding principles)
  • Current organizational effectiveness (structure, governance, decision-rights)
  • Leadership skills and capabilities
  • Overall leadership effectiveness (competence and potential)

Gathering this data will accelerate the merger by uncovering barriers to successful integration and by providing benchmark data for integration teams.