Center for Effective Organizations


Strategic Organization Design Workshop, October 2012


October 9-12, 2012
Bethesda, Maryland

with Sue Mohrman, Chris Worley, and Becky Spears (Oracle)

This workshop can be taken as a stand-alone program, or as Part I of CEO's Certificate Program in Organization Design. The Advanced Topics in Organization Design workshop, which is the second part of the Certificate Program in Organization Design, is offered regularly.

The next Strategic Organization Design workshop is scheduled for February 5-8, 2013 in Los Angeles.


Organizational design is a cornerstone of competitive advantage and performance. The ability to design organizations that are efficient enough to drive performance and flexible enough to sustain advantage is a fundamental capability in today's dynamic and competitive environment. Dynamic strategies call for new organizational forms that pose complex new design challenges at all levels and in all sub-systems of the organization.

This workshop provides participants with core principles, models, tools and examples of organization design for those who wish to develop a deeper understanding of this topic and to learn useable organization design frameworks. It addresses the core building blocks of design, and how to put them together to support strategy, including customer focused organization and organizational approaches to facilitate innovation and reconfigurability around opportunities and strategies. It provides a foundation of knowledge to guide organization design and of tools to use in leading the design process.

The workshop will provide frameworks helpful in addressing such challenges as:

  • Ensuring that the design of the organization supports the business strategy
  • Designing for flexibility, innovation, and rapid change
  • Organizing around the customers, geographies and products
  • Leveraging resources as the business becomes more complex
  • Designing effective alliances, networks, and other lateral structures
  • Governing a complex organization
  • Approaches to integrate complex globally dispersed organizations
  • Making sure the human capital approaches support the strategy
  • Implementing new designs

In short, the session will simultaneously provide core design approaches and address how to apply them in today's complex organizational environments.

Participants are encouraged to come teams from the same company. Groups of 3 or more from the same company receive a 15% discount.

Who Should Attend?

Individuals and teams who are interested in deepening their knowledge of organizational design should attend. The workshop is appropriate for HR professionals, internal consultants, line managers, and others involved with strategic design and implementation. Although it provides a broad overview and hands on tools, the workshop is designed for people with some grounding in organizational design issues.

Attendees might include:

  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Line Managers and Design Teams
  • Internal Corporate Consultants
  • Organizational Development Professionals


"It was a true pleasure to participate in both the Org Design and Advanced Org Design classes. I can't tell you how often I have pulled out my binder and tools for reference in my daily work. Our HR teams are loving the concepts and tools! In fact one of my colleagues did a mini-session for his HR team the other week and I am hearing fabulous buzz from them about the tools and concepts!" --Diane Asson, T. Rowe Price


"This workshop has provided me with clarity that helped with my discussions at the workplace in relation to Organization Design." --Anu Wadhwani




Susan Mohrman is a senior research scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Her research and consulting pertain to innovative forms of organization, team-based organizations, organizational change and learning with emphasis on the implementation of new designs, and organizational design processes. Her books include Designing Team-Based Organizations: New Forms for Knowledge Work.

Chris Worley is a research scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is a recognized leader in the field of organization development. Prior to coming to CEO, he was Director of the Master of Science in Organization (MSOD) program at Pepperdine University and remains a primary faculty member in that program. His most recent book is Built to Change (co-authored with Ed Lawler).

The company presenter, Becky Spears, is a Director in the Organization Consulting group at Sun Microsystems, Inc. She provides organization strategy and design consulting to internal clients who typically have been experiencing aggressive business model and strategy change. After attending the CEO Organization Design Workshop in 2002, Becky developed an organization design process that she has used and evolved in working with many organizations within Sun.

Certificate Programs

This workshop can be taken to fulfill part of the Certificate Program in Organization Design. The Advanced Topics in Organization Design workshop, which is the second part of the Certificate Program in Organization Design, is offered regularly.

This Strategic Organization Design Workshop can also be taken as part of CEO's Certificate in Human Capital and Effective Organizations.

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