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Mastering Organisational Shape Change

Updated: Feb 13

Shape Change

Understanding Shape Change

Shape change is a crucial aspect of organisational transformation. It involves the restructuring of an organisation's design or management to enhance its efficiency and adaptability. The process can include changes in the hierarchy, reporting lines, and the distribution of responsibilities among team members.

A successful shape change can lead to improved productivity, increased employee satisfaction, and a more agile organisation capable of responding swiftly to market changes.

The Importance of Organisational Shape Change

Organisational shape change is not a mere structural modification. It signifies a shift in the organisation's culture, processes, and overall business strategy.

  • Boosts Efficiency: Shape change can eliminate redundancies, streamline processes, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

  • Enhances Agility: Organisations that embrace shape change can respond more effectively to market changes, technological advancements, and evolving customer needs.

  • Promotes Innovation: By encouraging cross-functional collaboration and breaking down silos, shape change can stimulate creativity and innovation.

Key Elements of Successful Shape Change

1. Strategic Alignment

The shape change should be aligned with the organisation's strategic objectives. It's crucial to ensure that the proposed changes will support the achievement of these goals.

2. Employee Engagement

Employees play a vital role in the success of any shape change initiative. Their involvement, understanding, and acceptance of the change are crucial.

3. Leadership Commitment

Leadership commitment is essential for driving shape change. Leaders should be the champions of change, demonstrating their commitment through their actions and communications.

4. Effective Communication

Transparent and regular communication can help to manage expectations, address concerns, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

5. Change Management

Effective change management strategies can help to navigate the challenges and resistance that can arise during shape change.

Implementing Shape Change: A Step-by-Step Approach

Step 1: Define the Need for Change

The first step in any shape change initiative is to define the need for change clearly. This should be based on a comprehensive analysis of the organisation's current state and future goals.

Step 2: Develop a Vision for Change

The next step is to develop a clear and compelling vision for the future state of the organisation. This vision should be communicated effectively to all stakeholders.

Step 3: Design the New Organisational Structure

The new organisational structure should be designed to support the achievement of the vision. This may involve changes in roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines.

Step 4: Implement the Change

The change should be implemented in a phased manner, with regular communication and support for those affected by the change.

Step 5: Monitor and Adjust

Finally, the effectiveness of the shape change should be monitored and adjustments made as necessary to ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved.


Organisational shape change is a powerful tool for enhancing efficiency, agility, and innovation. However, it requires careful planning, effective communication, and strong leadership to be successful. By following the step-by-step approach outlined above, organisations can navigate the challenges of shape change and realise its many benefits.

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