UK Middle East

London Office 33 James’ Street

+44 (0) 20 7495 1234

Manchester Office 10 Mount Street
M2 5NT

+44 (0) 161 839 0064

Our News

Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Our News

Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Tips for a successful organisation redesign

organisation redesign

Redesigning an organisation is a minefield. Get it right and you will reap the benefits in increased productivity, reduced wastage and a more engaged workforce. Conversely, however, getting it wrong can be disastrous. In this, the third of our series on organisation design, we share tips for delivering a successful redesign.

Based on a seminar delivered by business consultant Mark LaScola, in partnership with Hill Dickinson, our organisation design blog series has already covered how to understand when it’s time to modernise your operating model and how to identify the right model for your business.

Where do I start?

The most time-consuming part of a redesign is ensuring meaningful stakeholder engagement from start to finish. It’s also the most important: without head-and-heart commitment from all affected stakeholders within and across the business, implementation will be very difficult and, in some cases, disastrous. It’s therefore one of the three most significant reasons why redesigns fail. Engage with all your stakeholders – not just the leadership team – right from the start and continue the conversation all the way through. And keep in mind that you’re not changing a part in a machine; you’re transforming a social and/or technical system.

Have the leadership team involved from the start. Is there unwavering commitment to do this together, even if the format isn’t agreed upon? You must choose to go forward together – or the stick in the mud will almost certainly cause problems further down the line. Air any arguments early to avoid future issues.

What should I look at?

Start with the work that brings value to your customers – strip back your activity and focus on the value added. Try to remove all complication and complexity away from doing business with your customers. This will help clarify precisely what elements of your work are ‘business critical’.

How long will organisation redesign take?

A redesign typically takes 12-18 months, but can be done in a few months if urgency dictates. It shouldn’t take longer than two years, however, as you’re liable to lose sight of the original objectives. There’s also a period of stabilisation after a redesign is complete.

How should we approach our organisational redesign?

When an organisation is going through change, you need to abandon self-interest and think about what you can do for the collective good. As much as 40% of leadership teams turn over during the redesign process.

What negative impacts should I be ready for?

You should be prepared for an interruption to short-term success while you assess and repurpose your business functions. It’s never easy to weather the financial implications of this, but by being prepared for an interim decrease in activity, you can mitigate the risk. Be upfront about the risks and benefits – yes, there is a chance of disruption to the business; but the bigger threat is posed by continuing as you are, if what you need is a redesign to improve business processes.

You also need to be prepared for some resistance internally, which makes it even more important that the entire leadership team is in agreement. While you can paint a beautiful picture of the future, remember that, for your team, the past is familiar and easily understood – so expect a period of confusion while new ways of working are understood and implemented.

The EMI Practice at Howgate Sable really took the time to understand our situation and find exceptional candidates who could fulfil challenging international leadership assignments for a truly global company with a history that spans well over 200 years.

It was a first class experience and positive outcome on many levels.


Barry McDonnell – Director of Manufacturing at De La Rue International

I have worked with the Howgate Sable team on several occasions whilst hiring mission-critical executives. Partnership is the byword for this organisation – they act as an extension of my team and work hard to support me not only in the technical solution, but in the sense of a deep understanding of my specific requirements. Delivery is the key measure of our talent partners and Howgate Sable have always achieved what was asked of them.

Jesper Berg – SVP HR, ABB

Having worked with Howgate Sable as a client and as a candidate I can confidently say their ability to deliver on complex searches is second to none. They not only have a detailed knowledge of the marketplace but also understand the importance of cultural fit. 

Bridget Lea – O2

I was particularly impressed with Howgate Sable’s knowledge and network in the aviation sector, the quality of the candidates provided at shortlist and the availability of Nick and the team to provide us with advice and guidance on candidates when required. Nick was particularly effective in understanding our needs as a Company and being flexible in adapting requirements and plans.

Paul Hutchings – Thomas Cook Group Airlines

I have recently worked with Nick from Howgate Sable to recruit a new Head of Aircraft Operations for Thomson Airways. I was particularly impressed by the wide-reaching search undertaken and the quality of the candidates put forward. The skills match to the brief was excellent and I am delighted with the individual we selected.

Dawn Wilson – Thomson Airways

From their initial call to me the Aviation practice team at Howgate Sable demonstrated a significant difference. Straightforward and to the point, the extent of their network and deep insight into the industry was immediately evident. The added value I have received as a candidate is tangible. An almost instant rapport quickly developed into a focused business relationship which is open, honest, respectful and above all trustworthy.

Carl Gissing