A Practical Guide to Organization Redesign


Timothy J. Galpin

Jossey Bass, 1996, 146 pp.   ISBN 0-7879-0216-0


Galpin is consultant with Pritchett & Associates in Dallas.  The book provides a pragmatic approach to the “soft” side of change management based on teams.  The diagrams and outlines are helpful.  Appendices contain “toolkits” with key questions.


“Organizations don’t change people—people change organizations.” (back cover)


Strategic change denotes the up-front, initial effort involving executives, senior managers, consultants, etc.  It is broad and organization-wide.  There are two goals, the technical goal of producing change recommendations and the soft side goal of establishing momentum for change.  (1)


“Grassroots change is the effort that drives change deep into an organization.”  (2)

Individual and team goals are set; measurements are developed; people are trained and coached, reinforcement occurs, and changes are implemented. (3) 


The Change Process Model (this is shown as a pie chart) (4)

1.     Establish the need to change

2.     Develop and disseminate a vision of the change

3.     Diagnose/analyze the current situation

4.     Generate recommendations

5.     Detail recommendations

6.     Pilot test recommendations

7.     Prepare recommendations for rollout

8.     Roll out changes

9.     Measure, reinforce, and refine changes


Steps 1 through 5 are primarily strategic change.

Steps 6 through 9 are primarily grassroots change. (12)


“A mistake often made is to turn the organization’s attention away from the changes once implementation has been initiated and rollout is complete.”  Follow-up is needed if the changes are to stick.  (10)


“Broad involvement is a key element of grassroots change.  Involvement in the effort leads to commitment and helps ensure the success of pilot testing and rollout.  Participation does not guarantee success, but both management and employees find it far more difficult to criticize their own ideas than the ideas of others during testing and rollout.” (23)


You need a communications plan to beat the grapevine. 


The Johari Window for organizations (37)






























I. Organizational arena



II. Organizational blind spot




III. Organizational façade


IV.  Unknown


I.            Mutual understanding and shared information.  Maximize this window.

II.           Blind spot.  Others know but we don’t.  It’s a handicap.

III.          The façade.  Hinders interpersonal effectiveness.  Hide information

IV.         Creativity is possible by exploring together.


·             Messages should be linked to the strategic purpose.  Explain why.

·             Be realistic and honest.

·             Be proactive rather than reactive.

·             Repeat messages consistently through many channels.

·             Utilize avenues of two-way communication.  Get feedback. 

·             Insufficient communication from senior leaders will often result in middle management killing the initiatives.  (39-41)


The resistance pyramid (from Nieder and Zimmerman) (43)


            Top layer – Not willing            Knowledge + training will help

            Middle layer – Not able.                      Address through training and education

            Bottom Layer – Not knowing


Willingness can be increased by

·        Establishing individual and team performance goals

·        Measuring people against the goals

·        Establishing effective two-way coaching and feedback

·        Rewarding and recognizing people for achieving the goals (44)


Components of the “Cultural Screen” (56)

·        Rules and policies

·        Goals and measurement

·        Customs and norms

·        Training

·        Ceremonies and events

·        Management behaviors

·        Rewards and recognition

·        Communications

·        Physical environment

·        Organizational structure


“The most difficult aspect to manage in any organizational change effort is arguably that of cultural change.” An organization must work on as many of the above components as possible.  (65) 


Leadership of a change effort cannot be delegated.  “The key people in an organization—from top-level executives to frontline supervisors—must lead the change process with commitment and skill.” (67)


“Relationship power, not position power, creates the appropriate environment for change.” (68)   “Management based on relationship power requires employee involvement and motivation rather than blind acceptance.” (69)


Key Attributes for Leading Change (70)

·        Creativity

·        Team Orientation

·        Listening skills

·        Coaching Skills

·        Accountability

·        Appreciativeness


“Listening is the attribute that communicates to others that their opinions are valued.” (72)  “Coaching may be the most powerful attribute for effecting change.”  “Accountability in the context of change means taking persona ownership for the success of the effort.”  “Appreciation allows change leaders to recognize and reward employee efforts to make the change successful.” (73)


“During the grassroots change phase, individual and team goals are set, measurements are developed, people are trained and coached in new techniques, procedures, and technologies, reinforcement is established, and changes are implemented.” 982)


“Focus on the people who must make the changes happen and then make them stick—frontline employees and management.”  (83)


The Change Implementation Model (p. 83)

·        Set Goals

·        Measure Performance

·        Provide Feedback and Coaching

·        Be Generous with Rewards and Recognition


“The first step is to determine what information will be needed to understand the changes more clearly.  Managers and supervisors must also gain a good understanding of their personal roles and their teams’ roles in implementing the changes.”   (84)



1.     Identify how to communicate the changes to the teams.

2.     Develop a mechanism for soliciting feedback.

3.     Create a plan for acting on the information coming back from the teams.


Guidelines for Effective Goal Setting (86 ff.)

1.     Keep it simple.

2.     Create goals in line with goals at the strategic change level.

3.     Make goals achievable.

4.     Make them challenging.

5.     Involve the team in setting goals.

6.     Set a time limit

7.     Establish “What’s in it for me?”

8.     Clearly communicate the change goals.


Guidelines for Effective Measurement (94)

1.     Set specific, numeric expectations.

2.     Keep it simple.

3.     Be creative.

4.     Involve people in designing their own measurements.


“Without feedback, learning and change occur haphazardly at best and stagnate at worst.”  (101)


Guidelines for Effective Coaching (104 ff.)

·        Establish up front that coaching will occur with everyone.

·        Make coaching timely.

·        Make people comfortable enough to coach you.

·        Don’t criticize.

·        Keep it simple and informal.

·        Choose a time and place without interruptions.

·        Be specific.

·        Keep balanced.

·        Be empathetic.

·        Encourage team members to coach one another about the changes they are making.


Rewards are what people receive for completing a task or reaching a goal.  Rewards are tangible symbols of appreciation for a job well done.”  Recognition is how people know the effort they put into their work has been noticed.”  (109-10)


Guidelines for Effective Rewards and Recognition (110 ff.)

·        Directly link rewards and recognition to performance and the achievement of change goals.

·        Involve people in designing rewards.

·        Try to make rewards and recognition fair for everyone.

·        Be creative.

·        Make the rewards and recognition equal to the effort required to achieve the goals.

·        Make rewards and recognition timely.

·        Make them public and keep your team aware of them.

·        Communicate success once change goals are reached.

·        Offer a few well-placed words of praise and appreciation.

·        Remember the magic words.