The advice and ideas presented in each guide draw upon research in the relevant field, insights from Victorian public sector leaders, and insights gained through organisational reviews and consultation work that VPSC has conducted at the request of the Premier, various ministers or organisational heads.
Making considered decisions about organisational design
Organisational design is the art of dividing an organisation into operational parts and then connecting those parts together to optimise organisational performance. It involves considerations about what work needs to be done, how the work is supported, how roles are defined, and the governance arrangements that establish direction, control, co-production and accountability.
The guide sheds light on some common issues for leaders and managers in relation to change, including:
- if major change is always necessary
- the capabilities required for change leadership, and the organisational attributes that make major change projects more likely to succeed
- how to make it easy for people to change
- dealing with emotions during organisational change
- overcoming resistance to change
- how to create a flexible organisation
- common leadership errors during organisational change.
Using the organisation’s culture as a component of productivity
Organisational culture is the collective values, beliefs, customs and behaviours of the majority of people who work for a particular organisation. A ‘functional culture’ is one in which there is alignment between the values held by the individuals who work for the organisation and between the values required to achieve organisational performance.
The guide provides practical advice to public sector managers on:
- how a functional organisational culture improves organisational performance, and what happens when cultures don’t work
- different types of culture, and how to assess the culture of your organisation
- common signs of problems with culture, including related issues of leadership, performance, employee perceptions and behaviour, and reputation
- what to do when an organisation’s culture is dysfunctional, including practical tips on reducing conflict, building trust, and emphasising what is important through leadership by example and acknowledgement of behaviours that reflect what needs to be valued
- organisational silos, sub-cultures and countercultures and how to deal with these
- the importance of recruiting for cultural alignment, including tips on using behavioural interview techniques and referee checks.
Facilitating change within an organisation
Organisational change is the process of moving from old structures, ways of working, values or ways of thinking to adopt new structures, ways of working, values or ways of thinking. Change management is the act of directing and controlling this process in a systematic way.
The guide has been developed to provide information, insights and advice that may be useful for organisational leaders working in any public organisation and thinking about adopting or abandoning any type of design. It covers:
- when and how to redesign your organisation
- how to test your design
- span of control
- designing for decision-making
- centralisation versus decentralisation
- when and how to connect organisational units, and when to keep them separate
- advice on designing an organisation within a wider system.