what we do


Organization Strategy Consulting Services Around Toronto

Serving Southern Ontario, North America and the World

We apply proven analytical, organization design, change management and implementation processes that yield the best possible results, while reducing business risk and uncertainty.

We examine your organizational structure and identify problems by separating people from the work they do.

We define roles to align structure with strategy.

We work with you to implement your new organization, and help you identify the best talent for each role.

The outcomes:

Enhanced productivity and increased accountability.

Higher levels of employee engagement, trust and collaboration.

Sustainable increase in business velocity.



Innovation Gap

“I keep hearing “Innovate or die”. But how can I think about the future and innovate when I’m constantly dragged into solving today’s problems?”

What We Do | Innovation

A properly structured and well-managed organization encourages, supports and enables innovation at every level.

Front-line workers are often very innovative in ways that effect the quality and speed of service delivery. Take a skilled tradesperson who creates jigs, fixtures and techniques to enable their work to be done faster and with more precision. An important part of fostering innovation in this case, might be reward the innovator, and expedite the adoption of these tools throughout the organization.

At the most senior leadership level, innovation should occur at a different level entirely: new products, services, markets, or perhaps even business models.

What’s the difference between Apple Music and Napster? One highly successful, and one (in its original incarnation) litigated out of existence.

The answer: Apple Music innovated at the industry level, forever changing the music industry itself. Napster innovated at the technology level – a level that proved insufficient for the nature of the service it was trying to create.

At what level does your organization need to innovate in order to thrive? And are you structured to foster and grow innovation at that level?

We can help you answer these critical questions, and then work with you to design and implement an organization that will take innovation to new heights.


“I’m not sure if I get to make this decision, or if I have to check with my boss… or is it someone else altogether… Maybe this is why it takes so long to get anything done around here!”


Many people use the terms hierarchy and bureaucracy as if they are the same thing. In fact, they are two completely different concepts. A hierarchy is a method of organizing; bureaucracy refers to something that is excessively and perhaps needlessly complicated.  

We view hierarchy as a natural and desirable characteristic of organizations. Properly constructed hierarchies accelerate the execution of an organization’s mission and are essential to getting the work of the organization done.  

One of the keys to constructing a hierarchy that works is to understand the nature and complexity of the work being done in each role and to deliberately create roles that are distinctly different in their complexity – or their level of work. This is essential to ensuring that there is one layer of management per level of work. In doing so, we ensure that each layer of management can add value to the work of the layer below. 

Many organizations suffer from poorly constructed hierarchies. We often see organizations that have several layers of management doing work at the same level of complexity (we call this a “jam-up”). What’s the difference in the complexity of the work of a Senior Vice President and a Vice President? If the answer is “there is no difference” then the titles are meaningless and confusing… which contributes to a sense of bureaucracy.  

When our clients tell us about “meetings to prepare for meetings”, and a belief that “I’m not sure if this person should be involved but I’m going to invite them to the meeting just in case”, or role holders who tell us that they attend meetings that they are certain they should not, we see red flags. 

Is your organization a properly constructed hierarchy? Or has it devolved into a complicated bureaucracy that is nearly impossible to navigate? We can help you answer these important questions, and help you design an organization that works.

Low Employee Engagement

“Where’s the ROI on my employee engagement projects? Do they really have a sustainable impact on employee engagement levels and business outcomes?”

What We Do | Engagement

70% of business leaders agree that employee engagement is critical to achieving business resultsGartner, 2018.

We often get asked why engagement projects do not have a higher sustainable impact on employee engagement levels and business outcomes. The benefits of an engaged workforce are clear: increased productivity, decreased turnover, and improved business results. However, employee engagement has remained stubbornly low and relatively unchanged over the last five years. The Conference Board 2018.

The following two conditions are commonly expressed by highly engaged employees across industries.

  1. Doing meaningful work. Employees are motivated by work that is aligned to their values, skills, abilities, and interests.  They need to be clear on their role and feel fully enabled to perform the work they are accountable for to their manager.
  2. Effective relationship with their manger. Employees expect their managers to provide them direction and meaningful feedback to succeed in their roles and support them in achieving their goals. 

Through our work, it is evident that for a business leader to positively impact employee engagement requires them to leverage the organization structure as a critical tool in engaging their workforce.  Our design methodology will help create a structure that delivers clear accountabilities, aligned decision authorities and when implemented leveraging our three-tier managerial leadership system, will provide the foundation for sustainable high employee engagement. 


“we are confident that the strategy we developed is the right strategy, but after 2 attemps we still haven’t got it off the ground”

What We Do | Misfire

Much has been written about why strategic plans fail. We often hear that strategic plans are not attainable for a variety of reasons, among them:

  • Planning teams ignore marketplace realities, facts, and assumptions
  • The organization has the wrong people in leadership positions
  • The leaderships team has set unrealistic goals or the strategic plan has a lack of focus and resources
  • There is limited or no accountability or follow through on attaining the strategic plan

We often forget that the attainment of strategic plans is largely contingent on having the right structure and team to deliver on the direction and vision of leaders. Organization design is a foundational tool in any managerial leader’s toolkit. Our approach to organization design supports managerial leaders in creating structures that:

  1. Have an intentional design that supports strategic plans.
  2. Integrate roles designed to drive accountability through aligned decision authorities.
  3. Ensure the right people are doing the right work, in the right groups, at the right level, at the right time.

We have successfully worked with the Canadian division of one the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in redesigning and implementing a structure to support a new strategic plan. The customer-centric strategy which had been stalled for four years was implemented in six months as part of the implementation of the new organization structure. 


“We don’t seem to have the ability to make, act on, or execute decisions in a timely manner” 

Sluggish Responses

Is everything a priority? Are you clear on what decisions are your decisions—or is every decision a group decision? At year end can you look back and see that your priorities have been delivered?

Effective execution beats a carefully crafted strategy every time, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Great execution depends upon the right people in the right roles doing the right work, while playing their positionsand trusting that others will play their positions as well.

Superior execution requires in both individual effort and great teamwork. Teams that execute well understand what has to be done by when, with an eye to the strategy and another to the deadline.

An important underpinning to swift and successful execution is role clarity, which helps everyone on the team understand who is accountable for what. But accountabilities alone will not accelerate execution. What’s needed as well, are the appropriate decision authorities consistent with the scope of each role, and a management structure that is capable of, and prepared to, hold individuals accountable.

Value Stagnation

“With the increase in competition the best we can hope for is to slow down the erosion of our market share.”


Value creation occurs when a company is intentionally structured to provide value to its customers and its shareholders.

Our principle-based methodology to organization design creates value in a purposeful way at every level of the organization. Frontline roles are designed to respond to customers needs and ensure customers get what they want when they want it. Middle management creates value by ensuring the organization’s systems and process deliver the products and services in ways that ensure customer creation. Senior management creates value by developing and implementing the business models and strategies that meet customer needs while ensuring profitable returns today and into the future

From Our partner, ED MCMAHON

Deconstructing Simple

“Keep it simple”. We hear this a lot. As a piece of management advice, as a design principle, as a warning not to “make things too complicated”, and as a general rule in life. Simple, we are led to believe, is good. The implication of this (simple) statement is that things that are not simple are complicated and by extension, somehow flawed.

let’s chat about your organization



+1 416 977 2673


Core International | Organization Design Consultants