Organization Effectiveness Simulator by Booz Company

Recently I have used the ‘Organization Effectiveness Simulator’ offered by Booz Company.

Purpose of using this simulator is to determine where the client organization is positioned, with regards to implementing a Change Strategy.

I highly recommend this simulator for the following reasons:

– it helps you to quickly establish the current status of your organization;

– it enables you to have focused internal discussion by your management team, on which kind of measures will help best in implementing a Change Strategy;

– results of this ‘management game’ can be used to align more internal stakeholders to the agreed actions plans

The background of this tool is described in an article in the Harvard Business Review of June 2008: ‘The Secret to Successful Strategy Execution’ by Gary L. Neilson, Karla L. Martin, and Elizabeth Powers.

One of the main messages of this article is:

‘(…)we’ve identified four fundamental building blocks executives can use to influence those actions

  • clarifying decision rights,
  • designing information flows,
  • aligning motivators,
  • and making changes to structure.’

(…) In fact, our research shows that actions having to do with decision rights and information are far more important—about twice as effective—as improvements made to the other two building blocks’


How does the simulator work:

First step:

As a management team, you answer some 18 questions to determine the kind of organization you are right now. Examples are:

  • ‘The Passive Aggressive Organization’
  • ‘The Over Managed Organization’
  • ‘The Outgrown Organization’
  • ‘ The Fits and Starts Organization’
  • ‘The Just-in-time Organization’
  • ‘The Military Precision Organization’
  • ‘The Resilient Organization’

Second step:

Based on one of these organizational types, you are then offered some 28 possible strategic actions, from which you can choose 5.

Actions such as:

  • ‘Clarify Key processes’
  • ‘Create Centers of Excellence’
  • ‘Delegate more decision making’
  • ‘Introduce a knowledge management system’

And so on.

Based on a large database of Booz Company (with results of interviews and business results of a large number of interviewed companies); the simulator gives you then a clear indication whether the actions that you have chosen are effective (compared to best practice actions).

Especially the discussion around choosing the right actions are very helpful in defining your own strategic action planning!

We found that indeed, actions that clarify decision rights and actions that improve information flows are most effective in implementing the Change strategy.


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