Organizational Design Sprints is Product Management

Kandis O’Brien and Diana Liu, co-founders of The Six, share the design approaches, processes, and methods they use to help businesses solve their most complex problems.

Kandis O’Brien and Diana Liu first met years ago at a consulting firm. After noticing how many businesses mishandle reorgs, they decided to start their own consultancy that intentionally designs organizations to support business strategy, agility, process, and scale.

They co-founded The Six, which uses four-day vision sprint workshops to help companies adapt to the pace of change and approach problems in creative and innovative ways.

Each sprint starts with researching the needs of the organization, followed by strategy and process mapping, defining and prototyping new structures, and testing ideas with senior leaders. Over the course of four days, friction points have been uncovered and teams have been aligned on things such as strategic vision, operating plans, or product roadmaps.

“The purpose of the vision sprint is to help teams identify the right problems to solve and then develop an inspirational vision and clear, actionable roadmap and goals to do so,” says Diana. “After a vision sprint, everyone should understand the why, the what, and the how. Why are we doing what we’re doing and why does it connect to the organization’s strategic priorities, what is our aligned mission, and how will we achieve our mission together?”

According to Kandis and Diana, org design should never be a one-size fits all approach. Many factors like vision, values, strategy, internal processes, and metrics that are unique to an organization need to be taken into consideration.

“I think what’s really important is being aware that not one size or one model is going to fit every organization,” says Kandis. “And it's going to change. We are not designing to a static vision or a static strategy, but that [companies] will need to continue to reinvent, will need to experiment, and will need to figure out what works for [their] organization.”

In this episode, you’ll learn a lot about organizational design, strategy, and vision sprints.

Here are the highlights: 

  • Major organizational design trends that Kandis and Diana are seeing (6:27)
  • The difference between design sprints and vision sprints (11:02)
  • How The Six structures their workshops (17:04)
  • How companies can create an innovative culture that can adapt to change (31:29)

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