Organization Diagnostic : Organizational Navigator - Bain & Company

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Organizational Diagnostic: Bain Org Navigator

Bain Org Navigator is Bain's diagnostic tool to help clients assess and identify how to improve their organizational performance. It helps companies determine where their organization is strong, where it is weak and, most critically, which outcomes matter most for generating superior business performance.

What We Do

Bain Org Navigator combines Bain's analytical approach with our deep expertise helping clients take their organizations to full potential. The diagnostic includes a quantitative assessment of organizational strengths and weaknesses—including performance benchmarking against a proprietary database of 1,700 companies—to provide executives and decision makers with a clear view on how to allocate scarce organizational resources to achieve superior business performance.

Bain Org Navigator is rooted in Bain research and analysis which demonstrates that business success hinges on six primary organizational outcomes. High-performing organizations are:

  • aligned with the company's strategy;
  • capable of executing strategy with the right talent, processes and tools;
  • effective at making and executing critical decisions;
  • adaptable in the face of rapid change;
  • efficient in realizing the benefits of scale and scope; and
  • engaged to go the extra mile.

The first three outcomes (aligned, capable and effective) serve as the foundation of strong business performance. The last three (adaptable, efficient and engaged) serve as accelerators, giving companies a true competitive edge provided they put in place a solid foundation. At the highest level, our analysis suggests that companies ranking in the top quintile of all six outcomes are three times as likely to be a business performance leader than the average company.

The assessment is designed to set the scene for executives to understand and address three key questions:

  • Do we have big gaps in our foundation? Sustained high performance entails a solid foundation across three of the core outcomes: aligned, capable and effective. Very few business performance leaders rank below average on these foundational elements.
  • How can we eliminate our liabilities? Ranking in the bottom quintile in even one or two outcomes more than halves a company's odds of attaining top business performance.
  • How can we build on our strengths? The more outcomes that rank in the top quintile, the higher the likelihood of superior business performance.

Behind our six outcomes, we have categorized 26 separate organizational disciplines that underpin outcome performance. These disciplines enable executives to focus on the most critical elements impacting outcome performance.

Our Approach

We work jointly with our clients to assess the gaps and identify the opportunities that drive their organizational performance. Our approach goes beyond benchmarks; Bain Org Navigator is composed of a comprehensive online survey, management interviews and tailored client workshops. It allows executives to understand where they need to improve and helps to prioritize where to best focus scarce resources.

  • Online survey: The online survey assesses how the organization performs on each of the organizational outcomes and underlying disciplines. Verbatim comments from respondents provide a more nuanced picture of the assessment. The company's performance then gets benchmarked against other companies in Bain's proprietary database of 1,700 companies to reveal the organizational strengths and weaknesses.
  • Management interviews: Management interviews provide context to the strengths and barriers underpinning performance and help an organization prioritize and focus on the essential few outcomes and underlying disciplines required to improve performance.
  • Workshops: Tailored workshops bring teams together to review survey insights and jointly develop focused action plans.

Insights from the core of Bain Org Navigator solutions can be augmented through two additional elements:

  • Deep dive survey modules: Deep dives are conducted in tandem with the survey or after the fact. These help to home in on specific areas that are likely to need improvement.
  • Additional diagnostic tools: Other tools can shed more light on important topics including:
    • Capability audit: Assess performance on a set of strategic capabilities
    • Decision effectiveness (x-ray): Evaluate performance on a particular decision in terms of Quality, Speed, Yield and Effort
    • Spans and layers: Identify opportunities to decrease organizational layers and increase spans of control
    • Organizational time audit: Quantify time through calendars, email and other business data, in order to manage what is often unmanaged: where your people spend their scarce and valuable time

Based on the results of the entire assessment, Bain's organizational experts can further tailor and customize our range of systemic solutions to help our clients close the gaps on the most essential organizational outcomes to improve their performance. Among our capabilities, we have tested and proven methods to help organizations build their operating models, address capabilities and talent gaps, improve decision effectivenesssimplify their organizations and strengthen culture and leadership.

Sustained business success requires building a high-performance organization. The Organizational Navigator allows executives to understand where they need to improve and gives them the confidence that they are putting scarce resources to the best use.

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