PGI President Jocelyne Bourgon recently participated in  a roundtable for senior leaders of the Singapore government on organisation design. The roundtable was a 2-hour informal discussion with several Deputy Secretaries and CEOs of different public agencies. It was an opportunity for all to share with one another their experiences, challenges and best practices in leading organisations through change.

As the Singapore Civil Service anticipates changes to its operating environment, its leaders expect many public agencies to restructure and change their way of working in the coming years, in order to better respond to future demands. The Institute of Leadership and Organisation Development, a unit within the Singapore Civil Service College, is also concerned with the alignment among organisational structures, processes, systems, workflows and task distribution. Emerged from the discussion a need to focus on human resources, including the need to engage staff early on in the process of organisation design. Human Resource departments will need to be involved more proactively in organisation redesigns.

The roundtable was highly stimulating and revealed important understudied aspects of organisation design. The role of Human Resources and the need to think organisation design differently emerged as important paths forward.