Organization Strategy & Transformation

RBL’s global consulting practice uses an outside-in approach to help pivot your organization to better meet emerging challenges and opportunities. Our experienced consultants use a systems-design perspective and a flexible process to help you identify, organize around, and build the capabilities you need to win in today’s competitive and volatile environment.

Consulting Services
Organization design, HR transformation, culture, turnaround, large-scale change, leadership alignment, people and HR strategies—whatever the issue, we partner with you to define the capabilities that matter and create a strong operating model that translates those capabilities into internal actions.
Strategy Integration & Macro Business Design

Capability-based strategy clarification, work differentiation at the enterprise, business unit, or functional levels

Functional Design

Functional design focused on creating alignment of work teams, processes, roles, structure, and work

HR Transformation & Alignment

HR organization design (macro and micro), developing HR metrics, HR strategy development

Organization Turnaround & Transformation

Large-scale organization transformation involving the entire enterprise

Leadership Transformation & Alignment

Developing business case and measurement strategies, aligning leadership to strategy and firm brand, succession and talent management strategies, executive coaching and custom executive programs, and building reputation

People Strategy Development

Identifying people implications of business strategies

Change Management

Support for planning, assessment, and implementation management of change

Connect with our Organization Strategy & Transformation Practice

RBL's Strategy and Transformation Approach

Alignment-Driven
Our frameworks and methodology are designed to create alignment and focus resources on the activities that matter. Alignment is the outcome of linking outside-in logic with strategy, capabilities, organization design, leadership, and people.
Adapt, not Adopt
We combine our experience with your internal expertise to come up with the best solution. While we bring a strong point of view around context, methodology, and team process, our process is designed to engage your organization in a way that generates internal ownership and simplifies implementation.
Change-ready
We embed change management from the beginning to the end. By involving the people who do the work in how the work should be done, our approach yields a comprehensive, integrated and executable design and capability development plan.

RBL's Consulting Approach v. Other Approaches

Senior client partner and multiple junior consultants
Limited client team members
Bring in-depth industry expertise, including proprietary data and benchmarks, external analyses
Develop a solution for the organization to implement
Broadly experienced, senior consultants who partner with internal client teams to develop and own fitted solutions
Provide strategic frameworks and methodologies to guide process
Facilitate process and challenge internal assumptions with clear points of view and relevant examples
Embed change management and implementation bias from beginning to end
Embed change management and implementation bias from beginning to end
Facilitator working with internal team
Manage meetings (not content)
Use team process, meeting management skills, and expertise in dealing with dysfunctional teams
Team possesses sufficient domain expertise and can be the sole source of content and technical input
Organization Design Methodology
Organization isn’t about structure, it’s about capability—what a business is good at and known for in the eyes of its best customers. Our focus is to optimize the impact of this capability-building work within the organizational system to better deliver performance and results.
Our Systems Design Model helps you see your organization as a system and focus on the key variables that impact performance. Contact Us
Certification for internal teams in applying the RBL Systems Design Model is also available. Contact Us
RBL’s approach is premised on a set of guiding principles that link strategy, capabilities, organization design, leadership, and people.
Begin with an outside-in perspective
Ultimate value is determined by external customers and stakeholders. Functional and process design enables the strategy to deliver on stakeholder expectations.
Strategy drives organization, not just structure
Effective strategy identifies the work that makes you distinctive. Effective organizations are clear about when to say yes and when to say no.
Be clear on what is being optimized
You need to be clear about who supports who and which direction requirements flow. Strategy and capabilities are the basis for this clarity.
All work is not created equal
Some work should be designed using efficiency logic. Some work should be designed using effectiveness logic. Effectiveness work and efficiency work should be separated.
Separate transition issues from design decisions
Design for an “Ideal Future,” not people, current capability, or exceptions. The design must be doable, but needs to push forward.




Our Team

Mark
Managing Director
Adam
Erin
Joe
Katrina
Norm
Mark Nyman
Managing Director
Mark has spent his career assisting organizations in transforming themselves by creating strategic focus and then aligning the design of their organizations and/or support functions. He has used his expertise in large system change and executive development in start-ups, existing organizations, and in mergers/joint ventures settings. Mark uses high involvement as a way of building ownership and helps his clients think differently about the issues that challenge them.

He has worked with numerous clients including: Adidas, American Century, AT&T, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cisco, Comcast, Denver Children’s Hospital, Honeywell, Invesco, Johns Manville, Kellogg, Merck, Pfizer, Rio Tinto, RR Donnelly, Saudi Aramco, Shell Oil, Sun Microsystems, and Williams Energy.

Prior to RBL, Mark was the founder and president of Concinnity Consulting, an organization design and alignment firm based in Denver, CO. In this capacity he worked with numerous organizations in strategic restructuring as well as development of key executives and their teams.
Adam Rampton
Adam works with clients to advance business objectives through leadership development and strategic alignment of Human Resources. 

Prior to joining The RBL Group, Adam successfully led a group of companies as the General Manager through key change initiatives with a focus on streamlining operational processes and expanding the business in the western United States.  Adam also worked for General Electric (GE) where he graduated from GE’s HR Leadership Program and help roles of increasing responsibility in a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, and oil and gas.  In these roles, Adam partnered with senior business leaders to achieve business objectives and build organizational capabilities by aligning and leading human resources activities such as succession planning, leadership development, performance management, staffing, and development of compensation and incentive programs.

Adam earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and has over 13 years results-focused experience partnering with global business leaders.  He is fluent in Romanian and has lived in a number of countries including the United Arab Emirates, United States, Canada, Romania, and Italy.  He is currently based in Dubai, UAE.
Erin Wilson Burns
Erin is a principal with RBL where her client work includes organization design, executive coaching, and consulting in leadership development, and Co-Faculty/Coach with Dave Ulrich at HR Learning Partnership (HRLP).  She has almost 20 years of experience in leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design and transformation consulting with clients from a range of industries.

She has worked closely with many of RBL’s research initiatives, including the Top Companies for Leaders (with AonHewitt and Fortune) and the Human Resource Competency Study (with the University of Michigan) and has been responsible for the development of new products and methodologies.

Erin has almost 20 years’ experience in leadership development and consulting, working with Fortune 500 companies from a range of industries on how to best identify and develop tomorrow’s leaders.  She is also the author of several articles, including “Competency Models with Impact” (with Dave Ulrich and Laurence Smith), “How Top Companies Develop Their Leaders” (with Robert Gandossy), “Gauging Leadership Potential” (with T. O. Jacobs), “Top Companies for Leaders Research Report” (with Dave Ulrich), ”Building Capability: HR Strategic Partnering Skills (with Mark Nyman), “The Evolving Diversity Agenda” (with Dave Ulrich), and “Making Better Hiring Decisions: Evaluating Cognitive Capability and Personality Fit” (with Michael Friedman).

Prior to joining the consulting world, Erin worked at Harvard University Press where she was involved in the acquisition and production of books by some of the world’s leading thinkers.

Erin has an MBA from The University of Michigan Business School (now Ross School of Business).
Joe Hanson
Joe is an experienced consultant recognized for leading businesses through complex business turnarounds and successful organization transitions, as well as strategic alignment and education.

Joe has consulted with companies in industries ranging from Lodging & Entertainment and Technology to Pharmaceuticals, Energy, and Communications, addressing business turnaround strategy, organization renewal and integrated change management. He received the Exemplary Change Management Practice Citation Award in 2004 from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) for the global restructuring of InterContinental Hotels Group, as well as the Value-add Consulting Team Award from the InterContinental Hotels Group. He developed and taught a training curriculum on Consulting Skills for Internal Professionals, delivering the course for several years to IT, HR, Process, Finance, and other internal support professionals.

He has worked as a manager for a high-growth consulting business as Managing Director, Division President, Chief Financial Officer, and Board Member. He also led client, project, and team management for intensive, global consulting engagements, including corporate turnarounds, global restructuring, new business launches, multi-business integration, support function redesign, cost reductions, and performance management and development.

Joe teaches these skills to Graduate Students at the University of Utah Eccles Graduate School of Business as an Adjunct Professor since 2006. He earned his MBA from the BYU Marriott School of Business with High Distinction, with an emphasis in Strategy and Finance, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with a minor in Spanish.
Katrina Harmon
Katrina Harmon is a Consulting Partner who works with organizations to improve their business results by changing the way they work. She focuses on strategy implementation through business process, organization, and human resource system design.  Katrina also has extensive training, facilitation, and survey design experience.

She has worked across a broad range of industries with clients that include: Rockwell Automation; Texas Health Resources; Citigroup; InterContinental Hotels Group; Sabre; RR Donnelley; ExxonMobil; Boston Scientific Corporation; MetLife; Ontario Hydro; Motorola; Blockbuster Video; and Southern California Gas/Sempra.
 
Katrina has previously served as Director of Marketing for Novations Group, Inc., a global professional services firm providing consulting, training, technology, and measurement solutions to Fortune 1,000 companies. Her responsibilities included: marketing strategy development; new product launches; marketing events and collateral; public relations; and joint marketing with strategic partners and sister companies.
 
Prior to her role as Director of Marketing, Katrina worked as a Senior Consultant and Project Manager with Novations. In this position, she directed and facilitated client teams in strategy, process, and organization design. Katrina has also led numerous projects that have helped companies implement their business strategies through leadership and career development initiatives.
 
Katrina received an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, where she was a Truman Scholar. She also holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, where she was a Presidents Leadership Class scholar and a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude graduate with majors in International Affairs and French. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Louisville’s School of Urban and Public Affairs.
Norm Smallwood
Norm Smallwood is a recognized authority in developing businesses and their leaders to deliver results and increase value. His current work relates to increasing business value by building “outside in” organization, leadership, and people capabilities that measurably impact market value. In 2000, Norm co-founded The RBL Group with Dave Ulrich.

Norm partners with clients to increase the contribution of people to the business by aligning the organization to foster high performance cultures that resonates with customers. Outputs include distinctive organization capabilities and recognizable leadership brand.  Success is defined as increased confidence in future by investors, customers and employees.  This translates in publicly traded firms to a higher stock price and a strong reputation for the business.

In 2010, the Harvard Business Review recognized Norm in an ad for the magazine as doing “innovative and ground-breaking work on effective leadership.”

Norm has co-authored eight books: Real-Time Strategy, Results-Based Leadership, How Leaders Build Value, Change Champions Field Guide, Leadership Brand, Leadership Code, and Leadership Sustainability. Harvard Business School Press will publish his latest book, Agile Talent, coauthored with Jon Younger in February 2016.  He has published more than a hundred articles in leading journals and newspapers including Washington Post, Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Financial Times and has contributed chapters and Forewords to multiple books. Norm has been a frequent blogger on HBR Online where his blog on Personal Leader Brand was highlighted as one of ten most read of 2010.

Norm was a faculty member in executive education at the University of Michigan in the Ross School of Management between 2001 and 2003.

For several years, Leadership Excellence magazine has ranked Norm as one of the top 100 Global Voices in Leadership and the RBL Group as one of the top leadership development firms in the world.

Prior to co-founding the RBL Group, Norm was a founding partner of Novations Group, Inc. where he led business strategy, organization design, and human resource management projects for a wide variety of clients spanning multiple industries. Before this, he was an organization development professional at Procter and Gamble in a start up business in Georgia and in Calgary, Alberta with Esso Resources Canada. Norm and his wife Tricia enjoy their children and grandchildren as well as their wide variety of pets including two Great Danes, three cats and a school of koi fish.
Connect with our Organization Strategy & Transformation Practice
Organization Turnaround & Transformation
Large-scale organization transformation involving the entire enterprise
Strategy Integration & Macro Design
Capability-based strategy clarification, work differentiation at the enterprise, business unit, or functional levels
Functional & Operational Design
Functional design focused on creating alignment of work teams, processes, roles, structure, and work.
Change Management
Support for planning, assessment, and implementation management of change
Leadership Transformation & Alignment
Developing business case and measurement strategies, aligning leadership to strategy and firm brand, succession and talent management strategies, executive coaching and custom executive programs, and building reputation
HR Transformation & Alignment
HR organization design (macro and micro), developing HR metrics, HR strategy development
People Strategy Development
Identifying people implications of business strategies