An organization’s design is the arrangement of its components in such a way that it can accomplish the work necessary to effectively and efficiently achieve its public purpose and strategy while delivering high quality customer and employee experience now and into the future. This program teaches the practice of constructing these arrangements and involves aligning the design and its components with the strategy, while building trust among key internal and external stakeholders.

Agile Organizational Design

Participants Will Learn

Theory and Methodology


  • Strategy analysis
  • Context, intent and alignment
  • Organization systems theory
  • Organizational complexity and volatility
  • Theory and practice of individual and organizational agility


  • Diagnosing culture
  • The requirements that strategy places on culture
  • The pros and cons of different organization construction approaches
  • Selecting the right approach for the current culture

Certification of Learning and Resulting Skill Levels


  • Establishing a baseline for each participant
  • Evaluating the breadth and depth of their resulting toolkit
  • Identifying additional skills to fully develop their credentials
  • Exploring future trends in  public sector organization constructs for building in flexibility and scalability, for example, the impact of robotic automated processes, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics.

5 Stages to Designing Agile, Adaptive and Responsive Organizations


  • Tools for recognizing the strategic context
  • Diagnosing the current situation


  • Building a convincing case for a new design
  • Gaining leadership support
  • Chartering and planning the design project
  • Picking the criteria to use in evaluating the organizational constructs


  • Diagnosing culture
  • The requirements that strategy places on culture
  • The pros and cons of different organization construction approaches
  • Selecting the right approach for the current culture


  • Tools for translating workflows into roles and responsibilities
  • Discerning manpower requirements
  • Natural work unit groups
  • Self-directing teams
  • Designing teams of teams across network and system boundaries
  • How best to coordinate across teams


  • Tools for deploying the new organization construct
  • Identifying and assigning issues
  • Supporting the management of the resulting changes

Program Agenda

Day 1 Outline Agenda
  • Introductions and baseline assessment
  • Concepts and frameworks
    • Review and discuss pre-reading articles
    • Designing organizations as complex adaptive systems: interdependencies
    • Organization design frameworks
    • Agility and agile organization design
  • Organizational strategy and context
    • Strategy and alignment of the organizational constructs
    • Strategy and culture agreement
    • Strategy and risk tolerance
    • Strategy and strategic planning alignment
    • Volatility, complexity, management styles, and continuous design approaches
  • Sense the environment
    • Analyze data on external and internal factors, assess issues and decide to act
    • Strategy analysis, context, diagnosis, and development
    • Introduce case study
  • Mobilize the effort
    • Charter and stakeholder management; work the case
    • Explore different management styles and design approaches
    • Design criteria; work the case
  • Frame the New Organization
    • Technology and core work; work the case
    • Develop operating models; work the case
    • Plan for customization
  • Key Conclusions and Q&A
Day 2 Outline Agenda
  • Reflections on Day 1
  • Customize: high level models for possible courses of action (COAs)
    • Process, roles, and accountabilities
    • Work units, mandates, and relationships
    • Management, measurement, and people systems
  • Resolve: complete and implement
    • Integrate and evaluate the total design
    • Transition to new operating model and adjust
  • Design approaches for changing management styles
  • Recent and future trends in organization design
  • Participant roadmaps
Day 3 Outline Agenda
  • Reflections on Day 2
  • Complete any items left over from Day 2
  • Participants work assessment case study
    • Initiate working teams
    • Introduce case study
    • Sense
    • Mobilize
    • Frame
    • Customize
    • Resolve
  • Participants self and peer assessment
  • Review workshop, where to learn more, and close

Program Overview

This certification program trains public sector professionals to construct high-performing, agile and responsive organizations. Program participants will learn how to anticipate and overcome shifting public priorities and unforeseeable obstacles through the practical application of organizational design principles, by strengthening team collaboration and by placing more emphasis on systems thinking, planning and action.

Program Format

Three full days of lively interactive instruction, including breakout groups, learning partner discussions and application exercises.

Program is currently available in an Online Live format. Once travel restrictions are lifted, the program will also be available as In-person and Hybrid formats.

You Should Attend If…

  • Your organization’s external operating context and environment are volatile and/or uncertain
  • You and your team need to better understand the role and impacts of AI, process automation, sustainability and other trends
  • Your organization is not realizing its full potential
  • You are encountering a public-sector “Burning Platform” crisis
  • Your agency or unit’s performance is falling behind projections
  • Your organization is not executing your strategy

Upcoming Programs

Mastering Agile Organization Design for the Public Sector

Online Live:  Six Half-Day sessions (Oct 28, 29, 30, Nov 4, 5, 6)

Each of the six half-day sessions will run 10:00 AM – 12:00 EST and 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST

  • Offered in association with the George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership

Price: $2,975 USD

Mastering Agile Organization Design (for all sectors)

Online Live:  Six Half-Day sessions (February 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19)

  • This program is offered in association with the George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership to professionals from all sectors

Price: $2,975 USD

Why LBL Strategies?

  • Our trainers have a combined 150 years’ consulting and training experience in serving international businesses and public sector organizations
  • Internationally recognized subject matter expert(s) in organizational design
  • Recognized leader in organizational strategy development and execution
  • 35 years’ experience offering university and/or association sponsored certification/certificate programs

Instructor Bios

Cohort #1 Lead Instructor

Dr. Richard Thayer is managing director at Syngineering Solutions, a small management consultancy headquartered in Baltimore, MD. He and his partners have written Syngineering: Building Agility into Any Organization through John Hunt Publishing, coming out this spring. This step-by-step guide helps practitioners at all experience levels introduce agility and responsiveness into their organization, very useful in todays' volatile and uncertain times.

As an organization design practitioner, author, teacher, and advisor, Rich’s work focuses on agility and collaboration. He and his partners have a seamless consulting style that extends into a sizeable working network which includes many of the leading lights in organization design consulting today, including Dr. Naomi Stanford. Selected clients include Shell Projects & Technology, Sakhalin Energy, Shell Gulf of Mexico Shelf Division, North Caspian Operating Company, Shell Faculty Science Symposia, Cairn Energy, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Nature Conservancy Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The partnership currently has projects building agility in US Bank and Chevron.

Rich teaches public and internal programs on agile organization design and operating models in conjunction with LBL Strategies and George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL.) as well as Caliber Consulting.

He is married, has three amazing children, and lives in the woods of urban Baltimore. When not serving clients, Rich coordinates an alternative to violence curriculum in the Maryland Department of Corrections, serves on the boards of several non-profits, and coaches’ friends, colleagues, and relatives at critical points in their lives.

Select publications and presentations.

  • Syngineering: Building Agility into Any Organization (in press)
  • Syngineering Case Studies, Zybach & Thayer, 2018, Organization Design Forum (ODF) Annual Meeting
  • Accelerate: Doing Business at the Speed of Success Case Studies, Thayer & Zybach, 2017, European Org. Forum Annual Meeting
  • Acceleration: Activating Strategy through Culture-Specific Design, Zybach and Thayer, 2017, ODF Annual Meeting
  • Championing Production and Operations Efforts: Aligning People and Systems for Optimum Performance, Thayer & Zybach, 2015, public workshop through In Acuity, Inc.
  • Design Challenge: Reframing Organization Design through the Lens of Four Landscapes of Work, Zybach & Thayer, 2014, ODF Annual Meeting
  • Co-author internal Shell reports: Change Architecture Framework, Organization Designs That Work, and Process Improvement Guide

European instructor and major program design contributor

Dr. Naomi Stanford is an organization design expert, practitioner, teacher, and author.  She advises and supports corporate and government clients in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Recent projects have included developing a culture of teamwork with a European Union body, redesigning patient flow with a healthcare company, introducing a bespoke organization design methodology to an Australian state government department, and advising on an HR Strategy for a conglomerate in Sudan.

She has worked as both an internal and external organization design consultant in both the public and private sectors in the US, UK, and Europe and is currently lead consultant in a major UK government organization. Her belief is that organizations perform the way they are continuously and reflectively designed to perform.  Poor design leads to sub-par performance and dysfunctional cultures.  Careful design leads to high performance and being a good place to work.

She is the author of six booksOrganization Design: The Practitioner’s Guide,  Organization Design: Engaging with ChangeOrganization Design, the Collaborative ApproachThe Economist Guide to Organization DesignCorporate Culture: Getting it Right (also an Economist publication) and Organizational Health: an integrated approach to building optimum performance. All royalties from her books are donated directly to Freedom from Torture.

During her earlier UK career, she was a corporate employee of large multinational companies, including Price Waterhouse, British Airways, Marks & Spencer, and Xerox. She then moved to the US working as an organization design consultant to a range of organizations in the government, non-profit and private sectors. She has now returned to the UK to work in the government sector.

Naomi is a bold, thoughtful, but introspective thought leader, change agent, and coach. She transforms, influences, and leads the organizations and the teams she works with through role modeling, encouragement, and issuing challenges. People who work with and for Naomi seek to emulate her skills and value her insights long after she has moved on to other projects. 

Naomi also writes blogs, articles, speaks at conferences, and tweets regularly on organization design.

Cohort #1 Co-Instructor

James Stockmal is the owner of SK Partners, a small independent management consultancy licensed in Washington, DC.  Jim has more than 30 years of experience in designing and developing organizations across a wide spectrum of industries including banking, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and consultancies. In addition, Jim has helped organizations develop and execute strategic transformation through the integration of people-focused, process-oriented, and technology-enabled initiatives.

Jim’s clients include the Royal Bank of Canada, Australian New Zealand Bank, CitiCorp, Flagstar Bank, Aetna, Ford Motor Company, Sears, and Exxon Mobil. His government clients include the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Stafford County, Events DC, the Department of Energy, the US Air Force, the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), NASA, the General Services Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, NOAA, and the Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC).

His non-profit clients include the National Sporting Goods Association, the Association for Airport Authority Executives (AAAE,) the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW,) the Institute for Building Technology and Safety, San Miguel DC, and DC Net Impact.

Mr. Stockmal writes monthly articles on organizational development, leadership, strategy, organizational transformation, and cyber security for The Strategic Edge, a publication of the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP.) Jim teaches the Strategic Management Performance System (SMPS) in conjunction with LBL Strategies and George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL.) 

Jim is married to Ellen Kollar, Ph.D., and lives in the heart of Washington, DC where he can be seen walking twice-a-day. When not volunteering and not serving clients, Jim loves to play golf, cook, and provide nurturing support to his twin sons in college.

He can be reached on Twitter: @stockmalj. Select publications and presentations include:

“Capacity Building for Smart Cities,” July 2019, The Strategic Edge.

“Conducting Virtual Strategic Planning Sessions.” April 2019, The Strategic Edge.

“Ecosystems: Is Yours Working for You”, August 2017, ASP Global Webinar.

“Trends, Drivers and Innovation: What Every Organization Should be Thinking About”, May 2017, ASP Annual Conference – Toronto, Canada:

“Reflections on “S-Curves” and Leading Strategic Change” Linked In, November 1, 2016:

“Don’t Be an Ostrich: Don’t Be Afraid of What Your Customers Have to Say or Avoiding Pitfalls Capturing the Voice of the Customer”,, March 2015.

“Overcoming False Foundations for Strategic Planning and Change”. The Strategic Edge, September 2014.

“Managing Transitions”, The Strategic Edge, August 2014.  

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