Governance & Structure

The business world has dramatically changed over the last thirty years. What was once the competitive advantage of structures, i.e. a force for cohesion, arbitration and integration of decisions, has been strongly questioned. There is an urgent need to remake the structure into a reference framework that integrates three fundamental dimensions: capital, governance and managerial energy.

How we support our clients

Kea & Partners has a strong expertise in organizational changes, representing about 30% of its turnover. When handled with care, structural change is a formidable transformation lever that can enable a company to make radical progress in meeting its strategic and efficiency challenges. Upstream, it is a matter of defining and implementing the best target, while ensuring full business continuity and preserving employee engagement. Once implemented, the challenge is to maximize the potential of the new organization by using complementary levers and by applying the logic that governed the change of structure to all processes and management tools. In this way, teams will no longer experience structural changes as traumatic, but rather as a natural evolution in which to move forward, while staying on course.

With that in mind that we help our clients define and then exploit the full potential of their structure by giving meaning to the organization, by completing the change of structure with alternative levers of coordination, by empowering managers and employees, and by controlling the impact of the structure through the different dimensions of the operational model (adapting governance, simplifying processes, changing behaviors).

Furthermore, we are absolutely convinced that the structure is one of the first levers of transformation for managers: it is a place where capital, governance and managerial energy are integrated. Organizational evolution issues are the prerogative of the leader, with a field that they cannot delegate or even share, and on which they need to take a step back: the WHAT. It is also a collective work on the WHY and the HOW in order to ensure a sociodynamic transformation.

Kea has developed a methodology that allows us to rethink and implement a new organizational structure within a short period of time with our strengths: business sense, importance of people, pragmatism.

These organizational issues have always been a field of development for our innovation, which is reflected in publications and conferences that constantly face the reality of the business world.

Our know-how


Defining the correct value of a core function and its placement

Four possible roles for core functions, with a cursor to be positioned between countries / businesses / headquarters

Will the core functions simply play a financial holding role with the establishment of financial, M&A, and investment goals? Or will they play a strategic architecture role by also taking charge of strategic planning, defining the scope of the business lines, and getting involved in the career management of senior executives?

Or a role of controller by sharing/pooling systems affecting operational activities and by becoming more involved in the strategic and financial issues of the entities? Or an operational role by taking on the role of planning and allocating resources, becoming actively involved in the operational conduct of the business and creating shared services? We help our clients to answer this question according to their challenges and their existing situation, by mobilizing our proven know-how in designing ”tailor-made” organizations for core functions and our function-by-function benchmarks in terms of sizing, costs and activities & processes.

Our core function transformation & reorganization projects

Transformation of the core functions of a B2B distribution player

Kea accompanied the review of the core functions (Purchasing, Marketing, HR, Finance, IS, Supply Chain) to identify the impacts of the strategic plan and potential obstacles to its implementation and to determine the potential for optimizing resources in order to redeploy them towards the target needs. We relied on our external insights (benchmark) and a strong involvement of the teams to promote alignment and ownership

Simplification of the corporate functions of a global player in the food industry

Kea defined, led, and managed a simplification and efficiency approach based on 4 components: clarification of the “raison d’être”, optimization of organizations while identifying areas of responsibility, reviewing of governance and processes, and capitalization on human levers (managerial practices, goal management, expertise management). The work has enabled the deployment of nearly 320 actions in one year by the teams


Moving towards more frugal organizations?

Improving organizational performance while seeking new opportunities

The business world is changing swiftly. Some companies that were previously growing and expanding geographically are now repositioning their business. In this context, their matrix organization – whose mode of operation is centered on coordination, to the detriment of cooperation and autonomy –

hinders economic development by inhibiting reactivity and generating inertia in the face of a market environment that is transforming at an unprecedented speed. The deployment of support functions has made decision-making circuits more complex and reinforced centralization, with production and sales teams executing directives from upper levels.

In these specific contexts, we help our clients establish a more frugal and flexible organization, by looking at the “purified value”, reduced to the minimum, with strong levers of structure and governance.

Our post-matrix organization projects

We support our clients in redefining and implementing their organization, generally targeting 4 main goals:

  • Optimizing the level of internal service at its fair value: redefinition of the attributions of each function, definition of the right mix – control, reporting, leadership, autonomy -, operating modes structured around the needs of the internal customer

  • Improving productivity while optimizing costs: cross-functionality and elimination of unnecessary interfaces, elimination of duplication and repositioning of support functions on added value

  • Developing responsiveness and flexibility: rapid decision-making, clear and explicit responsibilities – functions, subsidiaries, categories, markets -, streamlining of management and coordination mechanisms

  • Implementing an agile culture and operating methods: innovation and agility, management that encourages initiative and autonomy

Our approach combines systems and modes of leadership to create, from the outset, collective support and the conditions for success around the new organizations. Our tools allow us to comprehend the issues to be addressed (including labor relations) in a comprehensive and serene manner and to arrive, through co-construction, at an organizational target that maximizes the overall value for the company: value for the shareholder, the customer, and the employee.

Central/local reorganization of a global luxury group

Kea supported the implementation of a central/local reorganization plan through the overhaul of BUs and regional entities from upstream (clarification of the “raisons d’être” and strategic vision, implementation of new detailed structure schemes) to downstream (management of corporate dialogue and change management processes)

Operational transformation of a specialized retailer

Kea supported the transformation of the operational model by simplifying the organizations and the governance model, modernizing the processes and management tools and mobilizing the entire organization. Clarifying the vision and challenges of each department, the cultural diagnosis and the activation of the managerial line were key to accelerate and maximize the ownership by teams


Rehabilitating autonomy and confidence to better understand the changes in companies and the expectations of employees

If employee autonomy and initiative is an objective, empowering organizations is a necessity

Companies are faced with profound changes (digitalization, internationalization, new forms of competition, regulations…) of unprecedented scope and speed. At the same time, employees’ expectations have evolved, their relationship to work is manifold, their ties with the organization are different.

The very notion of “company” is being redefined. More than ever, this calls into question the way of working and managing in companies, which is often not adapted to these new challenges. In this complex and unpredictable context, which requires anticipation, agility, contribution, and vigilance on the part of all, employee autonomy is no longer just an option. Because it is from this autonomy that the company’s good dynamics come about and that will serve as its engine to take off.

Our employee empowerment projects

Is it possible, by revisiting the company’s operating methods and developing new managerial postures, to create a “win-win” approach based on trust and autonomy? We are betting on it. We believe that an organization – in the broad sense of structure, responsibilities, governance. and culture – based on trust and responsibility will ultimately improve the company’s performance. With this in mind, we support our clients’ empowerment transformation programs by working on four axes: local, interconnected experiments (e.g. small autonomous islands), the creation of conditions for autonomy by managers (transparency of information between teams, accountability for results, trust and cooperation), managerial transformation and the necessary organizational changes, which must come as a consequence of the empowerment of teams and not as a prerequisite.

Reorganization to empower teams for a French manufacturer

Kea supported the reorganization of this client by following strong strategic axes including team empowerment. We helped them define the reason for the approach, what accountability is and how to deploy it

Development of the autonomy of the subsidiary managers of a transport and logistics company

Kea helped develop the autonomy of the subsidiary managers and reposition the added value of the support functions (HR, management control, quality, operations, sales). After a diagnosis of the interactions, we adjusted the levers at their disposal (e.g. recruitment), streamlined certain processes (e.g. budget) and designed a new managerial model that favored autonomy and cooperation


Cultivating resilience as a critical asset in tomorrow’s world

Corporate resilience: quite a challenge!

Faced with an increasingly unpredictable environment, managers must devote energy to work on the resilience of their company. Resilience is one of the key intangible assets that will play a decisive role in tomorrow’s world. This world of tomorrow, which, with the Covid-19 crisis, is already becoming tangible.

The crisis mode is not sustainable in the long term, especially since it tends to exhaust the organization.

As any system is uncomfortable with a lasting imbalance, there is a natural tendency for a company to wish to regain a balance, and not necessarily the one before the crisis. It is resilience that activates and facilitates the construction of a new balance.

The period of crisis is interesting because it allows us to take the real measure of this capacity for resilience and to take advantage of it: thus, during the COVID-19 crisis, many managers and entrepreneurs experienced more agility, risk-taking, experimentation, collective intelligence, solidarity, and new connections between departments. Not all of these organizational and business adjustments will be permanent, but some impacts on the organization will remain. It will then be necessary to move from a situation-forced experimentation, to sustainable implementation.

Our projects to boost resilience capacity

We help managers develop their organization’s resilience capacity by working on the three dimensions of resilience: organizational resilience (ecosystem and supply chain survival, business model, skills and talents, etc.), collective resilience (operating methods, behaviors, corporate culture, shared values, etc.), and individual resilience (autonomy, personal situation and values, meaning given to work, etc.). This work can be carried out during the crisis (when the organization’s resilience is at work), after the crisis (to capitalize and grow stronger through the experience) or even before (to maintain and train resilience capacity).