Organisational Structures & Restructuring


Much of Geof Cox's work in the UK now is designing organisational structures for social enterprise. For example:

  • Both share and guarantee Community Interest Companies for new start social enterprise, including groundbreaking developments such as combining a share Community interest Company with an Employee Share Ownership Plan
  • Setting up trading subsidiaries for charities – again all kinds of organisational structures are used for this, including both share and guarantee forms of Community Interest Companies
  • Designing legal/financial structures for the development of trading activities from public bodies
  • Currently the most interesting form of business structure: Limited Liability Partnerships for both individuals and organisations working together
  • Legal/financial structures for employee and community buyouts
  • Marketing co-operatives, again including some unusual variations such as share companies and social firms
  • Development of the miEnterprise model support structure for self-employed 'earning disabled' people

Example structures can be downloaded free from The Open Organisational Structures Bank, currently hosted by The Common Cause Foundation

Geof Cox also facilitates training seminars and practical discussion workshops on organisational development, and in particular organisational structure design for new social enterprise and organisational restructuring for established organisations.

For social enterprise support organisations and development workers, Geof can help extend team skills to organisational structure design, by clearly describing both the methodology to be used to develop the right structure and the pros and cons of each option, and providing the structured discussion and information tools to run your own organisational development workshops. An example programme for a development workers training day can be found here.

The world of organisational structure development is full of myths and half-truths; all parties to the development of structures - enterprise founders, local solicitors or advisers - lack any clear organisational structure development methodology, or the right knowledge, examples and other tools to structure information, discussion or advice to make it meaningful. However, there have been some attempts to develop a clear discussion and development process which can take an individual or group from their broad vision and business planning through a series of logical steps to the right structure for them, and these form the basis of Geof Cox's approach to the organisational development process for social enterprise.

An outline of this approach can be found here.