International Rice Research Institute: Organisational design and Leadership

By: Karl Daly


We worked with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquartered in the Philippines. IRRI has been a driving force in research since it was first established in the 1960’s.  It has an international presence and a strong research heritage.  It is an expertise driven organisation. IRRI had already been through significant change after the appointment of a new Director General in 2017 who led the implementation of a significant restructuring programme to manage costs and to reduce bureaucracy.  Whilst this had been a successful approach, IRRI felt they needed external support to support their move to the next stage of their organisation’s development, with a view to investing more in research through building the scale and sustainability of their funding base.

What we did

We undertook an initial diagnostic review on site in the main research facility in the Philippines.  We used our Change Impact Model to assess how well the organisation was doing against its ambition for the future and highlighted those areas where focus would add most value.  We identified some issues with the operating model, and how this was really getting in the way of effectively building relationships with donors, grant givers and other funders.  We worked with the Director General to review and refine the operating model and helped him to steer this change through.  External feedback from funding bodies about the resulting changes were positive.  We also developed a new leadership framework to help ensure that in this research- based organisation they are being very clear about the importance of leadership and what success looks like.  We continue to support IRRI with ongoing advice on change management and talent initiatives.


  • A fit for purpose operating model that supports the future development of the organisation
  • A detailed change implementation plan to support the HRD and leadership team to take forward the changes needed
  • A leadership behaviour framework which identifies the most important behaviours needed for the future success of the Agency at senior leadership levels
  • Ongoing advisory support to help with implementation

Claridade Consultants' expertise and evidenced insights assisted us to shine a dispassionate external lens on what organisationally works well and what would benefit from improvement (or stopping). Their support enabled us to step back to view the gains of the last 5 years and see the wood for the trees as across a spectrum of organisational effectiveness indicators. I have been particularly impressed with their ability to hone in on IRRI's DNA very quickly to identify critical organisational success factors and practical context specific change management acuity at micro and macros levels.

Ola Fajobi – IRRI’s Global Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development