Amy Kates

Updated at: Oct. 12, 2009, 5:34 p.m.

Amy Kates is principal partner with Downey Kates Associates (DKA), an organization design and development consulting firm located in New York City. The work of DKA is to:

  • Guide leaders and their teams to make sound choices about the design of their organization
  • Develop skills of managers to succeed in complex, global environments
  • Build the capabilities of the human resource organization to support organization effectiveness

Ms. Kates works with leaders and their teams to assess organizational issues, reshape structures and processes, and build depth of management capability. She is a skilled diagnostician and designer and helps her clients to understand organizational options and their implications, and to make good decisions.

She is an experienced consultant, business writer, trainer, and facilitator, and has worked with a wide range of clients globally including General Mills, Coca-Cola HBC, Nike, Pepsi Bottling Group, Prudential, Comcast, UK Cabinet Office, Bank of America, Old Mutual South Africa, Discovery Communications, Dell, Wells Fargo, MeadWestvaco, Marriott International, Robin Hood Foundation, MetLife, Welch Allyn, Disney, Tyco, Intel, Mass Mutual, Cemex, Time Warner, Ford Foundation, and Deutsche Bank.

In addition to her consulting work, she teaches Organization Design in the Executive MBA program at the DTU Executive School of Business in Denmark, co-teaches, with Jay Galbraith, a seminar on the design of customer centric organizations at the University of Southern California, and teaches organization design for managers and human resource professionals through Cornell University.

Amy Kates is a co-author with Jay Galbraith of the book Designing Your Organization: Using the Star Model to Solve Five Critical Design Challenges (Jossey-Bass, 2007) and with Jay Galbraith and Diane Downey, of the book, Designing Dynamic Organizations: A Hands-On Guide for Leaders at All Levels (2002).

She has published numerous articles and book chapters on the topics of organization design and talent management including 'The Challenges of General Manager Transitions' in Filling the Management Pipeline, Robert Kaiser, ed. Her chapter, with Paul Erickson, on 'Matrix Structures and Virtual Collaboration' is published in The Handbook of Virtual Collaboration (Jossey-Bass, 2008).

Her article, '(Re)Designing the HR Organization,' was featured in the summer 2006 issue of the Human Resource Planning Society journal and was awarded the 2007 HRPS Walker Prize. She is also an editor of the journal People & Strategy focusing on the topic of building a strategic HR function.

Amy Kates holds a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Prior to joining DKA, Amy was a planner and urban designer and was selected to serve as an Urban Fellow by the NYC mayor's office.

Related Books

Designing Your Organization: Using the Star Model to Solve 5 Critical Design Challenges

Designing Dynamic Organizations: A Hands-On Guide for Leaders at All Levels