Canadian Pacific Railway (Now Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Railway CPKC)

Note: This information was produced using AI analysis of the video presentation transcript and has not yet been reviewed and approved by the client or the consultant.

CP initiated an organization design assessment of its entire company (about 16,000 employees). This was followed by an implementation of agreed improvements. This presentation provides a valuable perspective on a comprehensive, large scale change completed in a timely manner.

The Issue:

  1. Need for Organizational Change: The decision for organizational change at Canadian Pacific was influenced by a presentation and the recognition of the need for improved operational efficiency.
  2. Outdated Systems and Practices: The organization was dealing with outdated job evaluation systems, unclear accountabilities, and a consensus decision-making culture.
  3. Ineffective Staffing and Role Allocation: There was a need to redefine accountabilities and decision-making processes, along with ensuring the right people were in the right roles.

The Intervention:

  1. Initial Assessment: This involved gathering documents, interviewing managers, and conducting a comprehensive analysis. A report with detailed recommendations was then produced.
  2. Implementation Strategy: The strategy focused on joint internal-external teams. The external team brought methods and materials, while the internal team provided organization-specific knowledge.
  3. Focus on Operations: Operations were prioritized for implementation due to business reasons and seasonal considerations.
  4. Job Role Definitions and Evaluations: Redefining job roles and evaluations, moving away from traditional systems to more relevant approaches.
  5. Human Resources and Cross-Functional Role Emphasis: The Human Resources Business Partner team was crucial for sustainability and cross-functional work was emphasized.
  6. Talent Pool Process: This process was developed for objective matching of candidates to jobs, moving beyond tenure-based promotions.


  1. Improved Organizational Efficiency: The project led to a more efficient and effective organization, with better vertical alignment and functional organization.
  2. Clear Accountabilities and Decisions: A shift from consensus decision-making to clear accountabilities marked a major cultural change.
  3. Cost Savings: Significant cost savings were identified and achieved.
  4. Sustainable Changes: The implementation had a lasting impact, particularly in operations, demonstrating the effectiveness of the changes.
  5. Enhanced Job Evaluation Methodology: The adoption of a more relevant job evaluation methodology improved the alignment with the new organizational structure.
  6. Effective Talent Management: The talent pool process allowed for better alignment of skills and roles, enhancing overall organizational performance.

Project Information:

Industrial sector Types of organization Governance RO Stratum of the organization Number of Employees Labour relations Region Country
Transportation and storage - roads, transit, rail, airlines, warehousing, trucking
16000 Unionized
North America
Types of interventions Specific functions targeted if any Strata in which RO interventions were used Approximate Years of project interventions
Management audit, Senior management orientation to concepts, Time-span interviews, Levels of work complexity, Functional Alignment, Alignment of positions, Writing of requisite role / position descriptions, Managerial accountabilities and authorities, Staffing, Cross functional accountabilities and authorities, Talent pool review - calibration and gearing, Compensation
CEO & general management, Distribution and warehousing, Finance, accounting, & audit, Human Resources, Information technology, Marketing, sales & customer service, Operations or production, Research & development
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Link to other project-related information on the site:

Project principals

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Peter Edwards
Vice-President Human Resources and Industrial Relations
Canadian Pacific
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Ronald G. Capelle
Capelle Associates Inc.

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