See and think systems….in organisation design all the pieces have to fit together and complement each other. Design is iterative and not always linear and is often “messy.”
Have an opinion, but keep it to yourself. As a designer you have judgments and biases….it is natural. Being an org designer, though, means evoking from the client and the system, the best solutions FOR THEM!
Put the organization first. What is in the best interest of the organisation must drive the design solutions. Second are the people. Be curious about what creates and sustains great work and great work environments, but it starts with the organisation. If you can not put it first, org design is probably not for you!
Learn about the business of the client. Have a curiosity about how things work and why they work the way they do. I used to say, in a past life I was probably a frustrated production manager, who wanted to make things work better for everyone! Be willing and able to talk the business language of the business and see the world they see.
Finally, embrace leaders and appreciate the challenges they face. If you cannot “walk in their shoes,” you will never convince them to your ideas. All to often, consultants have a bias against leadership and hierarchy. The designers work is to appreciate and leverage all of the strengths in the organisation, including leadership!