Organizational structure

How effective is your current organizational structure? If you haven’t considered that question in a few years, now might be a good time to assess it.  Your organizational structure should assure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, while supporting the accomplishment of big picture strategies and goals. Is it?

Three of our clients are revisiting their organizational structures right now.  One has been working under the same structure for many years. He believes the structure is no longer supporting their vision and goals.  It was put in place during a “different time”, so to speak, and their vision and work product has changed substantially in recent years. People, processes, and systems have evolved, but structure has not.  So, this leader is in the process of investigating what a new structure might look like, and what could be gained from implementing it.

Another is working with an organizational structure that was put in place as a quick and temporary fix two years ago. Unfortunately, for too long leadership hasn’t gotten around to evaluating and implementing an effective “permanent” one.  (No organizational structure is ever really permanent – at least it shouldn’t be.)  Everyone in this one knows it creates confusion and actually impedes effectiveness, but until now no one has had time to put forth a better one, much less implement it.

The third is being proactive.  His organization has grown; they have expanded levels of expertise; and they have new opportunities on the horizon. He wants to capitalize on those opportunities, with the confidence of knowing he has the structure in place to support it.

Each of these leaders has different reasons for assessing their organizational structure, but our over-arching advice to each is the same:

  1. Do your homework.
    • Talk with other business leaders and benefit from what has or has not worked well for them.
    • Consult within your organization (HR and your boss, for example) to determine requirements, input, and options under different scenarios.
    • Ask your leadership team what is/is not working optimally under the current structure, as well as their suggestions for improvement.
    • Seek data to support anecdotal rationale. I’m all about listening to your gut, let the data confirm your gut!
  2. Make organizational structure decisions based on business needs not personalities.
    • This sounds intuitive, but you’d be surprised how often I hear about proposed restructures in an effort to appease, or work around, specific personalities. Don’t do it! Deal with specific personalities from a performance management or training perspective, not a restructure!
  3. Be clear on why you want to restructure.
    • What will be gained with the restructure?
    • What might be lost if nothing changes?

If it has been a few years since you analyzed your organizational structure, now would be a good time to look at it.  Remember, an effective organizational structure is part-and-parcel to good leadership…

Contact us today for more information on maximizing your organizational effectiveness.

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