How To Think About Organizational Design
We often think of organizational design as simply the structure of our teams and the roles and responsibilities of leaders, managers, and team members. What many fail to consider is the process by which those individuals work together. TEAMES & CO helps companies understand organizational design holistically and build it around your overall strategy. You want to be able to answer:
- What structure best helps you accomplish your strategy?
- From there, how do you define the working processes between teams?
- How can you ensure your teams have the resources they need to accomplish your mission and be successful?
- In what ways can leaders and empower teams and facilitate collaboration?
Your strategy should always drive your organization's design.
How To Determine Your Organization's Structure
Thinking about your organization's structure only from the perspective of what org chart works best is flawed. While you may have a specific preference between functional top-down hierarchy, divisional organization, matrix organization, or a flat organizational chart, the organizational structure implemented must support your strategy.
Your primary strategy is to serve your customer's needs. That is how your organization grows. You can work backward from there, thinking of your company's organizational design as whatever best serves your customers. To get your organization's structure right:
- Leadership should gather customer feedback to better understand how to serve them.
- Leadership should apply and incorporate customer feedback in the design of a corporate strategy.
- Leadership should communicate the strategy clearly to every team.
- Leadership should establish a collaborative environment and innovative culture.
- Leadership should develop a structure that best facilitates collaboration among teams to implement your strategy and provide the best customer experience.
Regardless of the corporate structure implemented by your organization, it's vital to make sure that all teams are working to achieve common goals. It is vital to make sure your teams are working for common goals.
Competing Priorities Hurts Teams
Even in a functional, matrix design, communication can become siloed, which leads to competing priorities. For example, you may find marketing and sales, or IT and finance competing with each other, ultimately making it more difficult to reach your shared organizational goals. Sometimes goals are made within siloes at the leadership level, leading to unhealthy competition.
"If we're working in a functional structure, we want to make sure those goals align across our teams. That way, when marketing and sales and IT and finance are all working towards our shared strategy, all of their goals are also aligned to our strategy, and they're not competing."-Tracy Eames, Podcast: Organizational Design.
Leadership must make sure priorities are aligned across all teams. The best way to maintain this in your organization is by developing cross-functional teams.
Creating the Strategy/Roadmap for Effective Cross-Functional Teams
To ensure teams are working together for a shared goal, the first step is to develop the roadmap your organization will follow. Consider an analogy: have you ever been to a national park? Think about the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited park in the country. It encompasses over half a million acres of North Carolina and Tennessee. You may know you want to see highlights like Clingman's Dome and Cades Cove, but without a proper map, it would take you years to find your way to those sights.
Your shared roadmap should define goals and successes. What is the measure by which you determine a goal has been reached? Without knowing where exactly you're going and how to get there, your teams will be wandering in the wilderness of malfunctioning organizational design. Your organizational roadmap should also make clear what teams will need to reach your goals.
"So this is where we're not only mapping out those goals but where we're mapping out what are our key checkpoints, what are our key deliverables, what are the resources we need to get to those checkpoints and those deliverables."-Tracy Eames, Podcast: Organizational Design.
Getting organizational design right is one of the first steps toward accelerating growth. Getting your teams communicating and collaborating around common goals, utilizing an effective roadmap will prove invaluable for your company. One of the first steps toward establishing the right organizational design is to get a fresh set of eyes to evaluate and develop the plan to get you where you want to be.
Contact TEAMES & CO for more information on how you can begin to improve your organizational design and reach your goals.