- Tracy jumps into a quick overview of organizational design and how we think about it at TEAMES & CO (1:23)
- Once you have your strategy, how do you align your organizational design to execute your strategy (2:57) (Here we break down how you align to goals, and ensure each role is set up for success!)
- Now that you have your organizational design, how do you ensure all functional divisions are aligned within your organization (6:23)
- Learn more about TEAMES & COLearn more about TEAMES & CO
- Learn more about how TEAMES & CO builds effective and empowered teams that deliver results..
Listen to a recent episode with Brett Hampson, Fortune 100 Finance Leader on how to build teams, create alignment, set expectations, and support your team’s success through virtual work and a changing landscape.
Listen to Episode 18
Episode 18 Transcript
Luis Wilson (00:32):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Building Teams with TEAMES & CO. I'm Luis Wilson and I'm sitting down with Tracy Eames to discuss organizational design. Hey Tracy. How are you?
Tracy Eames (00:42):
I'm doing well, Luis. How are you doing today?
Luis Wilson (00:45):
I'm doing great. Thanks. For today's episode, we're going to talk about the traditional way of how folks think about organizational design, and then move beyond that and really dive into TEAMES & CO's approach to organizational design and how we work with our clients. A lot of us, when we think about organizational design, we might get the ideas of perhaps a matrix organization and our different reporting structures and the different roles that we have in our organizations and how those are reported in between. There's a lot more to organizing than just the structure of the teams. There's also how we work between our teams. But first, let's just start out with, how do you think about organizational design, Tracy?
Tracy Eames (01:28):
I think you're correct in terms of how most people think about organizational design. Usually, when we hear the term organizational design, we tend to think about what are the roles we have and how are those roles organized into teams. What we don't often think about is all the processes that go between the teams and how our teams work together. A lot of those pieces and parts is what actually determines our culture. So when we're thinking about building a really positive organizational culture, the processes, the roles, the structure, all of those play a piece in it. So when we think about organizational design, we're really thinking about it in holistic terms of, what's your strategy? Based on your strategy, what kind of organizational structure may work the best? Then how do we define working processes between those teams? How do we make sure those teams have the resources they need to be successful? How do we empower our teams? How do we promote collaboration? So a lot of those other ideas that we speak about go into designing that organization for success.
Luis Wilson (02:37):
So really tailoring that design of the organization, and the processes within it, to the specific strategy. Can you walk us through an example of perhaps a previous engagement or a situation you're aware of how you take a strategy and then move from there to determine what the best organization would be to fit that strategy?
Tracy Eames (02:59):
Of course. So previously, you mentioned that there might be a matrix structure or perhaps an organization might be in more of a functional structure. They have a team that leads marketing and a team that leads sales, a team that leads finance versus kind of being organized by product or by region. So in terms of that, one of the things that we see often with organizations, especially around functional areas and functional design, is silos between those teams. So if you think about, and we've spoken about this on previous podcasts, your strategy as an organization is to serve your customer's needs. So we're going to first work with an organization to make sure they understand who their customer is, what their customer finds valuable, and then what's the strategy to deliver that value.
Tracy Eames (03:50):
If coming out of that, we say, "Okay, based on the organization's size and the organization's goals and the organization's strategy, we need to organize our teams in more of a functional structure. Totally makes sense. We're going to make sure we have the right roles on each of those teams to make sure that those teams can be successful, make sure each role has competencies laid out. So when we're hiring folks for those roles, we ensure that they have the skill set to be successful in those roles." Then we're going to be setting team goals. Then here's the key part -so 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 (04:41):
The reason this helps is it helps break down those silos. So as you start to create cross-functional teams, maybe you have a specific project that you want to launch, or you have a specific initiative that team members from different teams are going to be coming together just for that project, it will help them all stay aligned on that bigger goal if we're able to kind of break down some of those silos, align our goals, and promote collaboration between our teams. Oftentimes, one of the sticking points or friction points for organizations is if all of those goals are made in silos without that alignment at the leadership level, it becomes almost a competition where if each team is working towards different goals, they're inadvertently not pulling in the same direction.
Tracy Eames (05:30):
They're all doing what they're supposed to be doing, because they're all working towards their goals. But if their goals aren't aligned, then we don't have that organizational alignment. So we really want to make sure that we're working with the senior leadership to make sure that each team's goals are aligned to that strategy, and therefore they're reinforcing each other.
Luis Wilson (05:48):
Thank you for walking us through the process of backing up, really understanding what are the roles and competencies we're going to need, how best to organize those, and then how best to set up the process between teams, and then really highlighting the importance of making sure that all those teams are working towards a common goal, that they're aligned at that leadership level. It seems, like you mentioned, folks could be doing exactly what they're supposed to, but if the goals aren't aligned from the onset, they could be pulling in slightly different directions. When working with clients or an engagement, what are some of those first key actions or specific things you do to make sure that all the divisions, all the functional divisions are aligned?
Tracy Eames (06:26):
The first thing that we like to do is obviously when I say the first thing it's kind of after we defined, after we agree on who the customer is and what's valuable to them and we have an agreed strategy, the first action item after we've determined those things is really creating that shared roadmap. A shared roadmap gives everybody on the team a clear picture of where we're going, what those goals are and what is success. It also, as part of that roadmap discussion we're aligning on, what do we need to be successful and what are the resources that each team and each individual on the team needs to be successful. 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 (07:14):
Then also, going back to one of our earlier discussions, this is where we also set up guidelines and guardrails. We talk with the teams around, "Here's the places that as team leaders on this functional team or cross-functional team, we want you to be pushing full speed ahead. These are maybe some of the areas that before you proceed, we'd want you to come back to leadership and get approval for or include these people in that discussion." So by giving folks those guidelines and guardrails, you're also helping them understand, "Okay, where on the roadmap do we want to come back together as a team to have that discussion? Where can we kind of move quickly and move ahead?"