estructuring is rife once again in our organizations. Is all this really necessary or are we Just getting it very wrong? Do we keep designing in the traditional and two dimensional way we have always designed our organizations in? Let us rethink why we would restructure in the first place and how we would do it in a way that is more sustainable and less disruptive to the organization. Let’s start with some simple ideas and principles. Include organization design as part of your strategic planning process. When your business model or value chain changes, your overall structure needs to change with it.
For other times, accountabilities and roles need to continually evolve. Create broad roles that can evolve, not tightly defined Jobs. Remember we frequently encounter problems beyond our Job descriptions and we need to develop people so they can be redeployed. When you restructure, change the way the work is done or there will be no change. Functions focused on effectiveness cannot report to functions focused on efficiency Functions focused on long-range development cannot report to functions focused on short-range results Having the wrong people in the wrong roles will continue to make the structure ineffective.
Understand that there will always be paradoxes in the system like centralization AND decentralization and learn to manage it through behavior rather than structure. No amount of restructuring can make up for leadership and culture failures. Restructures often don’t change power structures. People like creating extra layers to serve their own agendas. Do not allow it if the business model and value chain does not require it. Let’s improve how we do things using 4 fundamentals. 1 .
Job families based on the value chain – broken down into core and support The first step is to design value chain based Job families – a Job family is a cluster of roles that have a lot in common as far as competencies and outputs are concerned. Identify the core functions that must be performed in support of the business strategy. Define what each function will have authority and be accountable for. Once his is clear, support Job families can be defined. Examples are Finance, Human Resources and Operations. Support should never be greater than core. . Levels of work Now define the right number of levels. The starting point, says Jacques, is “to get the right structure, including the right number of vertical layers, and well-defined accountability and authority not only in manager-subordinate working relationships, but in cross-functional working relationships as well” Oases, “The Aims of Requisite Organization,” in Requisite Organization). All roles in a level have a similar approach to work, and a similar level of complexity, regardless of the business unit or Job family they fall into.
This paves the way for clear goal alignment. You should not have more than 5-6 levels of work in total for example Operational employees, First line leaders, Expert leaders, Executive Leaders and Strategic leader(s). 3. Systems thinking to get governance and matrix structures right Now make sure you put the governance , organization support and matrix structures over it that can manage the accountabilities and risk appetites of your functions and ensure you understand where to place resources between core and support and between central and decentralized functions. . Generic roles, not people And very importantly… When creating the structure, ignore the people involved and just identify the core and support business functions that must be performed. Create generic roles that are not person dependent and can evolve. Have similarities in role design across levels and in Job families and only define the unique bits differently. This makes it much easier to redeploy people instead of making them redundant whilst growing other parts of the business.
The ensuing picture looks like this: If we evolve the picture further to incorporate the matrix and governance designs the final design will look something like a three dimensional matrix using the Biometric design developed by DRP. Elisabeth Dossal: If you need help in developing a sustainable well-designed organization structure, please contact me on [email protected] Com.