I hope you’re doing well. I am writing this post to inform you that there will be a new twist to my blog.
Starting this month, I will be hosting articles from guest writers who are subject matter experts, thinkers, philosophers, activists and creative minds to be shared with you. The aim is to spread some knowledge and inspiration. Not only that, but also to shed light on some of the individuals I believe are worth being put under the spotlight for who they are, what they know and what they’ve achieved.
Moreover, I will continue posting as usual with a special focus on an over-arching theme of “Simplification” or “Simplifying the Complex” as I believe our world is full of wonderful things that get lost in complexity …so my aim is bring it closer to you in a simplified version…hoping it would intrigue you to dig deeper if interested.
The more I see companies, NGOs, associations and other organizations struggle to make sense of who’s doing what in the organization the more I become convinced that structuring is crucial.
When I say structuring, many people directly imagine hierarchy, bureaucracy and lack of flexibility… yet that does not have to be the case. Organizational structures, if done well, will build on the expertise of individuals involved, the organizational capacity, needs and goals. These elements are the corner stone to building a successful organization that can secure sustainability and growth.
Simple yet crucial questions I ask to the organizations I consult include:
- Who sets the organizational structure?
- Who decides when and how new positions/responsibilities are added to the structure?
- Is the organizational structure Functional, Projectized or Matrix?
- Does everyone know their roles and responsibilities?
- Does everyone know how their tasks fit with others’ tasks?
- Is there a promotion/growth plan for the organization?
- Does everyone know what is needed to do to move up the ladder?
- Does everyone see the big picture, the overall structure and the logic behind it?
- Is there a chance to solicit feedback about the structure from grassroots up?
- Did you research structures of organizations in your industry and learn from them?
Surprisingly, most people know the answer of 2 or 3 of the above 10…and that’s when they realize they’re facing a problem with the organizational structure. The structure often seems so foggy as if it is coming from some alien planet, rather than being something that grew organically with the organization in a way to better manage its work…and reach its goals.
Building on my humble experience and the research I’ve made…the few recommendations I can give to people who are working on establishing/improving an organizational structure are as follows:
- Observe how the organization is functioning right now, see where the bottlenecks are, and the loop holes.
- Assess the performance of the whole organization by taking input of everyone possible, from senior management to interns to all other stakeholders.
- Ask yourself what other structures exist for your industry and how can you best learn from them.
- Focus on roles, responsibilities and tasks…not on the titles and positions, as they should come last after having set the structure.
- Make sure you have the right people in the right places, the Person-Role must match or they will already be sabotaging your organization.
- Resistance to change is normal, deal with it with utmost positivity and be as considerate and understand of other’s worries as possible or else you’ll lose their productivity.
- Give your structure a margin of change as it might need to evolve a bit from your original plan to accommodate to some personal and organizational needs.
I hope the above gave you a better insight on creating organizational structures that work… I’m ready for all questions, suggestions and comments.
Happy Structuring! 😀
Other interesting articles: