In our latest issue of the Paradigm Associates Journal, we take a deep dive into organizational structure. This perspective is from my associate Janice Giannini.
We are all aware that there are many effective management team structures. The question is, “which one is best, given the mission and strategic goals of the business?”
To effectively address this question, one needs to reflect on the purpose of the team structure, the capabilities of the team members, and their effective integration.
When grappling with this choice, aligning a few fundamentals could go a long way to determine the most effective structure to implement.
- What is the purpose of the management team structure? To make it easier and more transparent for the executive leadership to do their job successfully.
- What is the executive leadership’s job? To develop a strategy and execute that strategy to meet or exceed the growth plan.
- What structure is best? The team structure may vary for different parts of the organization.
The critical question is, what do you want or need? Do you want a management team, or do you need a leadership team? These are not necessarily the same thing. What is the difference? Leadership teams possess over-arching capabilities, up/down and across the organization, to keep the entire organization focused on the end goals. Management-only teams may focus more on domain expertise and may or may not possess and utilize these strategic talents.
Several of the most significant abilities are:
- Establish the Culture and Values of the Company: Make it clear and understandable so all Executive leaders own it and can easily explain it and live it. People see the difference. A disconnect here flows through the entire organization with sub-optimal effects.
- Effective Communication at All Levels: Especially in a fast-paced world, for people to make appropriate decisions, they need open non-ambiguous communications. How can anyone execute it if you can’t communicate effectively?
- Hire and Develop Courage at All Levels: Courage is easy when everyone agrees. However, courage can be formidable when conditions could go seriously awry. Leaders must develop this in themselves and others.
- Collaboration and Respect: Businesses today are very complex. No one knows everything. While many may feel a few areas are more critical than others, to run a thriving company, everyone in every discipline must constantly play their A game. Collaboration and respect for others offer a pathway to get there.
If the management teams display these strategic skills effectively, navigating the team structures to achieve company growth is more accessible. But conversely, team members need to confidently exhibit these skills so that even the best team structure is likely to meet or exceed the growth plan consistently.
The appropriate “management/leadership teams structure “needs to flow directly from the company values as stated, reflecting the fundamentals above as implemented. If the day-to-day implementation differs from the values as stated, that disconnect drives the structure and business.”
As you grapple with this, ask and observe: Are the Board, C-suite, and management team aligned? If everybody isn’t rowing in the same direction, are you willing to live with the impact?
If the answer to these questions is no- what do you need to do to strengthen the foundation before building on top of it?