Strategic Organizational Design
Even the best, most comprehensive business strategy will fall short if tactical execution doesn’t meet expectations. Strategic organizational design can ensure wall to wall alignment between all areas of the enterprise, to the delight of clients, team members and all stakeholders.
A review of the traditional “org chart” can seem like a mundane, even perfunctory exercise. However, upon closer look, a comprehensive analysis of all functional areas and the links between business units and departments can (and usually does) reveal opportunities for significant improvement.
Taking a systems view, a step-by-step approach that looks at each step in the process of serving a customer often uncovers needless duplication of effort and sources of internal frustration. Done properly, it can shine a bright light on the critical importance of seamless execution and the role effective intra-department communication plays in organizational performance.
It can also be an effective way of evening out organization culture, which can and should be consistent among all operating departments.
Recently, a rapidly growing client company was experiencing internal stress. While the client facing portion of the organization was laser-focused on identifying and satisfying needs of key accounts, their enthusiasm was sometimes met with a more cautious outlook from their colleagues in operations and production. While this conflict is not uncommon, stress levels were rising causing internal strife.
Rather than focusing on which departments are being unreasonable and are “at fault” we determined to take a more holistic view of structure and alignment. What we learned was revealing.
At a high level, key objectives and measures for internal operating processes and control were established and monitored. Performance metrics were established with rewards offered for meeting or exceeding these manufacturing targets. So far, so good. The challenge came when rigid adherence to internal standards was met with resistance by customer-facing team members who found their internal colleagues to be inflexible and less than customer-focused.
World class customer service requires enterprise-wide commitment and cooperation. A review of organizational structure, reporting relationship, lines of authority and communications is a great way to start.
For more information on ways to better align your organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.