Don’t go there. Seriously, if you want to get me going, try making the argument that structure isn’t an important or a vital ingredient in delivering performance. In my 30 years of consulting, I’ve witnessed structures that stymie innovation, restrict the flow of information, and prioritize power and authority over capability and contribution. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed structures that fuel collaboration, create clarity, and optimize organizational capacity. What is the design factor at the heart of these different results? Clarity and commitment to intent!
The structures that make it easy to drive value are designed with clarity about the targeted outcomes and a commitment to making decisions that deliver those outcomes. Alternatively, structures that hinder value are too often the result of leaders seeking to gain control, create fiefdoms, and elevate or eliminate key individuals. In the absence of clarity and alignment to desired outcomes, bad design decisions get made and intent gets lost in personal agendas.
So yes, structure is extremely important. If you are familiar with our Five Rings of High Performance, you might note that the Structure ring sits in the middle. This isn’t by accident; when an organization is intentionally designed, structure is the conduit that connects your strategy and culture to your people and work. Healthy structures make it easy for our people to connect to our purpose and to one another, find great roles, know what’s expected, and get their work done. And isn’t that what we all want?
If you’re at a place where you are thinking about restructuring to drive your team’s performance, I hope you’ll tune in to Tosh Hattori’s advice for gaining clarity.
Catch up on previous Tamra’s Insights here.