In the first blog of this series, I talked about the impact that poorly defined structure can have on an organization. Now, I want to turn attention to how to know that you have a structure problem. Let me begin by stating there are two components to this discussion: 1) identifying that you have a structure problem and 2) defining a workable solution to the problem once identified. We tackle clear identification of a problem in this post and look toward workable solutions in the next.
The following are some of the signs that we see of structure problems that significantly impact performance:
- The organization is adding positions, but the additional staff is not leading to improved performance
- A high number of responsibilities/tasks rise to the CEO position, robbing that position of time needed for strategic thinking etc.
- Decisions that should be handled at lower levels of management migrate to upper levels of management
- Multiple individuals are taking responsibility for the same tasks or parts thereof
- Individuals can’t give an honest “yes” response to many of the 7 Questions
- Processes of the organization don’t perform well due to lack of clarity re. who is supposed to do what or inconsistencies in the process between multiple individuals
- The culture is one in which there is blaming of others for non-performance
Diagnosing a Structure Problem
To ascertain whether you have a structure problem, dialogue with members of your management team or workforce around the symptoms outlined above. Or, alternatively, you can survey them on these questions. Then, determine which of these apply and which don’t before prescribing or seeking help for a fix.
If structure is an issue, then stay tuned for the additional blogs in this series to outline steps for a workable solution.