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Organization Structure

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” ~ Steve Jobs

While Steve Jobs was talking about product design, the same principle applies to designing the structure of an organization. It’s about “how it works”! Developing more effective leaders requires thoughtful consideration of the organizational "context" in which the leader is expected to perform. Too often in my career, I have watched managers and executives work diligently to address and resolve their personal leadership issues only to find that the organization itself puts up systemic barriers to leadership effectiveness.

Organization design sets up the relationship between the various departments and how work flows between them. A poor organization design can limit leadership effectiveness. As organizations grow and mature, it is important to periodically reconsider how the work is structured. The organization may have been designed to fit a very different situation and scale of operation from what exists today. It may not have even been “designed” at all, but simply evolved as the organization responded to growth and change over many years. Perhaps some “white space” has opened up between functions or business units, where no one is certain who is accountable for a particular activity. Ask yourself ...

“If I was creating this organization from scratch today, knowing what I know now, how would I design the structure for optimum cost-effective performance?”

Within the overall structure of an organization, individual job design will provide the foundation for effective leadership by clarifying responsibilities, relationships and authority. Job design also addresses the issue of hierarchy and delegation. Individual responsibilities must form a coherent whole job. People must be able to "get their arms around" the scale and scope of the job. Leaders need time for critical thinking, creative problem solving and mentoring of subordinates. Decision making authority must align with responsibilities.

 

Review organization structure and job design to ensure they support leadership effectiveness, career development and succession planning.

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Design simple, effective and practical tools and processes leaders need for recruitment, communication, performance management, team building and succession planning.

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Teach, coach, advise and mentor leaders to develop their Emotional Intelligence; learn how to solve people problems; and become more effective in all their relationships.

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