Most organizations have stuck with a legacy org structure where the functional silos are clearly defined. The challenge this kind of structure causes is to recognize and respond more quickly to the need for cross-functional and cross-silo projects and initiatives. The re-visualization of the org structure, functions, and roles should align with strategic objectives, not strict operational silos. Instead of thinking of your organization in terms of functional silos, consider it as more of an organism that evolves and mutates with the operating environment and strategic demands. This strategic alignment will mitigate cross-silo friction that results when competing priorities clash.
Every strategy involves cross-functional and cross-silo teamwork. To strategically align your organizational chart, each strategic objective must have a strategic owner. This strategic owner is an executive in the best position to drive the projects and advocate for the budget and resources needed to attain strategic success. This strategic owner will be the primary contact for the project management office and negotiate and resolve the decisions, resource allocations, and budget demands for the projects. They will also be the point person to report on progress and communicate changes in the schedules or timelines. An important note is that this strategic ownership role does not change the executive’s primary role leading a silo but is an added responsibility that will require active delegation. Having this alignment ensures that the structure and roles within your organization are optimized to achieve your strategic goals. Here are some steps to follow:
Define your strategic goals: Identify the key objectives you want your organization to achieve. This could include increasing revenue, improving customer satisfaction, expanding into new markets, or developing new products or services. This will help you determine the roles and responsibilities needed to achieve these goals.
Assess current structure: Review your existing organizational structure and assess whether it is aligned with your strategy. Identify gaps or redundancies in your current structure and evaluate if any roles need to be added.
Identify key roles and functions: Identify the essential functions critical to achieving your strategy. Identifying these functions will help you determine the vital roles and responsibilities in achieving your strategic goals. This could include positions responsible for those significant strategic objectives like sales, product development, market expansion, customer support, or marketing. Once we know the expertise and resource demands of the strategic objective, a strategic owner can be selected.
Define roles and responsibilities: Once the roles and functions are identified, the roles and responsibilities for each position in your organizational chart need to be clearly defined, including the authorities that come with that role and responsibility. Ensure each role must be aligned with your strategy and supports the critical project of the objectives.
Redesign the org chart: Use the information you’ve gathered to amend your org chart. This may involve creating new positions, changing reporting lines, combining roles, and eliminating unnecessary positions.
Consider future needs: Anticipate and ensure your organizational chart is designed to support them. Consider the potential impact of changes and disruptions in your industry, technology, economy, market makeup, and other factors that may impact your strategic objectives. Remember, this organization chart should be seen as a living organism, not a static one.
Communicate changes: Once you have finalized your org chart, communicate the changes to the organization. Provide context for the changes and how they align with your strategic goals. The danger is in under-communicating the changes, not over-communicating them.
Review and revise regularly: Review your organizational chart to ensure it aligns with your strategy, goals, and environmental changes. Monitor the effectiveness of your new org chart and adjust as needed. Periodically reassess your strategic goals and ensure your org chart is aligned.
By strategically aligning your organizational chart, you can ensure that your organizational structure supports your overall strategy and helps you achieve your goals and objectives. Strategic alignment of your org chart is not a one-and-done thing; it is an ongoing process of evaluating and adapting your organization’s structure to ensure it is optimized to achieve your goals.