Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stop thinking "Structure" is the answer!

Sigh,

I see this pattern so often: a company is not delivering the expected results. And boom - management decides to change the structure. New departments, people moving. Networks lost.
Some say "In what re-organization are you working"?

My believe: it's NOT about structure. It's about people, network, patterns of interaction and trust, and, of course, processes.

And the sad thing is: with every structural reorganization, most attention and energy is spend on structure. And, with most "change capital" spent, people struggle to build up new network, patterns and processes (usually outside the sponsorship of management...) to deliver the same results (and in the beginning less) as a before.

Management, please: it's people, supported by their netwerk, interactions, trust and processes that deliver results. Structure is not the main thing, that's about power, and not about results...

3 comments:

Daan said...

It is quite recognizable, management tries to restructure the company(results) by cutting and pasting in the organogram of the organization, leaving bad performing processes intact. What they need to do is implement procesmanagement, organise the company structure around customer processes.

Alfred Siliano, electronic signature software said...

When starting up a business, one of the first decisions you need to make is changing or retaining the structure of your business. It's important to invest some time in studying and creating a business organization structure that will best serve your company.

Garth Knudson said...

Structuralists believe that a good process model (and therefore application) is one where every rule to every activity is known beforehand. If you can't define it then it doesn't belong. We certainly have learned that most human processes require some level of flexibility. Knowing everything beforehand is almost impossible. Process-driven applications, therefore, must inherently support collaboration. Please need to be able to ask questions, make comments, or breat out of the process model into an ad-hoc workplace in order to learn what is needed to complete the remaining structured activities. Collaboration inside the process is better than jumping into email becuase the process captures interactiions and datapoints that can be later analyzed to improve overall operations. The moreal of the story is that Structure and Collaboration can live happily ever after in one place.