In a nutshell . . .

An effective organisation must align its structure, its management roles and behaviours and its internal procedures with its vision and strategy. Achieving high performance and a culture of innovation is only possible when people feel part of the organisation as a whole. Individual and team objectives must be clearly focused on the achievement of organisational goals and strategic imperatives. Employees need to understand the entire production or service delivery process, and to collaborate across different functional areas. Managers must focus on coaching employees to reach their full potential, avoiding micro-management by providing them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to exercise discretion effectively. And the requirement for permission-seeking must be kept to an absolute minimum.

The benefits for organisations and their employees are manifold. Workflow moves seamlessly between functional areas with fewer delays and pressure points. Managers are freed to focus on tasks which reflect their individual strengths and contribute value that reflects their salary – rather than interfering in work better performed by people at less senior grades. People learn and develop in their work, revealing surprising talents and potential.

Most importantly the organisation is pulling in one direction, towards a commonly shared vision.

Yet for many organisations, aligning structure and processes with their vision is the hardest part of change. Traditional top down, functionally segregated structures lock people into narrow role definitions and narrow mindsets. Departments and divisions pursue individual targets and build their own cultures with scant regard to the organisation as a whole or its challenges and opportunities. Systems and procedures can become excessively risk averse, focusing on control for its own sake rather than effective and responsive decision-making.

Think about the day-to-day issues you experience in your organisation – how do the following challenges affect its work? (1 = No Problem; 10 = Severe Problem):



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