3 Guiding Principles to Effective Organizational Design

Where do you start?

Changing the organizational structure of your business can seem like a daunting task and naturally requires a great deal of thought. Before redesigning your organizational chart consider these guiding principles to help clarify your thinking.

1. Organize your business around positions, not around people.

The functions of your business are completed by the various positions in your organization. The people that fill these positions are vital but if you organize your business around their needs, you are not focusing on improving the functions of your business. How can you organize your business to ensure that positions and the people that fill them have a clear sense of their responsibility? Clarify what needs to be done and then create an organization chart to reflect the functions.

Tip: When you are working on your chart, imagine that you are starting with an entirely new staff.

2. Keep your organization as flat as possible

More agile decision making occurs when there are fewer layers of management and greater personal ownership of tasks. Too many layers can develop a “pass the buck” or “fiefdom” mentality where decisions that should be made quickly are over debated. Take a look at how to Supercharge your business with effective team development.

Tip: Assess whether you are receiving real value from each of your management positions.

3. No one should have more than one manager

Multiple managers for one position gets far too confusing when setting employee priorities. When multiple tasks must be completed for different departments of the company it is difficult to ask employees to juggle conflicting priorities.

Tip: If employees need to work in more than one department, assign one manager as the “primary” manager.

Prepare to Write

Keeping the functions of your business as the highest priority of your organizational structure will provide clarity to the roles and responsibilities of your people. To understand how employees work together take a look at 7 practical strategies for successful working relationships.

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