Alliant Consulting Aligning people, processes and metrics to meet your business goals.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

One of the complaints we hear most often from staff and middle managers is, “They (you know who THEY are) keep changing priorities, direction, expectation, the organization structure”, etc.    Yes.  They do.

They do so with good reason. As business climate, goals and strategies change, it makes sense to review whether the organization charged with achieving them is optimally formed to do so and if not, make necessary changes.

The frustration we hear about too much change is often the result of one or two related issues: the first is a lack of effective communication regarding what the change is, and why, when and how it fits with other priorities and initiatives (there will be more on this topic under the “communication” category in the Exchange) and the second is that current flows and practices are “built-in” rather than modular, making inevitable adjustments difficult and often costly to execute.

To succeed over the long term a company needs to be a growing, market-driven enterprise with an organization that easily switches gears and is constantly innovating.

Okay then.  Let’s talk.  What organizational model supports this? Is there only one?  What is the right model for your business or your functional area(s)?  How do you line up functions and responsibilities for accountability when they are all interrelated?

We’ll focus mainly on the operations part of the equation as we pursue this discussion in future posts. Let’s take a moment though, to discuss the marketing/strategy element.

Steven Covey is famous for his axiom, “Begin with the end in mind”.  We might say it this way: Keep longer-term goals and strategies in mind when setting plans to meet near-term objectives.  This lets you align efforts and avoid investing in initiatives that will be undone as you progress.

Marketing, strategy, and sales information coupled with operations performance data are the building blocks for any operating model evaluation and design efforts.  The market drives product and performance requirements. Sales projections and performance data determine specific changes needed to achieve near-term objectives and build toward longer term

Key drivers of effective operational model evaluation and redesign efforts include:

  • Delivery expectations: product/service type and volume patterns for each, which equates to work mix; quality expectations, service expectations
  • Resource options: people, technology, facilities, equipment
  • Commitments that must be met or renegotiated: regulations, promises made to customers, shareholders, banks, employees (actual or implied contracts)
  • Near-term objectives and longer-term goals and strategic plans of the company
  • Stated company values that align with brand, mission and vision

Anytime there is significant change to any of these elements, it is good to review the operational infrastructure and functional organization model to ensure alignment and make adjustments.

In upcoming articles we’ll talk about how this information is used to evaluate and continuously adjust “functions and form” to support strategic vision.

Are you tuned into the latest information from your marketing colleagues?  Has your organization reviewed its position in the market and what will be demanded of it within 3 – 5 – 10 years? In other words, do you know you are headed in the right direction at the right speed as well as what that direction is, so you can develop the best infrastructure to get you there?

Let us know- and share ways to learn about this information if you are not getting it today.  Post a comment or a question….

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