The Organization of Leadership IIJune 6, 2018
First Dimension – Organization of Work
Our first dimension regarding how work is organized pertains to the formalized structure of functions and activities within the business. All businesses have a formal way of structuring work including but not limited to defining roles, responsibilities, levels of authority, communication, and workflows. All of this, designed with the intent to achieve the company’s overall goals and objectives.
As our research explains, work has traditionally been organized by its division and distribution into a complex pyramidal organization. This approach, in large part, began with the idea of “scientific management” at the beginning of the 20th Century and evolved through methodologies, such as job descriptions and titles into organizations structured by functions and processes.
The pyramid model involved a break from prior models of work that were inherently less productive and less efficient at scale. However, in general terms, the pyramid model’s competitive advantage has decreased progressively over time, as the nature of our work has evolved.
And today, as established organizations are more and more embattled by agile start-ups and newcomers, the pressure to be more adaptive at scale is driving the need for nimble organizational models and designs. The top-down management structures of the past are simply no longer effective in a fast-paced, globalized economy.
With the onset of the digital era, emphasizes a Deloitte Insights article, “corporations will need to operate differently than they did in the past – faster, adapt quicker, facilitate rapid learning, and embrace the career desires of their people – to stay increasingly competitive.”
As traditional business models and their respective structures continue to be challenged by the pace of modern-day change, new models are needed, those that consider the four dimensions of an organization, create increased adaptability and focus on unlocking corporate and individual potential.