Build for serious growth

by | Jun 1, 2018

More and more the executive committee saw that their people could not work much harder to respond to the market opportunities. So in order to grow tomorrow, everybody in the organization should work smarter they said. Much smarter because their aim was to grow next year with double digits. And the solution they presented was to create a new department to eliminate the complexity in the organization to make way for growth. This new department had to setup a project involving all the functions within the organization and got some real power. The COO, CHRO and the CIO suggested that the new department should report to them. The COO won the debate and got the new department.

© Image by Cathy Yeulet

© Image by Cathy Yeulet

More and more the executive committee saw that their people could not work much harder to respond to the market opportunities. So in order to grow tomorrow, everybody in the organization should work smarter they said. Much smarter because their aim was to grow next year with double digits. And the solution they presented was to create a new department to eliminate the complexity in the organization to make way for growth. This new department had to setup a project involving all the functions within the organization and got some real power. The COO, CHRO and the CIO suggested that the new department should report to them. The COO won the debate and got the new department.

The executive committee faced reality and they responded. Their reasoning was sound and setting up a department was a logical step. What else can you do? Well, just adding a new department with power first of all adds complexity. So, when there is such a department, it should not be dominant, but useful and should help everybody within the organization who understands that being part of a growing organization is a privilege. Supporting colleagues, so that they can clean up, structure and simplify their work themselves. By doing so, complexity gets no chance and you enable serious growth. In the spirit of Einstein’s quote that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Of course eliminating complexity starts with knowing which different ugly faces complexity has or can have.

Complexity can be related to your strategy, which initiatives do we need and in which order? How is the cash flowing? Complexity often occurs in the operational execution, your processes, your way of working. Complexity can grow when the physical or digital assets grow in your organization. Do you have a single source of the truth and where can you find it? Complexity can be found in your organizational structure. Which competencies and structures do we have and which ones do we need tomorrow. Can jobs be handed over fast enough. Who has ownership and real power to get things done?

Eliminating complexity and building or rebuilding an organization for serious growth is not a project, but is a new smarter way of working. Owned by the CEO and executed by everybody in the organization, every day. Helping each other. Start thinking in reusable building blocks which fit together, use a framework and let technology help you. Working smarter together means giving up your absolute freedom to do whatever you want, whenever, with whomever and using whatever. Does this all sounds obvious? Why does the vast majority of growing organizations fail to eliminate complexity? Are you prepared for serious growth or do you frustrate colleagues that are prepared? Can you hand over your job easily and grow together with the organization? Start today with eliminating complexity in your work.

Please share your thoughts on complexity and how you prepare yourself for serious growth?

Curious how to build your organization for serious growth and build organizational agility capabilities within your organization? Please contact me at oscarstienen@signatier.com.

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