How Organization Design Can Facilitate Growth
Reed Deshler | May 23, 2018
Almost all organizations are actively looking for growth opportunities. While growth is not without its challenges and downsides, the positive aspects of growth are compelling enough to drive most organizations to commit a great deal of effort and resources into seeking and pursuing opportunities for profitable and sustainable growth. Most organizations, however, have limited resources, and leaders must face tough decisions when it comes to choosing which growth opportunities to pursue, and how.
Most organizations, in their efforts to become more efficient and effective, tend to focus on cost-cutting measures and industry benchmarks. It is certainly important to keep costs down and to be aware of how organizational performance stacks up against the competition. However, for most large, established organizations that have already done extensive work to eliminate waste and use existing resources wisely, this approach is likely to only result in mediocrity. Leaders who wish to break out of this paradigm must therefore become adept at the art of shifting resources within an organization towards areas that have the biggest potential to support optimal growth and ROI.
3 Essential Ways Leaders Can Break Out of the “Industry Average” Mold
Those organizations whose leaders master the ability to successfully shift resources in alignment with high-growth potential strategies are the ones who tend to become innovators and leaders in their industries. However, this is an organization design skill that requires considerable discipline and clarity of vision.
Leaders can employ a number of tools and techniques to support and enable the continuous process of shifting an organization’s focus from less strategic to more strategic work to both optimize operational efficiency and facilitate differentiation and growth. The following three key areas are especially important to consider:
- Implications of growth strategies. Clarifying the likely consequences of potential strategies can help leaders focus on the ones most likely to result in profitable growth.
- Framework selection. Leaders should consider carefully which frameworks will be most effective in helping them design efficiency into their organizations, while simultaneously facilitating growth.
- Continuous attention to alignment. The most successful organizations are those that examine resource allocation on a continual basis and build practices and mechanisms to continuously align the organization with strategic growth initiatives.
Organization Design for Effectiveness and Efficiency
Leaders wishing to free up the resources necessary to pursue their organizations’ most profitable growth opportunities must prepare to make some tough decisions. Developing skills in the areas listed above can help leaders clarify goals and make well informed choices.