Are your organization structure and culture a good fit with your strategy?
“I came to see, at my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”
— Lou Gerstner.
- Adjust the structure; refine the culture. Conventional wisdom is to change the structure to fit with strategy. But the modern organization is built differently than the 20th century hierarchy. It’s a new way of operating requiring new ways of teaming, new ways of using technology to collaborate and new ways of getting work done. Leadership tends to be more distributed within the organization and across partner organization. I provide a clear- eyed assessment of what really needs to change and help leaders make the right decisions about how to adjust the organization, design new work and work teams and tune up the culture to fit with their strategy and 21st century organizational imperatives.
- Don’t implement a change program, lead change. Strategy is the game plan but people and teams need to understand how to play the game, want to play it and develop the skills to play well. You can get ready to engage them by defining and sharing meaningful intent, captured not only in your strategy but your mission, purpose, and values. But it takes more than capturing and sharing the messages. Beyond intent, change needs to be embedded in the work, goals and development of the workforce. That way it is performance driven at the local level. Skip this step and change falters. I help leaders make intent a living force and embed the change in people’s work.
- More strategic HR. HR departments have a lot to do. It’s easy to get stuck in administration and delivery of programs, and never get around to paying serious attention to the things that matter most to enable strategy. I work with HR departments to make the shift in how they view their role and spend their time. And, if needed, I help them learn business acumen, differentiated workforce strategic planning and other skills for operating more strategically.