There are hundreds of millions of various organizations in the whole wide world. Some of them fulfill their mission good enough while the vast majority simply goes downstream and keeps functioning just because it goes like this for years. At the same time, there’s a group of companies, which stably perform at the highest level. Scattered around the globe, born under different circumstances, operating in diverse culture and business environments, they still manage to fly their colors high. Why? How do they do that?
Different in Details, Similar in Main
As we said, all organizations are different in lots of aspects. They may proclaim original missions; have unique vision and values; set peculiar priorities and goals; possess the unequal expertise and staff skills, and so on, and so forth. Yet, based on research and analysis, we can distill several main features and characteristics of structure and management that the most of high-performing companies have in common. Here they are:
Sharp focus on a customer and a market. Every decision made and every action taken by a frontline employee or senior executive must flow out of the market you operate on and customers you aim at. That said, the permanent contact with clients and partners is paramount to building organization’s structure and business processes.
Team-based and decentralized approach. While some highly autonomous units work and tailor organization’s services and products to local markets and customers’ needs, other teams operate across the entire company to implement improvements in the business system and processes. At the same time, both kinds of teams come up with new product and service ideas and prototypes to suit ever changing demands of clients and partners.
‘To lead and to serve’ concept. The organization’s senior management is responsible not only for providing leadership for employees (via clearly articulating company’s mission/vision, purpose, and values) but also for humbly serving their workers. The thing is, these are regular people who do the job that brings company the revenue. That’s why support programs and systems should be focused on employees, not the bureaucratic machine.
Inter-team partnership and networking. The organization may be divided into many departments and units on paper, but they all work together to achieve the best results. Sharing expertise and resources, forming alliances and reaching out to one another – this is what you will see in any high-performing company. The same goes not only for teams but individual staff professionals who serve the needs of several units concurrently. All that is done on a regular basis to accomplish main tasks which are to satisfy customers and develop or conquer new markets.
Management levels cut down to a minimum. Effective and highly skilled managers are of the greatest value for any organization. When you have them, you can reduce the number of management levels in the company from a dozen to just a few. This allows to give a boost to organization’s productivity and streamline administration processes due to the fact that one person can lead, direct, and develop hundreds of employees.
Single customer contact spot. The customer relationship is built around one person or a small team to ensure the continuity and consistency of interactions with each client. The rotation of teams or their members should not affect this sphere. Thus, serving customer’s needs can be done in its best.
Of course, this list cannot be deemed exhaustive as well as invariable. Yet, it gives us insights on what organization structure and characteristics will be crucial for company’s success in the first half of XXI century in the face of major changes in management practices around the world and businesses.