The Modernist’s of the 1930’s promoted the idea that “form follows function” implying that ‘purpose’ is the starting point for any design. As when designing a building, the structure of any business is there to support deliver its purpose and support the key functions needed for success. If the design is flawed then it follows that the business simply won’t perform well. It needs to be structured in a way that supports its function (strategy). The whole system needs to work together to perform well.
Design your business structure using the following steps.
- Identify your business’s core functions; the activities your business needs to perform to support the delivery of your strategy/business plan.
- Define the accountabilities for each function; this is the ownership each function has for success (and failure) of the business.
- Create and agree measures (Key Performance Indicators) for each function, this is the way the performance of each function will be measured.
- Design a blueprint for how the functions will work together and collaborate, a chance to look at things with fresh eyes and meet the changing demands on your business.
- Identify key roles needed to deliver the functions and accountabilities in the blueprint.
- Each role should have at least one accountability, some roles may have 3-4.
- Roles will also have responsibilities; these are the additional ‘hats’ they needed for secondary roles. (This is especially important in a small business where in the early stages business need their people to be flexible.)
- Design your structure to support your business strategy (without including individual names) How will the roles work together.
- Build your structural diagram based on your blueprint roles accountabilities and responsibilities. These are the bare bones of your business.- You don’t need names for roles yet.
- Finalise budgets, targets and rewards for each function.
- Match individual strengths and capabilities to roles to ensure you have the right people in the right roles. You may have to compromise based on what you can afford.
- Out of this thinking and hard work you will be able to draw up your organisation structure putting names to roles.
- Finally, you can add individual names to roles and ‘hats’ in the structure.
If you are stuck in an old way of doing things now might be the time to realign your business by redesigning the way your business is structured to meet future challenges and build a sustainable future.