You are where you are today because of leadership…
Leadership from within or from those who have guided or misguided you.
This year, above all, has presented many obstacles for those aiming to achieve success in organisational leadership.
So, how do you create a culture of effective leadership with self-managed teams who can focus on thinking ahead rather than day-to-day?
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, leadership effectiveness plays a pivotal role in driving organisational performance.
Though amidst the pursuit of leadership development, one crucial aspect often remains overlooked; the influence of organisational structure.
Org structure might be your hidden barrier or your major catalyst for leadership effectiveness.
The Unseen Link Between Structure and Leadership
Think of your business as a team playing a game.
Your team has a purpose and vision to hit your goals and win the game.
Your team has a mix of great players, mediocre players, and players that probably shouldn’t be on the team.
I know you have a feel for this, though how are you actually measuring this?
And do the players know how they’re performing, really?
If your goal scorer needs to score 80% of their shots for your team to win the game then their role is clearly defined.
If the purpose of their role is to simply “score goals” this creates ambiguity which snowballs into an array of other performance and cultural problems.
You and I both know that the best teams aren’t simply the collection of the best players.
When great players have clarity on their individual role and great leaders provide clear metrics on their performance, teams perform to their best potential.
When you combine this marriage with highly skilled “players”, you win.
Most org structures and job designs (job structures) we see are littered with ambiguity.
And if the goals are unclear, whether organisational, functional or individual, that is a structural leadership problem.
If performance reviews are a pain in the ass, then your org structure does not connect to that individual’s job design.
An effective job design will outline 3-5 quantitative outcomes this person needs to achieve.
For example, if a front end developer is screened, interviewed and hired to achieve outcomes such as:
Optimise the website loading time to under 3 seconds and increase the conversion rate by 10% within 3 months.
Develop and launch a responsive e-commerce website within 4 months, including a shopping cart feature.
Implement and fully integrate the React framework into our existing web application within 6 months, including refactoring the codebase.
Then all key players know exactly what the goals are and whether or not they are putting points on the board.
That encourages self-leadership.
That takes away a lot of the ‘managerial’ need of hiring managers.
That puts time back in your leaders, and your hands.
How easy is it for individuals or leads to make a decision?
How long does it take, how many people need to be involved?
What happens when an individual or a group of people makes the wrong decision?
the answers to these questions make you feel uncomfortable then you don’t have a culture or structure of self-determination. And that is slowing you and your business down…
So, how do you create a well-designed organisational structure that can be a powerful enabler, fueling leadership excellence and driving superior performance?
How can your culture foster empowerment and accountability among leaders at all levels?
Are there mechanisms in place to encourage cross-functional collaboration, knowledge exchange, and idea generation?
How can your structure support the dynamic nature of modern leadership, allowing for agility, adaptability, and innovation?
Crafting Your Ideal Organisational Structure
Creating an org structure that enhances leadership effectiveness requires thoughtful consideration and deliberate action.
There is a whole lot we can dive into which goes way beyond a 3 minute read.
So for the meantime, consider the following steps:
Evaluate the current structure’s alignment with your strategic goals and leadership philosophy.
Ask each leader of each function of your business, ‘what is the purpose, values and goals of your team/function?’ and gauge their alignment to your organisational answers.
Engage in open dialogue with your leaders to identify potential areas of improvement and gather diverse perspectives.
Implement structural changes that;
fosters collaboration, and
promotes your new culture of self-determination and performance
The effectiveness of high-performing teams always hinges on the presence of a strong foundation of trust between the players and their leaders.