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Great leaders are able to critically assess an organization's structure and culture, and are willing to make changes where needed in order to position the company for success. However, organizational effectiveness is about more than structure.
There are two secrets within the element of organizational effectiveness that are critical to the success of any company:
"Maintaining a lean and efficient organization" means that leaders must regularly assess the current structure of the company to determine its ability to contribute to the success of the organization. A heavily layered organization is oppressive, inhibits communication, hinders the sharing of ideas and interferes with the ability to take care of customers and employees.
Eventually, employees and customers will get discouraged and give up. The end result can be high employee turnover and customer defection.
Ensuring that your organization is not top heavy and that it is as lean as possible facilitates strong relationships with employees and communication in all directions at all levels. It also makes it easier for customers to express their ideas, wants and needs.
Look around your organization and ask yourself these questions:
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this may be a warning sign or symptom of an organizational structure that makes it difficult or even impossible for employees to share their ideas or communicate daily operational needs.
Here are two tactics for assessing the leanness of your organizational structure:
The second element of organizational structure is leadership accountability — ensuring you have clearly articulated expectations and have processes in place for holding leaders accountable not only for business performance but also for behaviors.
Many organizations today realize that “Type A” managers — leaders who are controlling, autocratic and manage by intimidation — are ineffective and damaging to the organization. In most companies, these types of managers are no longer tolerated. Within your organizational structure, you must not only consider the physical structure but also the types of managers or leaders that have power and authority over employees and processes.
For example, if you have a leader who is delivering on business performance but behaves inappropriately, that person has to change or go. These are tough decisions to make. However, you cannot afford to tolerate such people or their behaviors for very long. They may be contributing successfully to the bottom line for the time being, but ultimately these leaders will create chaos and failure within your organizational structure, eroding profits through employee turnover and customer defection. In addition, the employees who will leave are the productive ones that you cannot afford to lose.
Generally, leaders fall into one of four categories:
Within your organizational structure, you must have processes and tools in place to help you identify which types of leaders are running your organization. Once you have identified where your leaders fit, it is up to you to have processes in place that will clearly state expectations for business results and behavior. You must then provide the tools, training, knowledge and skills that will allow each leader to realize his or her full potential. Once you have done these things, you must hold these people accountable for their performance and behavior.
If they cannot deliver on both goals, then you may have to make a decision about allowing them to remain in a leadership position or possibly move them to a different role in the organization. It may even be necessary to ask them to leave the organization. Although this may cause short-term strain, it will allow you to promote from within or hire from outside the organization an ideal leader who will contribute to the long-term success of the organization.