Strategy, Structure and Systems


By Kevin-James Fenech 

We sometimes spend too much time on Strategy and not enough on Structure and Systems.

Fact: It is very healthy in today's fast changing world to have dynamic organisational set-ups which flex and adapt according to business needs.

A business needs to constantly re-evaluate and tweak (sometimes even revolutionise) how departments are structured, how people are organised and how systems are aligned.

I always advise businesses to frequently re-think / re-consider / re-evaluate the following as part of their ongoing review of Structure and Systems in conjunction with Strategic re-evaluations:

  1. The job descriptions (roles and key responsibilities) of Managers- If done properly and honestly you will find that things tend to become outdated very quickly and new 'unwritten' jobs are already being done. The quicker you adapt, the faster you can evolve into your new set-up so as to better serve your customers and remain competitive; not to mention the clearer things are for your people;

  2. The organisational set-up or structure of your business- If you have had the same organisational set-up for more than 3 years, there is something wrong. Probably, complacency has set in and your managers are happily managing from their comfort zone. Competition or customer expectations are not so 'complacent' and much more impatient, so react you must, and even better, anticipate you should;

  3. The way you deliver value to your customers- I am here referring to your key processes and the system in place which links all your processes. Challenge your managers to justify why certain processes are the way they are. Can one remove or change anything to make things simpler, less costly or (even better) in order to innovate. There is a lot of value captured in our processes; if only managers wake-up from their routine and see the opportunity.

Be honest and think hard about your own company; I am sure there is a lot you can do! It's not just about Strategy but also Structure and Systems.