Organizational design – uncomplexing complexity

organizational design

Why is it so hard to make organizational design natural and user friendly? For whom is organizational design made? What’s the value and purpose? Today’s modern management debate is all about self-organizing teams, making the orgchart feel like a dinosaur. I would say that any organizations governance, structure and orgchart is for us as employees, aimed at helping us improve and navigate the way we work.

I’m often amazed by the burden and complexity when trying to improve organizations way-of-working. It’s as if all common sense and experience went out of the door as the management consultants came in. Today’s organizational design is all about enabling engagement and empowerment, this is known to most, yet we still fail to change rapid enough.

Organizational design in levels

Humans tend to naturally relate to three, maximum four, levels in organizations. First we have the “I” level, as we mature in life, we can hopefully also separate myself from my role in the organization. The next level is my family, professionally known as my “team”. This is commonly my circle of trust and loyalty. The third level is my relatives or in professional work life more common referred to as “product or project” and the last and fourth would be my bigger community, known to many as the “company”.

Any organization with more than four layers is by definition fat and slow since they are not designed for humans and its humans that operate them. It’s we as employees that add value by how, what and why we do the things we do. It’s we as individuals that accomplish ideas and improvements. It’s we that want to grow, learn and share. But remember, the CEO is also a human being.

So, what’s the recipe? Well, start with addressing the people side of change, design with human in centre, manage for happiness and finally, build trust and relations by honest face-to-face dialogue. Its as hard and as simple as that. Lets get going!

By Per Neding

Author: Tommy Bäckman
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