Sunday, October 18, 2020

Venustas in Organizational Design and Harmony

The goal of solving the “organizational structure design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of organizational elements that enable the organization to create synergy, enforce collaboration and harness innovation.

Due to rapid change and exponential information algorithms, the emergence of potential opportunities and risks for exploring digital is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern with increasing speed. Organizations today are the mix of old and now, hard and soft, visible and invisible, learning and doing continuum. If the business understands itself in relation to its context, it should be able to determine whether it requires organizational design to become viable. 

Visionary management needs to shape a unique and highly valuable viewpoint about organizational function and structure tuning, to enforce business alignment, enablement, integration, collaboration, and harmony. In fact, forward-thinking organizations across vertical sectors are in search of organizational totality and improve venustas in organizational design and business harmony.

The careful consideration of requirements in the enterprise design along with an overarching vision is what a good design represents:
With emerging digital platforms and collaboration tools, the business functional, geographic, and even industrial borders are blurred. Organizational design needs to expand the lens for catching a holistic business perspective, and it is the ultimate expression of the organization’s strategy because it reflects the resource allocation and configuration of the value-creating business processes and capabilities. In reality though, the current business paradigm is still dominantly rooted in the mechanistic understanding/framing of the reductionistic management discipline. The organizational structure carries inherent business capabilities as to what can be achieved within its frame to enable a well-defined business strategy. To improve the organizational maturity from functioning to firm to delight, organizational design should be part of the digital strategy management because companies need to keep improving their adaptability and innovativeness.

Given “VUCA” digital new normal, today’s business is often operational in crisis and conflict environments. Thus, from an organizational structural perspective, the overly rigid organizational hierarchy will stifle changes and decelerate business flow. With enterprise platforms and tools, cross-functional communication becomes the new normal, traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set and achieve organizational goals. To speed up change and reach the well-set vision, it’s a worthwhile effort to reimagine the future of business and consider designing the organizational structure model to embrace high business velocity, enable the business balance cycle, and accelerate the business growth cycle. Ideally, the organizational structure should be designed to influence the emergent properties of the environment and enable emergent changes in its own behavior, functions, and structures toward strategic stability preferred by the legitimate processes, and business transformation by the differentiated competency.

Integrate the organizational design into the business process design and organizational re-engineering: Processes underpin business capabilities, and business capabilities underpin business strategy. The goal-driven process is primarily defined prior to process implementation. Strong business processes have a better chance to deliver better business results. In today’s hybrid businesses, the physical organizational structure, relationships, and virtual platforms and connections wrap around each other to ensure clear responsibility and seamless alignment. There are connections between alignment, architecture, and integration. To run a holistic organization, it’s important to integrate the organizational design into the business process design and re-engineering. Enforcing mutual respects between organizational design and business process management can lead to effective business transformation.

In practice, mapping the business flow of information and process starting with customers and going all the way across the company usually triggers the organizational design as a logical step in change and strategy management. Further, structure and behavior are two elements co-working in every nature organism and in every system designed by human nature. To develop a people-centric organization, the business processes should be optimized to support the people, stretching up the business systems  by tightening coordination and collaboration with business partners and engaging the workforce to accelerate changes and foster innovation.

Create the structural and aesthetic themes for enforcing business interconnectivities and innovation: The matter is that the dynamic digital organization needs to get away from continuing to use silo structures, slow and clumsy processes, let things fall through, and start creating an “integrated whole” by utilizing correct processes and harmonizing the underlying business relationships. It is in their own business benefit to collaborate and build the horizontal organizational interdependencies and vertical accountability enforcement to achieve better time to market for business exploration and expansion, accelerate the business speed and spark innovation. New generations of digital technologies are enabling not only the structured processes of the past but also the unstructured processes to build dynamic business capability and foster collaboration, so the large group of people can interact, form, and amplify collective capabilities to deal with business challenges and achieve common goals. Limited hierarchy with some “unstructured processes” as the digital normality works best to build a creative environment to unlock collective human potential.

Either products/services design or organizational structure design, forward-looking design thinkers can determine what will be considered aesthetically pleasing tomorrow rather than today! First, aesthetics as a trend; second, exposure to the designed environment as a direct influence on those trends! The organizational design should shift from inside-out process-driven to outside in people-centric, ensuring the business structure is open enough to its environment allowing the movement of people, ideas, and information in and out; reduce frictions, engage employees, customers, or partners in continuous conversations to come up with innovative solutions.

The digital paradigm shift is multidimensional expansion, whether it’s organic or whether there should be a corporate function of organizational design all depends on the nature and culture of the organization and the stage of its business maturity. The goal of solving the “organizational structure design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of organizational elements that enable the organization to create synergy, enforce collaboration and harness innovation.


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