By: Laura Lofthouse, Senior Vice President, Media Delivery Team, Valassis
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017
When considering an optimal organizational structure, there are pros and cons to the traditional models – functional; divisional; matrix – the benefits of each depend upon your company’s goals, product mix, size and geographic dispersion. With a standard organizational chart, by going a level deeper into structure, an observer generates perceptions (both good and bad) about a company – it is large; it is flat; teams are small; there is growth opportunity, etc. Most organizational charts are hierarchical with layers of lines and boxes. Instead, consider a fresh approach to an organizational configuration – a simple wheel. Here’s how it might look:
The hub represents the organization’s vision, purpose and goals. It is the common center for all of the spokes and symbolizes the strategies, guidance and direction that connect the moving parts. Every spoke has visibility to, and impacts, the hub – and vice-versa. The hub drives productivity and efficiency so all parts move in tandem and are focused on the same outcome.
The spokes are the people. But which people are parts of which spoke? How many spokes should there be? Consider these points:
With a large team that services over 14,000 clients, we determined our spokes should be client focused. But, having 14,000 spokes is unrealistic. Our clients are, however, easily classifiable by vertical – or industry. By aligning our support teams by client vertical we have seen numerous benefits:
The tire represents the processes, technology, policies and infrastructure that keep the spokes aligned. It provides the support that keeps the internal parts moving forward, allowing the wheel to roll smoothly and make forward progress.
From an employee perspective, the thought of being part of a wheel versus a hierarchical chart also just feels good. It symbolizes cohesion; being a part of a whole; connectedness and forward momentum – moving toward the future.
Is a wheel right for you? In a competitive market where demands are quickly changing, a wheel that keeps your team moving in the right direction may just be the answer.