The effectiveness of an Organizational Design exercise depends on the fit of process, structure and behaviour that make up the organization and how they are aligned with both existing and desired future capabilities.
Social Business Design adds a new type of complexity to an organizational design exercise. In traditional organizational design exercises, it was paramount to identify both the current state and the future state of the organization, and then design a path to that final outcome. In Social Business Design we must identify not only the bounds but also the flexibility of the organization to adapt to new factors and to develop emergent outcomes.
When thinking about organizational design for Social Business, consider these factors
- Integration of External and Internal ecosystems. What is the current and desired future level of interaction of the organization’s ecosystems? An understanding of the current and desired future sociality of the organization is critical.
- How do you enable employees to interact and engage with customers and partners?
- What tools do they need to do this, and what compliance issues do these connections surface?
- Are there current reporting structures that inhibit this interaction?
- How do you ensure that future reporting and management systems are enablers, rather than simply enforcement mechanisms?
- How do employees currently utilize their social networks to accomplish their own goals?
- What is the organization’s desire and “stomach” for ad-hoc processes and interactions? Is formalization and authority a core value or simply a necessary tool?
- The ability to manage change. Change can be painful if it is mismatched to the organization in terms of scale, structure or intent. The organization and its partners must have the ability to design, manage and measure the changes being made to itself. This is often achieved through the use of both internal and external (consultant) resources. Before beginning a change exercise, it is important to understand what has come before. Take inventory of:
- past organizational designs that went unimplemented. Is failure perceived as inevitable?
- past change exercises and their perceived success or failure. What are the facts about change in this organization?
- current IT capability. Can IT be an enabler of new processes and interactions?
- current formal organization. How is the organization supposed to be structured?
- existing and past influencers and decision makers. Who makes the organization tick today?
- informal organization. How does the organization really get work done?
- effectiveness of current management models. Are they being followed or enforced?
- Matching strategy. Changing an organization in the absence of a strategic goal is not generally a sound path. Before re-designing an organization and implementing a change program, a strategy and set of clear goals are paramount to a successful organizational design.
Organizational Design and Change Management programs are tools leveraged by Social Business Design to help your organization be both more effective in your current market and to find new markets for your products and services. They are not however, ends in and of themselves. They must be used in concert with other Social Business Initiatives, such as strategy development, in order to be successful.
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