Leaders today face increasing demands from a variety of stakeholders, increasing global competition, and rapidly evolving technology. The bar is continually being raised, and the definition of success for all types of organizations (profit-seeking, non-profit, and government) is continuously changing and increasingly complex. It seems that about the time we figure out the best way to run the organization, the world changes. Our organizational models and theories are not keeping pace with all these changes, and successful modern organization architects are those who are living on the leading edge of knowledge and creativity. It is an exciting time to be an organization designer.
Many leaders express frustration with the seemingly insatiable needs and desires of their stakeholders. No matter what they do, some days it seems like it is never enough. Many leaders find themselves with more and more to do, but with less time and resources to do it. The future belongs to organizations that can figure out how to create ever-improving value for all key stakeholder including the customers, workforce, investors, suppliers and partners, the community, and the natural environment.
Increasing Global Competition
Pressure to change from one or more of the six stakeholder groups is both a crisis and an opportunity. The crisis is there is an endless supply of competitors around the world willing to address the needs of the stakeholders and take market share. The good news, if the competitors can do it, so can you. That is the challenge AND the opportunity. You can [re]create your organization or parts of your organization to produce better products, services, and customer experiences for fewer resources and less impact on the natural environment.
Rapidly Evolving Technology
Advances in digital technology are enabling new business models, systems, and methods. Like the many other pressures, technology transformation offers both crisis and opportunity. The crisis is we might be left behind and lose market share if our competitors beat us to the new models and systems. The opportunity is we now have organization design options that were not possible even a few years ago. Unfortunately, all too often we add a “layer” of digital technology on top of our existing poorly designed processes. To fully address the challenges we face, we need to rethink the design of our organizations, systems, and methods to ensure they leverage the new technology.
When you add up all these demands, it can feel a bit overwhelming. The stakeholder-centered design approach to organization improvement integrates key aspects of previous popular approaches and adds additional considerations that enable a “leap” in performance. So the challenge is to [re]create our organizations so that they produce more value for our stakeholders than our current and potential competitors can create. If we are to meet the organization design challenge, we first need to understand the critical components of organization design.
Enjoy the journey!