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Structure is often the biggest enemy to transformation in organisations. Albeit more applicable and visible in larger organisations, it can manifest in the small as well. Structure is often considered imperative to manage the work force in an organisation, however, it brings with it brittleness in the operating model and a deterministic role reverence approach.
The most common manifestation is people being considered to be an authority on decision-making irrespective of the cognitive biases they suffer from.
Unfortunately, leaders are generally un-keen to propose or whet structural changes proposed by others, since, when structures fall apart and levels disappear, they feel threatened because of a perceived loss of power and control structures which they command.
Most organisations which have managed transformation in the small and large, as a first step have managed to simplify the structures, at times flattening the hierarchies which have traditionally existed. Leaders tasked with transforming an organisation first need to evaluate the structures which exist and simplify those.
Additionally, they need to ensure that role reverence is removed or at the least reduced to a level, so that it fosters a culture where the workforce is able to suggest, ideate and innovate outside of their bracketed precincts. This ties in strongly with Conway’s Law.
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