It seems that organisations these days can’t simply get away with having “just good people” to drive successful change and operational outcomes. The key to driving performance does not lie in the pure formal structure either, but rather how the informal network of people, processes, resources and knowledge components get tied in together to create value.
Organisational Network Analysis is starting to make some inroads in corporates on a global scale. The method considers networks of often hidden relationships that are run through a variety of mathematical models to calculate risks and highlight opportunities for increased performance (e.g. collaboration). The risk is that every emerging organisational design discipline is often used as a silver bullet to solving things like the centralisation-decentralisation debate or even replaces formal design initiatives.
The solution (as in most practical cases) is to ensure that formal and informal structural analysis needs to be done in a complementary fashion to understand cross-influence and provide input into final organisational design decisions. There is no silver bullet – it’s only when the silver rubs off that you realise that it’s spray-paint. So to give some healthy advice: make sure you use a multi-disciplinary approach to complement, validate and enrich your design efforts to ensure you get the benefits you deserve!
What kind of approach is your organisation using? Perhaps you keep ‘changing’ your mind…