Throughout most of the business world discussing projects and enterprises always seems to rely on the trinity of People, Process and Technology. However, I see two of these items as part of one class resources and another important attribute “structure”. Structure as of late seems to be on many of the business management schools and guru’s minds. The past several weeks articles on LinkedIn, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review to name a few are all discussing various organizational structures and how they effect corporate performance. It appears to be a cyclic event in the management consulting world, every few years consulting firms revise discussions on restructuring the organization. Microsoft, has recently started to undergo such efforts.
While I’m sure structure is important I fall back on my initial thoughts of balancing Strategy, Resource, and Structure. Like the Ideal game Tip-IT popular in the 1960s. These components need to be at some level of balance or equilibrium: Too much structure impedes creativity; Too little resource prevents execution of strategy; All resource and no strategy or structure and you have chaos and wasted resource. Just an observation: This may be one of the reasons for all the restructuring of late. The question to answer then is; is it really too much resource or not enough strategy and organization to ensure effective utilization of resources.
This becomes one of the guiding principles to the Portfolio Management methodology under development; engineering the interrelationships between strategy, structure and resources. There are conceptual tools that have been developed that assist in these endeavors, one only has to link them together into a holistic methodology and execute to improve performance a few points above competitors. The interesting story line between top performers and also ran(s) is that top performers are only one to five percent move effective and efficient, not the 50% or more others suppose. But its that few percentage points that are amplified through the ecosystem. Consider 1% better marketing and sales for your company or 1% less waste in creating / delivering products and services. Ask you CFO what does 1% above the line improvement mean to your bottom line.
If I may be so bold as to update IBM’s old motto: THINK, and then EXECUTE! or reorder the Murphy’s law back to the way it should be “Ready, Aim, and then Fire”