What would your organisation chart look like?

Do you have a classical management structure? Is your organisation chart made of boxes with positions? Have you ever had a closer look on what tasks the management team should perform? What would your organisation chart look like if you could design it from scratch?

Most organisation charts I see are made of traditional boxes. Except for minor differences, organisation charts pretty much look the same in all types of businesses.

The classical use of organisation charts

It’s a basic need for any organisation to have a structure to be able to fulfil its reason for existing. Organisation charts are made to get a quick visual overview of how the company is structured.

An organisation chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organisation and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions – Wikipedia

I have been working with a lot of companies where the organisation chart unfortunately is a historical document. Usually the chart is a reflection of traditional job descriptions. Most management teams are organised in boxes in which we put people and tasks.

The renewal of the top management team is done when one person leaves a box. A new person with more or less the same competency is often entered into the same box. The interaction of the boxes in the organisation chart is depending on the personal connection of the people who occupy the positions.

With a classical organisation chart, the relationship between the people in the boxes reflects the performance of the organisation. It’s a resource focused company.

Remove the dust of your organisation chart

Very few managers are in the position to start building the top team completely from scratch. Do not though take your organisation for granted. Make the effort to review your organisation chart.

Are all the boxes still needed? What tasks are performed by the managers holding the positions? Are some tasks done twice? Are all the tasks relevant? Is the job done because it always has? Are the boxes adapted to the persons in your team? Do people hold on to their tasks? Are you aware of your competency gap? Is your top structure flexible?

The classical organisations chart is close to 200 years. Is it time to remove the boxes?

We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience – Edward de Bono

Globalisation, rapid innovations and a high cost focus are good reasons to energise your top structure. It might be an idea to move away from a resource focused organisation chart towards a top structure organised in flow.

LEAN your team out of the box

Take the time to position your top management structure. The efficiency of your top structure mirrors down in your organisation. Create a top structure with flow that is adapted to the value your organisation should provide to your clients.

Everyone is born with an instinct of success and ability to make it, but only the ones who think out of the box succeed – Unarine Ramary

Remove the boxes. Get the overview of all the tasks performed by the members in your management team. Validate that the tasks are still required. Remove the overlaps. Put the tasks in a logical order. Create a natural flow that is suited to serve your organisation.

Each time I have participated to this exercise, it is fascinating to see the results. The members of the team get quite a few A-ha moments during the process. The interactions and connections between the team members are strengthened. It makes room for flexibility. Creativity raise. Efficiency is increased. The organisation flows into place.

As a leader, you need to be personally involved in making your new organisation structure. The company never gets clearer than you are. Creating the frame of your company is your number one task to get a performing organisation.

Good luck with refreshing your leadership flow!

@Grete

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How to Succeed with Multicultural Teams?

What does it mean to be a global company? How do you best make multicultural teams perform? Why do some companies find value in having an international workforce? How come some companies succeed with their international workforce while others fail?

With the current rapidity in technology development, it is more and more important to become international in order to adapt to the client´s needs.

On a regular basis, I meet with people telling me that it can be difficult to make different nationalities work together – of course, this is about human beings and different values …this is always challenging – even when we come from the same country!

Strong Internal Culture

To achieve the status of a truly global company, the strategy has to be anchored both within the board and with the top management. The strategy needs to be driven by business needs and integrated in all levels of the company.

Globalization means that business strategy and business ethics cannot be separated from each other – Ofra Strauss

Creating a strong company identity, culture, and business ethics is important to make sure all employees get a sense of community and belonging.

I have had the pleasure of working in two global companies that truly managed to create strong internal cultures. Both in extremely different sectors. These companies do not train in cultural differences. They both had in common that they train people thoroughly in company values when new recruits join in order to create a community.

Some international companies fail to become global as they have a strong internal focus on the country of origin. Not too long ago, I spoke with an employee in one of these companies. He told me – “after reading your blog about belonging – I realized that I can never truly belong to the company culture as I am not of the same nationality as the company”.

A strong internal culture and a common respect is the basis to create a global workforce…and of course, it is an understatement that there needs to be a common language in which all communicates – any email should be possible to forward at any time!

Hire for Attitude

Global companies define the values they look for in new employees. This is applicable to all nationalities, and most importantly, also to the people from the company’s country of origin.

Yes, we can – Obama

These companies hire for attitude. What is easier than recruiting people who have already shown interest for the international either by travelling,learning new languages, living or studying abroad,  …I am a third culture kid myself – and believe me, we tend not to see the differences in the cultures as they are so integrated in our values.

As competency comes first in the recruiting needs, the level of competency required should be the same to all new recruits whatever country they come from.

Next step is obviously to give equal promotional opportunities to all. To get to this international level, the company needs to have a consciously structured career development programme. A truly global company has different nationalities amongst their top management and board members.

Common Structure

Global companies are excellent in creating common structures to give all their employees the same opportunity to perform.

Work processes have to be made the same in the whole company. In this way, it is easy to transfer any person to another country or project as the basic structure is the same. Hence, the employee doesn’t need to learn a new way of working and he or she will naturally integrate the new position.

As a scientist, you feel a sense of team spirit for your country but you also have a sense of team spirit for the international community – Saul Perlmutter

All strategies need to be reflected into the common structure and business objectives. As a part of this, the visionary focus on innovation, technology and business mission should be common to all employees regardless of their working location.

….and of course, these companies also have an HR policy that ensures that there is a fair balance in giving and taking and the remuneration system is created to support the business strategy and the employee performance.

Global Teams Create Good Results

When you manage to create global dynamics in your company you will truly be able to get enhanced results.

Global teams are good to solve complex problems as they create more possible solutions. Depending on their country of origin and school system, each team member will approach the problem differently. Together, and again, thanks to the common work structure, they will be able to find optimal solutions.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

International employees are used to constantly adapt to new cultures, and as a result, tend to develop new skills easily. Therefore, the speed of the global teams can also be quite high. Due to the different cultural approaches in the team, they also tend to be more creative.

An obvious benefit from having multi-cultural teams is obviously the understanding and communication with the clients – combined together, all the qualities in multicultural teams increases the total results of the company.

…and should you ever be tempted to set up a cultural training for your employees – be aware that in these successful global companies, the biggest cultural shock is when you return back to your home country!

Good luck with creating a productive international organisation!

@Grete

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Make Room for Great Team Experiences

Why is teamwork so important? What makes a team work better together? What does it mean to build a team? What kind of teambuilding’s should you organise? What is the definition of a great experience? Do you consider team events as a cost or an investment? What should a team event be? Is working in a team the same as creating results together as a team?…and why would you even try to form a team?

Building teams that work well together is a crucial task for all leaders. Creating the glue that makes the organisation move forward is key to achieve sustainable results.

Come Together, Right Now… and Daily Bonding

We often tend to think of team building as an extraordinary event that people are looking forward to. Some events might even include climbing the highest mountain together or to do all sorts of fun group activities in accordance with the climate and traditions of your culture.

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way – Napoleon Hill

It is also important to emphasise that a great team building experience may also just include smaller daily moments. A morning coffee with your colleagues, a chocolate party on Fridays, a cake for birthdays, an ice cream in summer days – only your imagination limits the possibilities.

Positive anything is better than negative nothing – Elbert Hubbard

To build a team you have to create a good daily environment. You have to create a transparent and open communication. Our environment shapes our behaviour….and if your team enjoy the daily moments together – they are more likely to be able to appreciate the bigger projects together.

Special Occasions to Glue your Team

Special occasions are excellent possibilities to build team spirit. Celebrate work that you have achieved together, milestones in a project, new clients or any kind of good news is excellent to keep the drive in the team.

This of course, can be an occasion for a big splashy event, but it could also just be another possibility to facilitate a great day. I have had excellent results in using different occasions to build my team. It could be everything from handing out a small chocolate, giving everybody a rose or leave little surprise or a word on the desk.

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely – Auguste Rodin

Obviously this shows that you care about them as humans and that you appreciate their work. It is amazing how this also creates an occasion for good laughs in the corridors and an excellent opportunity to build the daily team glue. Another positive reward is that your team members will start copying your behaviour amongst themselves – which creates an even greater team environment.

Productive Teams through Activity

Throughout my career I have participated and organised quite a few team building events. My experience is that those who have the best long term effect are those where you build the competency of the group.

As a certified trainer of a team management profile tool – I have had excellent management experience in getting people to know each other through their work preferences. The team members get a better understanding of their relations…and very often I have experienced people saying: “Oh, that is why you always do…” or “I understand why I react this way when you do…”

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people – Eleanor Roosevelt

Building the competency as a team can also result in forming good work processes together. You get to discuss ideas and new ways of achieving results. Combined with a work preference tool, you get to construct the team based on who is best at a specific task. As a result the internal process and flow is improved.

Team buildings where you increase the competency and build a common structure to create common trust.

From Team to Unity – Move the Organisation

Team building is creating a group that moves in the same direction. The result is that the sum of individual efforts bypasses the mathematical total sum and the team unity increases the total results.

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved – Mattie Stepanek

So, consciously building your team is an investment that is critical to maintain the flow and productivity in your company!

… and remember that to get your people motivated to go the extra mile – you have go the extra mile first!

Good luck in creating good dynamics and efficient teamwork in your organisation!

@Grete

 

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Driving Through Change

Welcome onboard – fasten your seatbelt ….we are going trough a period of turbulence! Change needed – resistance coming up. Have you ever encountered this situation at work? Yes? – well ….welcome to your managerial role!!

Increased need for change

Everything goes faster and faster and we are working more efficiently than we ever have. We have access to much more knowledge and a new app can revolutionize the world in a month! Progress pushes us all to adapt and to keep on moving.

The only thing that is constant is change – Heraclitus

The most complicated with change is that all humans beings take some time to adapt to change. We all need to go through the famous curve of change in all situations where we need to adapt to change – either it is in our personal life or at work. Sometimes we need a couple of seconds, other times, we need a couple of years – some people might never get to adapt.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything – George Bernard Shaw

Your company and you as a manager need to face this rapid evolution and make sure the business adapts to the market needs. To make this happen, one of your biggest tasks will be to guide your team through the curve of change.

”Change in” management

So, it is a fact that the real risk is not to change. The complicated thing is to make it happen in the organisation. The first movement to do is that you as a manager have to believe the change is possible and that it will happen! Very often we tend to look at change management as something we as managers have to implement in the organisation.

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking – Albert Einstein

…so basically, this means that it all needs to start with a ”change in” management. Since change is a constant, that also mans that change management as such has become the regular form of management. First step in all change is to start with me, myself and I.

Change is nature and starts when we take the decision to change – Remy in Rotatouille

Every organisational change you make needs to be anchored in top management. The involvement from the top creates ownership in the organisation and will drive the process to a success.

Communication

You have decided that change needs to happen, change has started and the plan is made with all your attention and common sense….and then, you´re drawn back to the curve of change and you have to realize that:

Common sense is not so common – Voltaire

The rest of the organization might not think any change is needed. With all your personal enjoyment for change, you will then have to start communicating!
To change an organisation, you slowly but surely need to manage your colleagues through the turbulence of change and to show the important outcome change will bring.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Wayne Dyer

With you clear vision in mind, you need to listen, communicate, be patient, ensure you build the competency in the organisation and get people to follow your leadership.

Efficiency in change management requires consistent long term work and you have to take some actions every day. It is a tough task for all managers to hold the organisation through turbulent times. Keep focused and your gain will be the satisfaction when change comes through.

Without no struggle there can be no change – Frederick Douglass

… so – enjoy the ride, stay motivated and lift your organisation up where you belong…and climb the stairs every day!

Good luck with creating your adaptable organisation!

@Grete

Belonging Creates Success

Have you ever had that first day at work where you felt like an outsider? Everybody looks at you as new, different, not belonging to the group? Have you been the manager that needs to integrate a new person? Do you have team members that do not want to belong to the group? The sense of belonging is vital to ensure a team´s success.

To be able to create results in a team or a company and to make everybody go in the same direction, you have to create a sense of belonging.

Belonging is a human need

From the very first beginning of our life, all human beings learn the importance of belonging in order to survive. The group that we belong to from the start – most often a family – is defined with clear boundaries.

As a manger, you have to create a clear framework for you group in order for it´s members to get the sense of belonging. You have to set the purpose of the group as well as being clear about who the group members are.

In the hierarchy of needs, Maslow defined belonging as one of the basic human needs. These needs have to be satisfied in order for the human being to be able to perform to it´s full extent. In business, there is a lot of focus on structure and projects. In order for teams to succeed, a feeling of belonging is key to be able to succeed.

Better performing teams

An identity is created when all the members of a team has a sense of belonging. The sense of belonging is important in order to create safe boundaries for the individuals and for the group to develop further. This creates maturity in the group and becomes the basis for performing and adapting to new challenges.

A sense of belonging makes the group members taking care of each other in order to protect the group. When team members demonstrate mutual trust, they will naturally share their knowledge in order to enhance the group results. Members that have a sense of belonging trust each other. This makes the team trying out new directions without being afraid of failing.

Creating the belonging

As a manager you create the belonging through a clearly defined leadership by communicating your vision and set clear objectives. Walking the talk and training all the members of your team in the values and the framework of the company are important factors to create a group feeling.

Creating a common understanding and a common language together with social events in the workplace are important arenas to build a community feeling. Continuous communication is key to achieve a successful sense of belonging.

A sense of justice and a fair balance between giving and taking needs to be in place to create a healthy framework for the group to continue to grow in one direction. As a manager you should also clearly communicate acceptable behaviours and follow up with the individuals whenever the alignment is unclear.

Changing the form of belonging

As human beings, we chose to participate to groups. An employee that works for a company has actively chosen to belong to a group.

Belonging to a group in an active way might end at some stages. Several reasons can start this movement. Some people might choose to opt out of the group. It might be that they do not personally agree to the boundaries set by the group. The group might also split up at the end of a project or a company might close down and the belonging is no longer in the same form.

When an active belonging ends, the belonging is transformed into a new form. Whenever a person was in the group at some stage, there will always remain an invisible link and belonging to the group.

Hence, throughout the life of a group, either it is at the start, when the group is active or when it splits up, you have to set a clear direction and develop a good form of belonging.

Teams and companies with a strong identity strengthen its presence and enhance the group´s visibility in the market.

Good luck with creating a sense of belonging and moving towards success!

@Grete

Organisasjonsutvikling, Successfull business

Successfull Business – can you Manage the Balance?

Ever had the feeling that some things didn´t turn out right in your business or in a business relationship? Did it feel like a colleague got a more favorable treatment than you? Do you, as a manager, do all the work on behalf of your team? Are you being paid enough for the service or product you´re selling? Does the market recognize your business?

All these questions are the same as the ones we encounter in our personal life. Does it feel like you are doing much more at home than your partner? Do you feel like your sons soccer coach treats other kids more favorably? Do you have the feeling that your parents favored one of your siblings?

It is all a question of balance – the balance between giving and taking.

Per definition human beings needs balance to function physically and chemically. This is also valid for any interaction we have with other people including a business relationship. When we give something to someone, we need to receive something back. In some situations, this could be a simple reward like a ”thank you.” Other times it could be a favour. In a business situations, this return could be done by exchanging ideas, giving back support or simply paying for a service or a product you just received.

What gets very interesting is when the other person or organization lacks the ability to give back something that equals what you gave them. In those situations, we are often bound by our chemical need to give something back. And as a result we might start returning some kind of negativity.

This principle of balance between giving and taking is important when it comes to running a business. As a manager you might have employees that do not deliver what they should. As a consultant I have met with so many managers that claim they do everything to please their employees – and yet the employees still don´t produce the work that is expected of them. Sometimes it even goes so far that the manager ends up doing their jobs for them.

So – how about doing less as a manager? The more you do your team member´s job – the less they will deliver. Not possible you say? Yes, unfortunately it is. It is all about coming back to what they should do and what you should not. It is always your own responsibility, as a person and a manager, to find that balance between giving and taking.

Other times, in order to re-create a balance, you might have to do more. This is typically the case when a business is downsizing. Even though you think you have communicate enough as a manager, there is often complaints in the organization that there should be more communication. In this case, your colleagues actually want more information from you and the negative feed-back is valid.

As a business manager, a colleague, a family member or just being responsible of your own life – you can take on responsibility to create the needed balance. This work til help you obtain balanced results and building a safe bridge over troubled water.

The same balance is necessary for your business. As a business manager you should find the point where your relationship to your clients and suppliers is equal. The higher the balance is between yourself and your interlocutor – the better the relationship and the more successful your business will become!

Good luck in creating balance in life and in business!

@Grete