March 25, 2021 Activities, Blog, Strategy, Structure

A Simple Idea to Keep Employees Focused on What Matters

This week we discuss a simple approach to align activities and structure to your business strategy in the post-pandemic.

We recently became a Line-of-Sight SM Certified Partner to help our clients execute better. Line-of-SightSM looks beyond talent to help you assess the 5 Key Success factors for Execution (let’s call them KSEs): Strategic Understanding, Leadership, Balanced Metrics, Activities & Structure, and Human Capital.

A Simple Idea to Keep Employees Focused on What Matters

This week we discuss a simple approach to align activities and structure to your business strategy in the post-pandemic.

In previous blogs, we stressed this simple truth: execution is the sum of all the activities performed by your employees. In order to achieve your long-term goals, you need to be doing the right work.

In our client work, we use the Requisite Organization approach developed by Elliott Jaques, a researcher and practitioner who codified many of today’s global management practices. This method clearly defines the nature of work and relationships required across an organization in order to enable desired results.

Implemented correctly, it helps every employee understand:

  • What activities to perform
  • The outcome of those activities
  • What others do
  • How to work with others within a defined structure

The Requisite Organization starts with stating the strategy and expected outcomes, determining what work is needed to achieve them, who is best suited to do the work, and evaluating how people need to work together. This clarity leads to increased employee engagement (since employees better understand the relation between their work and overall goals), greater focus and higher productivity.

The improvement process starts at the top and works its way down to every level of the organizational structure, resulting in every role knowing who, what, why, and how work should be done.

This approach is obviously selective: we use Line-of-SightSM diagnostic data to identify where in the organization the lack of clarity or alignment of tasks is bogging down execution. Our improvement work therefore focuses only on these areas. We do not intervene in parts of the company where execution scores are satisfactory.

Our improvement work often brings to light the “silo effect” – lack of coordination between different parts of the organization. As we discussed in a previous blog, product or service issues generally happen at organizational break points: at these points, lack of communication, lack of clarity on objectives, or even conflicting goals express themselves in poor delivery. With the Requisite Organization approach, we can identify and remove these breakpoints.

As we head into a post-pandemic period, we expect to see lower scores than usual for Activities and Structure when we conduct the initial Organizational Health scan on new clients. This is due to the pivot in strategy and operations that many companies had to perform in 2020. From what we are seeing so far, the adaptation of organization structures and job definitions have lagged behind, creating friction and taxing productivity. We anticipate this area to be a major area of improvement for our clients in 2021.

To learn more about enhancing your own execution, please reach and we will initiate an assessment of your execution capabilities. Learn more here: Line-of-Site

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