Killing Hierarchy 2: Successful Organization Design


Published on

You'll learn the AEIOUs of organization design and how to apply them to successfully manage your team. I'll present some examples from my work including what we've done at SumAll.

You can find the lecture on YouTube here:

Published in: Business
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Use #MODes for questions during class
  • Organizational Psychologist ABD from ColumbiaI help NY startups gracefully scale their human systems.Most recent clients: SumAll, Harvest, Urtak, the Borough of Lansdale, PA, UN
  • Extreme HierarchyFormal vs. informal organization in hierarchyLiaison roles or cross-functional task initiating role relationship
  • How do you flatten an organization?Increase the span of control.Small span of control is 2Large span of control is 15How talented are your managers?How mature are your direct reports?
  • Stratified Systems Theory (Jaques)You shouldn’t report to someone who has the same time horizon as you.
  • FunctionalMost typical design
  • ProductGoogle would look something like this if they organized by product.When I was at Pfizer, they were moving away from Georgraphic to Product design.
  • GeographicSpeaking of Geographic, really large sales and service organizations are often-times grouped this way. Within georgraphy you may find functional or product based organizations
  • ClientIf you serve very different customers, they might have different needs. If your organization strategy revolves around customer segments, this might be a good way to organize.
  • MatrixOften when companies want to have two strong grouping types (usually function + one of the others), they’ll create a matrix organization.Benefits and costsSpotify?
  • Two views of operational processesEven how we visualize our processes speaks to our values.Important to get this rightIt is the combination of architecture and process that defines your organization design
  • Organic OrganizationSome examples of organic organizationsLess structured, more flexible.Fractal organizations may not look like your typical organization when put on paperYou might not be able to visualize it this way at all
  • At SumAll we have something similar to this for our architecture.Very clear understanding of the AEIOUs makes it unnecessary to have an org chart
  • Liaison roles and processesFormalAll hands meetingsCross-functional work groupsProject managersProduct managersRetreatsInformalLunchHappy hourHoliday partiesGame nightHackathons
  • Product process is different from organization-wide process
  • Your design should take into account:fit with your culture, mission, and strategyspeed and flexibility of decision making (are decisions centralized or distributed?)communication capabilities and how quickly data moves through your organizationeffect on employee engagementcosts, including resources and coordinationpolitics and power in your organizationamount of dependence on the informal organization
  • Sociotechnical Systems Eric TristLong wall coal mining was very good for resource recovery rates, but the invention of the conveyor belt and division of teams into specialized separate units messed up productivity. Why?Depersonalized workDecimation of work groupsA complex organization is a social systemSociotechnical systemsWork organizations are interdependent social and technical systemsA work system is the unit of work (e.g., the assembly line)The work group does the workWork groups monitor work systems; not the supervisorWorkers are complementary to machines, not an extension of them
  • Question:I'd *really* like to hear your thoughts on how hiring affects success in various organizational designs.  In my experience, a lot of the ideal can break down when you have people who fundamentally operate a different way.  Like people who have no personal tolerance for project tracking, todo lists, rules, or paperwork.  When you transition to a more structured process, they struggle and push back.  And people who may be great engineers, but are not pro-active communicators.  They struggle in the sandbox because they aren't getting their ideas heard.  What tricks are there for identifying the right personalities during the interview process that will fit with your organizational design objectives?
  • Question:When you present them, I'm always interested in which elements of them you see working well in practice vs. on paper.  A lot of times there are good "ideal" mental models, but the devil is in the details.  So which things you "enforce" and which things you "strive for" when applying them would be great.
  • Killing Hierarchy 2: Successful Organization Design

    1. 1. What are your organization’svalues?Tweet@Joaquin_V_Roca with#MODes
    2. 2. Killing Hierarchy:Organization Design for Startups
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Agenda• Architecture– Grouping alternatives• Operational Processes– Connecting roles• AEIOU/Roles and Authorization• Evaluation checklist• Connection to culture, mission, vision,values, strategy
    5. 5. CEOCOOCFOVP FinDirTeamLeadCTOVP EngDirTeamLeadCMOVPMarketingDirTeamLead
    6. 6. 50y20y10y5y2y1y3m10d
    7. 7. CEOCOOCFOFin1 Fin2 Fin3CTOEng 1 Eng 2 Eng 3CMOMar 1 Mar 2 Mar 3
    8. 8. CEOAdWords DriveDocumentStorage/RetrievalDocumentCreatorSpreadsheetSearch YouTube
    9. 9. CEOEurope AmericasNorth America Central America South AmericaAsia Africa
    10. 10. PresidentDirect toConsumerEnterpriseSalesBusinessDevelopmentEngineeringSMB Non-Prof
    11. 11. CEODesign Sales EngineeringNorwayUSAGermanyFunctionalPresidentsCountryPresidents
    12. 12. Product Engineering Design Marketing Sales SupportEngineeringSupportSalesMarketing ProductDesign
    13. 13. Prod Team Systems Engineering Design Business Data BoardOrganization focused processLearn and shareProduct teamDesignFront end devDataStatusSystemsAll hands meetingsDevelopmental meetingsMarketingPRCust spprtOffice mgmtTeam meet Team meet Team meet Team meet Team meet Team meet Team meetBoundary managementPeer bonusProject managementBack end devIntegrations Integrations
    14. 14. Prod Team Systems Engineering Design Business Data BoardProduct focused processPR and Marketing (x3 in parallel)Project proposalPost the project on TrelloRoadmapServer MaintDebugging (x3 in parallel)Cust SupportScopingTeam assignDevelopment (x3 in parallel)Testing (x3 in parallel)Push to Prod (sequential)ScopingCust SupportCust feedbckOther Stuff Done Off Roadmap (technical debt, bug fixes, small enhancements)Demo Day
    15. 15. OrganizationalCapabilityHighly Important Nice to Have Not as ImportantProductOperationsCustomerInnovation
    16. 16. OrganizationalImperativeGreat Fit Good Fit Poor FitCultureMissionStrategyOperationsEmployeeengagementInformation flowDecision makingCostPolitics
    17. 17. Hiring and Org Design• Question!
    18. 18. Hiring and Org Design• Attraction• Selection• Attrition
    19. 19. Culture• Be clear about culture and hire to your culture– Culture is not ping pong tables and t-shirts– Culture is made up of values that reflect deepassumptions and manifest in artifacts like ping pongtables and t-shirts– If you assume business success comes frominnovation and creativity comes from free thinking andthus value autonomy, hire people who can workautonomously– If you assume business success comes fromoperational excellence, and excellence comes fromcoherence and discipline, hire people who thrive instructured environments
    20. 20. What Works in Practice?• Question!
    21. 21. What works in practice?• The models are good ways to organize yourthinking• They are not normative for the most part• All of this really has to be fitted for yourorganizations culture• This is hard work and there is no one rightway• You are going to get it wrong• Build, measure, learn
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.