The Benefits of Establishing a Dynamic and Flexible Business Design

Designing your organization, and how work flows from one part of the company to the next, is a job that will continue to be one of your main responsibilities as a leader. The underlying structure of a company is ultimately what determines everything else.

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]
A structure is composed of several parts: first, it is the configuration of the organization – whether matrix, functional, or divisional. Determining how the teams are organized within a department is the first step to creating a structure. For more information on configurations, refer to my book Heptagram. Second, each of the roles and responsibilities of the team must be identified and assigned, defining who does what and how work flows within the team and between teams.

Possible Pitfalls

Your company’s configuration must support your business in what it wants to accomplish. Often, the bottleneck in a company can be its structure, not its people. For example, if you have a simple structure, where everything must be approved by one executive, that person can very quickly slow down the flow of work due to approval demand congestion. When a company grows enough, it is wise to move to a functional organization, which is divided into departments, where each manager is empowered to make decisions.

Another possible pitfall is assigning responsibilities piecemeal. If someone is not responsible for an entire area, then parts of the roles may be lost. For example, you might assign invoicing of certain items, let’s call them product A, to one team and invoicing of others, product B, to a different team. The problem with this is that as the company grows, new items that need to be invoiced might not fall under anybody’s responsibility. If the company invents product AB, invoicing can very easily be forgotten until somebody notices.

More broadly, I prefer to assign the responsibility for invoicing fully within one team, so that only one party is responsible. When roles are assigned in this way, nothing will get lost, and everyone will know who to speak to for each role.

Make sure your workflows are uniform. If someone does one activity one day and someone else, does it the next day, it will cause confusion and a lack of responsibility. Of course, in some companies, this is necessary, but when you can avoid it and create consistency in a role, it will also create efficiencies. Your teams will become experts in their positions, they will save time because they are so competent, and others will know who to chat with about that specific role. Over time, people can switch to different roles, but maintaining that uniformity will be key.

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]
Structuring your company never ends because it and its environment are constantly changing. So, make sure that your structure evolves and sets you up for success and growth.

Heptagram: The 7-Pillar Business Design System for the 21st Century is available on Amazon.


Pamela Ayuso is an author and the co-founder and CEO of Celaque. She is a real estate entrepreneur and developer who has executive leadership experience in two of the most successful real estate developers in Honduras — managing operations at Alianza and leading Celaque. Celaque develops office and residential buildings and manages a broad portfolio of properties. Pamela’s focus is on growing Celaque into a model for the 21st-century company.

In addition to her role as CEO at Celaque, Pamela is the author of Amazon best-selling book, Heptagram: The 7-Pillar Business Design System for the 21st Century. She offers practical business and personal development insights for other entrepreneurs and business leaders on her blog and LinkedIn. Her husband and her three wonderful daughters inspired the story of her first children’s book, Alicia and Bunnie Paint a Mural.       

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