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Organization + Market Forces

Your starting point: 

Org refresh with a focus on customer needs.

It looks like you're experiencing tension between your current org structure and the cues you're getting from the market. Start your adaptive journey by gaining an awareness of how organizations can orient their structures around customer needs.

Starting steps: 
Unpack their vision
  • The word "reorganization" often sparks panic within teams. So it's probably best to start with a tight senior team and exercise discretion. Keep the work quiet until you have a clear perspective and a rollout plan that takes into account how different team members might experience the change.
  • Start by spending time understanding your customers. If you already have personas and detailed quantitative and qualitative data about customer needs and behaviors, immerse yourself in this material.
  • Make sure your strategy has those customer needs at the center. If it doesn't—or if you don't have valid customer data and insights—start by collecting this information and reworking your strategy to focus on customer needs. As the late, great management theorist Alfred DuPont Chandler said: "Unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results."
  • Once you've grounded yourself in customer needs and ensured that your strategy is customer-centric, identify the jobs that you want and need the team to do in order to achieve the strategy.
  • Next, identify the gaps that must be filled in your current structure and team for these jobs to be done.
  • Often, you'll find that you need to conduct follow-up research in the form of meetings and interviews with customers and team members that work with the marketing team.
  • Once you've gathered your data, map out what your organizational structure needs to do for you. Include an initial theory on what you can commit to as a team, what external help you might need and what the implications of any tough-to-solve issues might be.
  • But don't draw a new org chart just yet!
Identify your strategic anchor

Based on your customer-centric view, combined with the list of jobs you want and need to do, begin to map out potential structures.

The first is the customer journey. The second is customer segments.
  • Orgs who use this as their anchor align their teams to portions of the customer journey.
  • They establish subject matter experts focused on each major stage in the relationship between the customer and the organization.
  • Then they empower these experts to lead cross-functional teams that are designed to deliver an end-to-end experience to their assigned customer-journey stage.
  • Orgs who use this as their anchor align their teams to the customer segments, usually based on personas.
  • They establish subject matter experts focused on each customer type.
  • Then they empower these experts to lead cross-functional teams that are designed to deliver an end-to-end experience to their assigned segment.

Whichever option you choose, you'll want to build in capacity to ensure collaboration so you don't inadvertently create silos within your team. 

Pull together a rollout plan
  • Once you've developed your structure, spend time putting together a thoughtful rollout plan. In our experience, the way you communicate and execute an org change is as important as the specifics of the new structure.
  • A reorg based on a renewed customer focus is a great opportunity to educate your team and the wider organization about what customer-centricity looks like in practice.
  • You'll want to provide your team with as much clarity, rationale, and support as possible during what can often be a difficult transition period. Sequence the rollout by gaining buy-in from individuals who will be influential in the adoption of the new structure and avoid a big reveal if at all possible.
  • Staging your conversations over time to make space for input from affected team members will result in a better overall structure. The more you can involve the people who are going to be impacted by the structure, the more likely you are to end up with a lasting change.
  • Leave enough time for a transition to happen gradually. Pick a realistic target date so that your team can continue to function during the transition.
  • We recommend using this transition window to tackle the next phase of your adaptive journey, which will involve developing new processes and revising old ones.
  • Where possible, test your organizational changes through a few pilots that roll out the structure iteratively so you can learn and adapt as you go.

It looks like you're experiencing tension between your current org structure and the cues you're getting from the market. 

“If you’re on a mission to make change happen, you want Modern Craft in your corner.”

Jon Mamela, CMO, Tourism Toronto

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