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Organization + Team

Your starting point: 

Org refresh with a focus on team success.

It looks like your team may not be organized to succeed. We recommend starting your adaptive journey with some careful listening to understand the challenges they're facing and  their suggestions for change. A new organizational chart on its own is unlikely to solve all of your problems, but it's often a key factor in improving the success of marketing teams.

Starting steps: 
Define your from-to
  • 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 with a session to identify what's working and not working. Where do the current structure and roles bump up against your strategy? As the late, great management theorist Alfred DuPont Chandler said: "Unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results."
  • Next, identify the jobs that the team needs to do in order to achieve the strategy.
  • Then 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 team members and groups 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

It's important to know the problem you're solving, but you also need a strategic anchor to guide the decisions you make about your structure.

We see two common anchor-ports guiding successful reorg initiatives:

The first is customer-centricity. The second is culture and values.
  • There is a growing belief that understanding customers is essential for every role.
  • Orgs who use this as their anchor often align their teams to the customer journey, with focused teams who become experts in a particular moment in the relationship between the customer and the organization.
  • The anchor of culture and values provides a shared mindset for your team and your customers.
  • Simon Sinek, organizational consultant, encourages leaders to start with the "why" when designing their business strategies. Your culture and values are often an expression of this "why," and represent a key to the differentiator of your business.
  • Orgs who use this as their anchor mirror their culture and values in their organizational structure.

Whether you choose one of these options or another anchor altogether, be sure to articulate a strong, clear rationale that will guide decision-making before you move on to developing your new org structure.

Map out your new structure

Now it's time to map out potential structures based on your initial map of inputs, your initial working theories and your chosen strategic anchor.

If customer-centricity is your anchor: If your anchor is culture and values:
  • Consider grouping a cross-disciplinary team of specialists together to work on a single segment of the customer journey.
  • Identify leaders who can become experts on a segment of the customer journey and give them freedom and authority to drive work forward.
  • Start by turning your values into pragmatic working principles. Ask your team to identify how you are currently best living your values. Then turn these instances into repeatable behaviors.
  • Next, spend time articulating how you would ideally like your customers to experience your values.
  • Now start to cluster your team around these values.
  • Be clear about the role of the internal marketing team vs. jobs that might be better suited to another division or external partner.
  • 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. 
  • Provide your team with as much clarity, rationale and support as possible during what can often be a difficult transition period. And be sensitive to the different ways that team members experience change. 
  • Lastly, 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 your team may not be organized to succeed.

“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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