I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Chad McAllister, the host of The Everyday Innovator podcast, author of Turning Ideas into Market-Winning Products, and founder of Product Innovation Educators. Chad is a Top 40 Product Management Influencer and a Top 10 Innovation Blogger. In this interview, we explored a variety of topics related to organization design and creating value for multiple stakeholders.
I think the evidence is clear quite frankly that organizations underperform, and most people don’t want to work for the organizations as they’re currently designed. The latest Gallup Research numbers that I saw for 2015 were something like 32% of employees are engaged. So that’s about less than a third of employees are engaged. The other two-thirds are not. And over 50% of the employees in most organizations are looking for a new organization to work for. So that is not a very good track record. And to just expand this a little bit, we know that these numbers about engagement, employee engagement are related to some other pretty important numbers like innovation and productivity and customer satisfaction and things that produce revenue and less cost. And so the bar keeps rising, and we keep getting behind.
So often, we create systems and announce new changes in organizations. You’ve probably experienced it, the listeners probably have experienced it where you’ve got this new strategy from a leadership retreat, new priorities, let’s go do it, and everything else in the organization that equals success is something different. In other words, the incentives, what they’re measuring is different than that, what they’re asking for in meetings is different, what they’re promoting people for and bonusing people were different. People are pretty smart. They figured this out pretty quickly. So if the system is not aligned with each other and your strategy and improvement, then people will do what is good for them usually. It’s the rare individual that will do what’s good for the organization at the expense of their own.
When you look around, we have different literature and different people that are using words like organization design. They all have a little bit different definition, but they do have some very common elements. The definition that I use is a stakeholder-centered approach – that’s number one. So sustainable excellence and being able to, even if you’re successful at using different tools, to sustain the gains that you make require that you don’t take from one stakeholder to serve another, that you create solutions that are win-win solutions for multiple stakeholders.
So these four cornerstones [stakeholders, strategy, systems, and scorecard] combined with the culture and combined with the context in the physical environment are part of organization design. The reason we care about this is that these are the things people see and hear. And what people see and hear, the artifacts and the communications and what’s said affects how they think and what they think and how they feel about those things. And what they think and how they feel affects what they then say and do or their behavior. So ultimately, we care about a good design of the organization because it affects the behavior of the people in the organization.”
Or Download from iTunes and take it with you to listen later. Note: It is Episode #061 on iTunes.
Enjoy the journey,