Create a functional framework for future growth

Improve your company’s productivity by 30% and create a functional framework for future growth  

Three questions CEOs often ask themselves...  
“Am I, as CEO, the bottleneck holding back the company’s progress?”  
“Where are my energies focused – on Today, Tomorrow or the Future?”  
“How engaged are my teams and how much energy and focus are they delivering?”  

And how typical is this from your CEO...
“I’ve been running this company for a good many years, yet I seem to still be making all the decisions, sorting all today’s issues and working from dawn till dusk. I’m exhausted!”

Tired and overworked businessman sitting beside desk at office at night

Where is your CEO’s and senior management focus?

So many decisions are often made by the boss across both strategic and operational areas.  This often results from the CEO not really wanting to relinquish control.  Founding the company or building it from a start-up to a medium sized company has taken blood and passion to achieve and devolving power to those who will ‘screw it all up’ is a natural fear.  And the management and staff, particularly if not fully comfortable with their roles, will be only too happy to pass responsibilities up the tree and reduce the risk of blame when things don’t go perfectly.  All the pressure is then on the boss’s shoulders and as the company grows the inevitable happens…….

  • The CEO is a bottleneck slowing down the company’s progress.
  • Battling the operational issues becomes the norm.
  • No time is available to think about the company’s future and its path to becoming a large and mature company.
  • And, of course, the CEO works all day and night and is totally shattered.

How much better would it be if the staff made the decisions they need to make around their designated tasks and the middle management team exercised their energies on designing the plans and the business for Tomorrow? This would leave the CEO and the senior management team to focus on the company’s future growth, engaging more effectively with the company shareholders and largely out of the operational noise of running the day to day business.

Managing resources with a functional deployment framework

Typically companies don’t invest enough time in identifying and framing the critical functions of their business. How often are managers ‘wondering’ what their reports are actually doing when they advise yet again that they haven’t had the time to provide a deliverable or complete a task on time. Working with a well-defined functional deployment structure brings clarity around who does what and to whom they are responsible. It ensures that all the critical functions in the business receive due attention, including those of a long-term strategic nature. It introduces a matrix approach to management for the critical functions and a culture in the company through which people are fully empowered take on full responsibility for every aspect of their job role.

Engaging the workforce in the assembly of the functional deployment chart and the documentation of their individual roles and responsibilities creates a powerful dynamic. At all levels of the business there is now greater clarity as to who does what, who owns what and how this will support the vision and purpose of the business. A greater sense of purpose and ownership and opportunity leads to a marked increase in productivity – potentially up to a 30% improvement. Implementing such a model involves delegating the newly clarified tasks and responsibilities down the line enabling more junior managers and staff to take ownership and responsibility for the functions they now run.

A scaled and scalable business

With the functional deployment structure in place the CEO and the senior management team can now focus on building the business and its future. There is now a more appropriate balance across the company between the time spent on delivery of Today’s product and services, design and deployment of Tomorrow’s resources and processes and planning for the company’s Future growth. It’s an opportunity to reset the management culture and secure a work/life balance across the company to encourage momentum and sustainability.   

New energy can be directed at leveraging the inherent skills and resources and exploring investments, alliances and partnerships with other parties that can propel the business forward in line with the company’s refreshed vision and purpose.

There’s now a new set of questions to be asked... 

  • What does next year’s functional deployment structure look like?
  • What additional capacity and skills do we need to plan for to enable delivery of a larger and broader set of products and services? 
  • Which staff align well with their new functionally orientated positions and which need retraining to slot into more appropriate roles going forward?
  • Which staff have ‘shone’ during the implementation of the new deployment initiative and are candidates for current and future key management roles?

Forward thinking of this nature means that, as the upscaling of the business kicks in the existing resources aren’t stretched to breaking point causing loss of key staff at critical junctures. And that is critical when determining how scalable a business really is.

About the Author

Executive Coach and successful provider and creator of Treasury and IT services to clients. Significant project management, consulting and training experience. Positive and creative.

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