Social Structures: The Good, Bad & Ugly

As a Mckinsey Alumni, I remember an old saying my senior partners taught me a long time ago  - Structure rules Strategy, but it shouldn't! Looking back, I can clearly affirm this insight, despite the fact that strategy (economic thesis) drives results, not structure.  In fact, the wrong structure can hamper innovation, growth and social interactions - the engine of new products and services in our connected world.

When you look at the various structures that now rule some of the most well-known companies in the tech space, you can see that structure is ruling the economic results of these companies.  If however, leaders of these, and most other, companies really wanted to change their financial results - like Microsoft and Oracle - they  need to change their structures - from top down and hierarchical to flat and nimble.

Slowly but surely, today's social, mobile and cloud world is forcing how leaders think about their organizational structures as the nature of how business is done and and governments are run comes under-attack.  If your board and leaders want to minimize risks and be relevant in the connected age, they  need start today and let strategy drive structure and not the reverse.  The results will be well worth the journey.

Cailin DarcyComment