Why Structure is So Important to Leadership

improving productivity

Have the right behaviors, but also the right structure.

INOVATION IS THE CORNERSTONE for surviving and thriving in today’s world of V.U.C.A, Volitivity, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity; or what I describe in a white paper of the same name, The New Normal 2.0. To not be aware of nor respond to the seismic changes in our economy, demographics, buying patterns and workforce demands is a recipe for disaster. We all know of companies who had leaders that failed because they didn’t respond to these market changes. It doesn’t help when we devalue some traditional characteristics of leadership.

Leadership isn’t just about a set of behaviors. Leadership is a structure on which behaviors can be effective. There should be more emphasis on structure. We should be asking:

  • Does the leader work under a clear and compelling mission and set of strategies?
  • Do they know the goals they are accountable for?
  • Are they and everyone else on their team clear of their roles and responsibilities?
  • Do they know who is ultimately in charge for each project for function?
  • Are they certain how work gets handed off and is there a clear escalation process for issues? Do they have a good structure for how they run meetings and make decisions?

Especially today, companies should re-examine, redesign, remove or improve every aspect of their business. Because of, not despite of these pressures to innovate and achieve short-term results, we should not devalue or abandon sound structure. A leader without a solid structure is just an employee with good influencing skills.

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“A hyperconnected organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks.”
― Pearl Zhu, Quality Master