What You Need to Know
- Org charts are not organizational strategies.
- A lack of clear communication lines can lead to confusion and overwhelm staff.
- The easiest way to grow a firm is make sure your organization strategy has clear communication flows.
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “organizational strategy”?
Many advisory firm owners think about boxes on a piece of paper. Inside those boxes are the names of employees. The senior-level employees are at the top of the page, and less-experienced employees are in boxes at the bottom. Also included, no doubt, are a lot of lines pointing from one box to another to show who manages each staff member.
While organizational strategy might result in a chart like the one described above, that’s not what it really is.
Organizational strategy is the process by which you align communication flow throughout your firm. When the communication flow is good, service and growth are good, too. But when the lines of communication get crossed, growth typically stalls.
This is why you must fix the way communication flows internally.
Understand Communication Flow
Communication (or the lack of it) is one of the main determinants in why a firm ultimately succeeds or fails. How and what you communicate to others is the foundation of great client service and a well-functioning team.
Growth is limited by rampant miscommunication, which unfortunately is common. It takes time and energy to learn to communicate well and to listen to what others are trying to say.
It also means knowing who is communicating, and to whom this commication is directed. While an organizational strategy might feel like boxes on a chart, its real purpose is to illustrate how a firm communicates.
As consultants, we often can pinpoint in a few minutes where there is conflict, internal communication problems and low productivity simply by looking at an organizational chart, which usually has lines going in too many directions.
If you want to solve your firm’s human capital problems, partnership conflicts and employee turnover issues, the first area to examine is your organizational strategy.
Generally, firms will try to solve these problems by teaching communication techniques. Helpful, but not as effective as a well-designed organizational strategy.