There is a lot of talk about agile organisations but what no body talks about are that your management layers will hinder your agile organisation. There are countless examples from people that I know that tell the same story. Top management need to do something to react to todays challenges so they jump on the agile-organisation train. They take in a consultant make a lot of workshops, change the organisation but keep the top management levels intact. What happens? Basically nothing. Things work as before but now with an agile twist. To be true agile decisions need to be taken by the most suitable people on the floor and not a manager. Old organisations are unfortunately not built for agility but rather like a pyramid leading to several implications:

1.     One of the most important implication is that top managements is to far away from your customers = death in the long run. Family businesses that grow large survive as long as the owners are active since the owners have built the company from the floor and up. As soon as the owners are removed bureaucrats and career minded people take over and suck the life out of a company.

2.     Pyramid organisations get into autopilot. Auto pilot mode is dangerous since you will not see what will hit you until it is too late. For example Netflix has caught many broadcasting companies by surprise and they are now in a downward trend. You also spend more time on processes than on innovation.

3.     Too many management layers lead to politics. Politics consumes your organisations energy. Your energy should be focused to solve customer problems and innovate the next thing.

4.     Management layers are the kryptonite for agility. Agile means that you react to your customers. How fast you can react depends on your organisational setup.

The organisation that I think have the best setup is actually Google/Alphabet. The setup is so smart that the output can be seen in the number of innovations that comes steadily each year. It seems that Alphabet can do anything they set out to do.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply