Organisational Structure: 6 Tips for Business Structure Success

The Importance of Organisational Structure

The structure of your organisation can make the difference between a business succeeding and a business failing. We have all heard about the businesses that had “too much success” and was not able to scale up to meet the demand of their product. We also know about businesses that were too slow to respond to change, to identify new innovations, or even just to listen to new ideas by their employees. In order to prevent this happening to your business, below are 6 recommendations.

6 Top Tips on How to Structure an Organisation

  1. Make your mission. What is your business mission? Is it something you passionately talk about each day? If someone asked other employees in your business would they too know and share the business mission, or is it something you wrote on a business plan that now hides in some drawer? If you want your business to go in a clear direction, everyone must understand where that direction is, they must share that mission, so that each day as they work they are able to consider whether what they are doing is taking them a step closer to realising it.
  2. The missions of the masses. Agree individual missions of employees that help lead the business towards its core mission as well as towards their personal goals. After hiring staff, identify what their mission will be within the organisation and how that will help to meet the overall mission of the organisation. This can be broken down into a number of objectives over a number of timescales e.g. over the year, each month, each week etc. Performance reviews can later take this into account as a means of evaluating if the person has been on track with reaching their mission.
  3. Value your values. Just like your mission, it is important to consider what are your business values. These will give your business character, a personality, and will help to distinguish your business from others. Any future decision should then be consistent with these values.
  4. Have a flat business structure. With a flat business structure there is less hierarchy and bureaucracy. It speeds it communication and it ignites innovation. When members of the organisation feel they are on a more level playing field and feel valued for their input, they are more likely to contribute both in terms of their expected contribution I.e. what was agreed in their contract, as well as unexpected contributions, such as proposing new ideas and introducing friends and contacts to the business. Which can be just as valuable, if not more when looking at the impact on the bottom-line.
  5. Be see-through. With complete transparency there is nothing to hide, everyone knows all there is to know and now they can proceed to get the job done. Sometimes people fear releasing certain information to the public, but if you want to create a culture based on trust and innovation, essentially a culture that will survive, then these values must permeate through all levels of the organisation. By revealing all financial and statistical information it also makes it easy for teams to track their development, compare how they are performing against other teams and create reasonable goals to aim towards.
  6. Self-organised. Structure the organisation using self-organised teams. This type of team is known to be extremely potent in terms of resourcefulness, creativity and its ability to achieve. So create a team of people who each are skilled in a particular area that would be beneficial for the project. Inform the team of the project aim and its outline. Ensure there is a leader who can provide authority to remove any roadblocks should the team come across any. As long as they get support when needed and are free to investigate ideas, teams will often find innovative ideas, new processes and have a fundamental impact upon organisations.

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The Need To Use PC and Internet Technology More Productively In African Societies

Africans Need To Open Up To Technology

Too many times I see people in 21st century African societies clinging to old ways of doing things – almost as if scared of the new and sometimes radically different ALTERNATIVE ways now made possible by advancements in technology.

A perfect example of this is readily seen in the prevailing attitude towards the use of PC/Internet technology. I have travelled to a number of African states and cities in my own country, Nigeria. The problem persists: People have a seeming aversion for putting these powerful and cost-effective tools to productive use.

Don’t get me wrong. We are using these tools. BUT it is what we use them for most times, that I quarrel with. Forget the 419 Yahoo! mail scam artists. Theirs is a fallout of THIS. Information Technology is for a THINKING society’s use in creating and developing value adding resources that benefit others. What I see is that many of us just love to purchase, own and SHOW OFF our IT tools, instead of exploiting them to move to the next level.

Large majorities of our people remain in awe of Internet technology, rather than seeing it as the greatest leveler of all times, that TODAY makes it possible for any willing person from any part of the world to exert a felt impact on people and places worldwide, without physically getting there!

Why Don’t Our Schools Use PC/Internet Technology Well?

Why for instance is it that we do not have a proliferation of educational institutions using the Internet to cheaply pass on knowledge to their learners in a way that will allow the latter to pay LESS tuition – if at all any?

No, I do not accept that what schools and some universities are currently doing by having computer centers equates to what I am describing here. What I am after is the ACTIVE use of the PC and Internet technology as a means of more effectively delivering knowledge to learners within and beyond the local environment.

THAT is NOT happening in our institutions currently. Yes, they conduct computer and Internet appreciation classes, BUT that’s where it ends. There is little or no effort put into using these tools to CREATE and INNOVATE. That’s why our educational institutions cannot boast of having website (if they have a web site that is!) visitors that come regularly to browse and download useful learning materials developed by their OWN teachers/pupils or lecturers/students.

Many times it is the members of OUR institutions that go online to websites of OTHER institutions in developed societies to search for and download information about our own societies! Even if they were to be patriotic and tried to find web sites run by Africans living in Africa, their chances of finding the exact (and up to date) information they want would be slim.

Africans In Diaspora Use The Internet Better – & MORE

Frequently, when we do have Africans maintaining reasonably up to date web sites, a little checking soon reveals the site is run by Africans based in developed societies. Yet, the truth is that it is NOT that our local environment makes it difficult to use PC/Internet technology this way. My personal experiences confirm this.

It is simply a matter of some kind of mental “barrier” or limit we have imposed on ourselves and which needs to be broken through by each of us if we are to stand any chance at all of taking advantage of these tools to improve the lives of our people.

SOME EXCEPTIONS: By the way, there are exceptions to this general problem in Africa that I complain about here. If you try visiting web sites maintained by universities in African countries like South Africa, Egypt, and a few others, you will almost think they are not based here.

ANY Individual Can Use The Internet Profitably

As a self-employed person in a society where the sales/marketing costs can be quite high and erratic, I have successfully established and maintained a considerably high profile web presence in line with my business vision.

My email subscriber database has grown as more people request some free offers provided in my articles. Note that they do this of their own free will and that suggests they not only found my article interesting enough to be useful, but they were also impressed enough to go one step further to request copies of additional information that I offered in the body of my writings.

If I can do the foregoing, with the limited resources I have, then ANY African individual or organisation can achieve similar, if not better, results.

It Actually Costs VERY VERY Little To Maintain A Web site

And to think that it can cost less than $50 naira equivalent to pay for domain name registration and hosting for a simple site. Add to this the fact that various web site design tools now allow even a novice build and maintain a decent web site presence. One wonders then what many of us are waiting for?