Tactics to Make Your Business a Networked Organization, Part 3
In the third and final part of this multipart series on the steps businesses must take to become networked organizations, which details how organizational structures and processes can make managing the demand of a product or service a process-based, predictable and repeatable science, we examine how implementing relationship thinking in favor of process thinking leads to better run businesses.
If your company or unit is growing quickly, you might have five people in a small group who are playing three or four roles each. As you grow, you might have more people playing these roles. You could have 20 people, each of them finding new roles all the time. Each role demands resources to support it.
Meanwhile, human resources is focused on job descriptions. These multiple roles make it a struggle to write job descriptions these days. There's a built-in conflict where people tend to take on the roles they're most suited for — regardless of their job titles.
What happens when you're playing three or four roles? You're evaluated and paid for one job. This happens in business units as well. In a call center, for example, the compensation system typically pays for the job of providing information to customers who ask questions. However, there are at least three other roles that call-center employees play:
- A strategic role, because they know what’s happening with the whole population of partners and customers.
- An advisory role to production, because they're the first to know what customers’ issues are.
- A design role, linking people who are creating new products and services with the customer needs those new products and services must meet.
So frontline call-center employees play all these roles. It requires time, resources and a mastery of technology to work with the information, manage it and share it. Top management must understand the additional value creation, funding those roles and not just paying employees to provide answers to customer questions.