Structure supports strategy

Ideally, strategy is the result of a thoughtful process.

Richard Rumelt defines that “strategy is a set of rules and measures that helps solve a complex problem.”

That said, it follows that if you execute a strategy well, it’s thoughtful to set your organization up or adapt it in such a way that the design of the organization becomes a driver in achieving your strategy and goals.

Apple is an interesting case. They are one of the most profitable companies in the world. One of the reasons they are just that is because they are extremely data-driven. It is part of their strategy.

Many companies say they are. Apple drives it to extremes. Just look at their job opening section with this lens and you’ll see what I mean. They have over 600 job openings involving data analysis today.

They have data analysts in every conceivable corner of their business. This allows them close to real-time resource planning and accounting and to:

  • Optimize margins through top and bottom line interventions continuously;
  • Adapt organizational structure based on impulses from data as and when needed, in real time;
  • Remain fiercely competitive in cost/profit optimization even towards the end of a product’s life cycle.

In short, they are as close to complete “control” over resources, cost and margins as you can be in a company. By design. And that’s a perfect example of how you can use organizational structure to support a strategy.

How does your organisational design support delivering your strategy?

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