Leading an organization requires a broad range of capabilities and skills, from developing an effective strategy to establishing a structure that will allow you to realize the organizations’ objectives, to selecting, resourcing and developing the people that make it all happen. While we’ve addressed the importance of each element of the organizational model and the role of a leader relative to each, we need to address the most critical role the leader plays relative to ALL of these elements simultaneously, and that is balance.
Taken individually, each of these elements seems fairly straightforward. When viewed in concert with one another, the ongoing interactivity that evolves as the organization grows stimulates the development of increasingly complex and dynamic relationships between these organizational components. A leader’s final and ongoing role in ensuring for and maintaining the balance necessary between them in order to achieve the organization’s desired results.
When viewing this model it’s helpful to view it first from the perspective of initially standing up an organization. First, the organizational strategy must be developed. The structure required to execute it should be derived from that strategy. Finally, the capacity and capability of the people required to facilitate the execution of that structure should be established. While this is an effective way to view the initial establishment of an organization, it does not account for the actual dynamic environment alluded to above. This is where balance comes in, through the vigilant evaluation of results and diligent application of leadership.
As the organization begins to execute its strategy and results are realized, a leader should assess those results to determine if they are both those that were anticipated and desired. If the assessment determines that either or neither is the case, then the components, in order to achieve the desired results, and consequently maintain balance.
For instance, the initial structure dictates a certain capability at a certain capacity, but during execution you determine that you are exceeding the results anticipated. You further determine that you are exceeding results because either the required capacity was initially overestimated, or the established structure is incorrect due to the better than anticipated capability of your people. In either case, you may need to adjust the structure to accommodate that realization. This assessment of results and subsequent adjustments (if required) illustrates the application of maintaining organizational balance.