“If organizational structure is so important to the way things work,” I asked, “where do we start?”
“It always starts with the founder, entrepreneur, “Pablo replied. “Someone had an idea for a company, so they start it. It starts with that idea.”
“Yes, but immediately think about timespan,” Pablo inserted. “I know the founder thinks about where that first customer will come from, but successful thinking starts with what that organization will look like in the future. What will things look like in five years? And, that’s the start of structure.”
“How so?” I said, looking for something more specific.
“Don’t overthink this,” Pablo admonished. “Structure starts with a series of contexts, the first context exists in the imagination of the founder, long term. This is what the organization will look like in its market, including customers, competitors, vendors, supply chain, delivery chain. This is a complex context, passed along, inside the company.”
“The next layer of context is shorter, goals and objectives 2-5 years in length. This is a cascade, a nesting inside the vision and mission.”
The cascade continues,” Pablo explained. “The next context shorter, 1-2 years. With the next context 3-12 months, followed by the next context 1 day to 3 months. Organizational structure is simply a cascade of nested contexts within which people work.
S-V – 5-10 years
S-IV – 2-5 years
S-III – 1-2 years
S-II – 3-12 months
S-I – 1 day-3 months
“Layers inside the company, levels of work, all based on the timespan of their related goals and objectives.”