Structure Comes First, Outcomes Come Second

Why is it that we are so shocked when companies shut down or are slow to adapt to change? We shouldn’t be surprised, because we create organization that do what they are supposed to do.

We as humans are good at building things that do what they are supposed to do. We have clear intentions when we build or create something like a car engine, a computer or an office building and we make sure they are built to fulfill their intended purposes.

We also build organizations. But a lot of times we seem shocked and surprised when an organization fails or is too slow to adapt or faces major challenges. We look at companies like Kodak or Tower Records, for example, and see how they disappeared or we look at United and see the major issues they are facing. These things shouldn’t surprise us because we create organizations that do what they are supposed to do. Organizations are built to not anticipate the future or to not withstand change.

If you want hierarchies to be flattened or managers that act more like coaches and mentors, you have to build your organization with those things in mind. The thing that you build is the outcome that you should expect to get. We need to think about the structure differently; structure comes first, outcomes come second.

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Jacob Morgan is a best-selling author, speaker, and futurist. His new book, The Employee Experience Advantage (Wiley) analyzes over 250 global organizations to understand how to create a place where people genuinely want to show up to work. Subscribe to his newsletter, visit TheFutureOrganization, or become a member of the new Facebook Community The Future If…and join the discussion.

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