Everyone strives to build a great product, but at Yammer we are also focused on building a great company. We live in a world of constant change, where companies must learn how to adapt to survive. Your products and your goals for those products will inevitably change over time — some faster than others; so building an organization that embraces change is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge and staying ahead of market shifts.
So what is the best way to approach organizational structure? First, you must be willing to abandon the traditional org chart. Your organization is comprised of all of the ways employees communicate and collaborate to build your products and get work done. When you place importance on people versus their role in an organization and allow them to self-organize into groups to get work done, you will notice many inefficiencies disappear. Your employees often know the best and fastest ways to accomplish company goals and when they have the freedom to make decisions about processes and tools — that is when true innovation happens.
In order to maintain the velocity that comes from giving your employees the freedom to self-organize, decentralization is key. The companies that are the best equipped to deal with change are the most decentralized, but they are also the best at aligning employees around shared goals and objectives. And the key to alignment is transparency. If every team in your company has visibility into what other teams are working on, then collaboration toward a common goal becomes easier than ever.
Velocity, decentralization, alignment and transparency have become core tenets of our culture and our organizational structure at Yammer.
In my talk at the Silicon Valley Bank CEO Summit West, I discussed how companies can build more innovative adaptable organizations.
Are you building a company or a product?
How do you structure your organization for move quickly, with minimum overhead and maximum alignment? Are your employees empowered to make decisions and take action consistent with Company’s goals?