A recent report from the Boston Consulting Group 'Boosting Performance Through Organisational Design' has found six key factors of workplace design that define top performing organisations.
The study focused on what separates top performing organisations (those with high levels of growth and profitability) from other companies.
These factors include classic areas of organisational design:
- A value adding corporate centre
- Clearly defined profit and loss responsibilities
- Effective use of shared services
And emerging organisational design factors including:
- Adopting agile ways of working
- A flat management structure with a strong frontline focus
- Strong support of people and collaboration
When companies incorporate all six of these factors into their organisation, they are 50% more likely to be a top performer (compared to competitors with similar companies). By contrast, companies that only include one factor have a 20% chance of being a top performer, and a 44% chance of underperforming.
Interestingly, it is the emerging concept of having an agile workplace that has the biggest effect on an organisations chances of being a top performer.
The impact of having an agile workforce
Having an agile workforce is the area that is likely to have the biggest impact on organisational growth and profitability. While 73% of survey respondents said that workplace agility is important only half of these respondents said that their company had adopted agile working practices.
The term agile is a concept ‘borrowed from software development’ and describes workplace processes that emphasise speed, autonomy and teamwork to get products to the market faster. Truly agile companies build the practice of being agile into everything they do.
“They make it a point to create agile leadership models where managers become coaches and give teams leeway to figure out how to reach set targets.”
Fabrice Roghé - Senior Partner at the Boston Consulting Group.
There are numerous benefits of having an agile organisation, including:
- Greater staff engagement
- Ease of attracting and retaining new staff members
- Quicker response times to meet changing customer needs
- A reduction in the time taken to get new products to market
- Increased organisational transparency
- Better collaboration between departments.