A senior executive and consultant with more than two decades of experience working with nonprofit, private, and public companies, Todd Lovejoy serves as the co-founder of TAL Management Services, LLC. Todd Lovejoy and his team help startups, nonprofits, and mid-cap companies to implement effective organizational structures.
Organizational structure plays a big role in workplace productivity and efficiency. However, it can be difficult to determine when a company needs an overhaul. Below are a few signs:
Making a decision requires at least three people.
Although it’s normal for companies to have one or two people sign off on a decision before it is implemented, those that require three or more sign-offs do not function very smoothly. Decisions should be quick to make and approve. If they are not, companies may need to reevaluate their current structure.
Departments aren’t efficiently sharing information.
When departments start acting on their own, it is a strong sign that a company’s organizational structure has become ineffective. This situation prevents departments from communicating with one another properly and can leave certain tasks incomplete or poorly done. It also leaves certain individuals out of the loop and can gum up the works of a business’ operations.
Customer service starts failing.
Effective organizational structure promotes positive interactions with customers and ensures customer service representatives understand problems that come up. Ineffective structures, on the other hand, cannot cohesively handle customer issues, which results in inconsistent solutions from customer to customer. Further, poor service can push customers away and decrease revenue.
Todd Lovejoy brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to TAL Management Services, an organizational management and financial planning business he founded in Livermore, California. A Sigma Six Black Belt and certified lean manufacturing professional, Todd Lovejoy possesses a proven track record of delivering organizational structure to for-profit and nonprofit entities. The following are five tips to achieve effective organizational structure:
1. Develop a sound strategy. A sound strategy begins with a clear understanding of your organization’s objectives, visions, and values. The goal of achievement for your business will directly impact your organization’s design and culture, particularly in regard to how trends may evolve in the future. Your strategy will need to take into account both the current situation and potential future trends, enabling you to adapt as needed.
2. Identify requirements for success. Create a comprehensive outline of the requirements and capabilities your organization needs in order to succeed. You will need to factor people and processes into your outline. Furthermore, determine whether your organization needs to outperform competing business, perform on par with them, or simply meet minimum standards for industry compliance.
3. Garner feedback. Seek feedback from your team and the individuals at every level of your organization. Not only does this increase morale by making employees feel involved, but it also provides you with an alternate perspective on potential problems and issues.
4. Establish a clear chain of command. Establishing a clear chain of command will ensure that all personnel know whom to report to and the individuals that work above or below them. Chains of command typically come in two forms: long and short. Longer chains of command place more individuals in leadership positions and enable business owners to distribute responsibilities.
5. Determine centralization. Centralization concerns who makes the major decisions for an organization or business. Decision making is either centralized, with a single individual making decisions, or decentralized, with power spread out across multiple teams or individuals.
Todd Lovejoy is a former CEO and COO who currently provides executive leadership for TAL Management Services, a consulting and financing firm he founded. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Todd Lovejoy is also an expert in the Six Sigma Black Belt methodology.
Six Sigma is a business methodology designed to identify and remove problems through standardization and efficient managerial concepts. Created by Motorola in 1986, Six Sigma also can be combined with the Lean methodology, a concept that originated with Henry Ford. Lean is designed to streamline business methods to achieve fast and efficient processes. When implemented together, these two business models are known as Lean Six Sigma.
The benefits of Lean Six Sigma include:
– Increases in profits by eliminating waste and streamlining production processes.
– Decreases in costs by cutting out unnecessary practices and removing problems.
– Increases in efficiency by removing waste and shifting the focus of the organization to growth and high-quality outputs.
– Increases in employee growth, satisfaction, and accountability by involving workers in the improvement process.
Todd Lovejoy is the co-founder of TAL Management Services, a business consulting firm headquartered in Livermore, California. Bringing more than two decades of experience working with a range of different companies across several sectors, Todd Lovejoy formerly worked at Plexus Corporation in Wisconsin.
Plexus Corporation provides a product realization model for branding and marketing for the communications, industrial, military, and healthcare industries. In its work, the company focuses on social responsibility, including a commitment to protecting the natural environment.
Each year, Plexus Corporation reviews its sustainability program to ensure it is promoting efficient resource use and environmental stewardship. Between 2011 and 2014, the company cut production waste by 1,200 metric tons, recycled nearly 70 percent of the waste it produced, and prevented more than half of its hazardous waste from going to a landfill.
By recycling 2,929 metric tons of paper within the company, Plexus Corporation protected 70,000 trees and stopped 20.5 million gallons of water waste. Carbon emissions have also gone down dramatically since the company implemented the program in 2009.