One of the biggest issues I see when implementing an organisational chart is that it’s enabling the ‘silo’ mentality approach to business which can enable attitudes of ‘Well that’s not my job’ to nurture. The larger the company the larger this issue can be.. And this can be further compounded when teams have contradictory KPIs..

The Sales and Marketing Contradiction

I always like to use the Marketing and Sales example here as it clearly highlights the issue! The fact that we always call it sales and marketing, when marketing (and referring to lead generation) is actually the 1st step in the sales funnel.

Typically what I see is that one of key the activities within the marketing remit is clearly to generate leads… so naturally you would think that having the quantity of leads generated on a weekly / monthly basis would be a good KPI to have..yes? Well I’m here to say it’s not.. as metrics drive behaviours, and with that, the wrong metrics drive the wrong behaviours. Quality is always much more important than quantity..

So what do you think the consequence here is?

Well sales then have to flush those leads and waste time on discovering that a large proportion of those leads were useless. Along with that, when you compound all the activities, time and money, there is substantial waste here.. and this is where the attitude of ‘Us v Them’ can foster.. marketing saying that sales don’t do anything with the leads we give them and then sales saying they can’t do anything with the leads marketing pass on.. I’m not saying this is every sales and marketing team I work with, but the concept is true for lots of businesses and how siloed departments can actually be.. This is detrimental to business success.

The problem here is that there are 2 distinct departments with a different set of metrics to answer to.

Using the Structure to enable Collaboration

I’m sure you all know that business is tough at the best of times, and small businesses are always exposed to the trading elements. This is why getting structures to work for you and not against you, ensuring you are using (and not abusing) your staff in the most effective manner, is crucial to long term and sustainable success.

If you struggle with this, I ask that you think of your business like a conveyor belt, that goes around and around.. If something stops in a department, that conveyor belt stops, which prevents things moving to the next stage. That will have a consequence down stream, maybe not immediately.. but it will and that could be in relation to orders with customers, the very last thing you want to happen.

The key is to keep that conveyor belt moving and you do that by knowing where the pain points are, one of which is the transfer of knowledge / information to the next step in the process between different business areas. These transfer steps are some of the biggest bottlenecks I see in business and a simple tweak in the org structure can solve this very quickly.


The Value of a Collaborative Team Structure – Video Transcript

Hi, Shay Lynch here, director of Future State, and in today’s video I wanna talk about your team structure because this has a huge implication on the success of your business for good or bad, okay? And what I wanna go through is just a simple example of how you can consider setting it up for success. Now in this example, I’m only showing four different teams, now, you could have more, if you’re like a manufacturing company, you could have purchasing, you could have logistics, you could have warehousing, but just to keep it simple, I’m just going for a sort of a simple service development style approach, okay? So you’re getting to a stage in your business where it’s starting to grow and it requires a structure. How you start that off is extremely important, right? Because one of the biggest issues I see in business is when their team structure is setup, they are very siloed, okay? So look at this example like, so you’re a leader, you have a marketing team, right? That just, you know, generate leads for your sales team then to work on and flush out and then close and get orders. And then once you get to sales, you’ve got your operations team figuring things out, and your delivery of service. Okay, so you have this structure here, right. But a lot of the issues I see with a traditional team hierarchy is that it’s very siloed. So you have marketing, just focused on the marketing, you’ve sales just focused on sales, operations on operations and service delivery on delivery. Now, you may say to me, “Well, what’s wrong with that too” That’s exactly what they should be doing. And for 80% of the time, you’re absolutely correct. But the problem there are a number of key issues I see. When I see structures like this, right. And just to give you a few examples, right? One of the biggest winning teams is us against them. So when marketing have done their job, they go, “Well, I’ve done my job, I’ve met my KPIs. “So I’ve done my job, I can go home happy now”. And then sales may go like, “Well, we’ve been given “leads from marketing, but they’re not very good. “So we can’t do anything. We’re not very happy. “So we can’t really do much”. And therefore, your operations suffer because you don’t get much sales. And then you haven’t gotten much service delivery right? That is very typical of what I see. And going back to KPIs contradictory KPIs. So another thing I see is when I go into and I’m not used marketing and sales as an example, again, because this is where I see it most. Marketing will have a set of KPIs, and they’re all about generating X amount of leads true, but one of the biggest metrics I see is just the number of leads, they can push into the funnel and send them sale so they can work on them Okay. But the problem with that is they’re focusing on volume and not quality. So they’ll do their job. So when I go into the marketing department and ask them, “What’s your biggest issue?” What they will say to me is that, “Well, we give sales, all these leads, “and they do nothing with them”. And they, like, they’re not very happy they get frustrated with sales. And they may have a bit of an F and a blowout, right? But when I go into sales, what they say to me, when I ask them what their biggest issue is, they say, “Well, we get all these terrible leads “from marketing, we can’t do anything with it”. Now, what’s the issue is there. They don’t communicate. They have the us against them versus them approach. And that leads to very poor results in the long term. And the problem with this is it’s very rigid, like just like a big line going across here that says, “I’ve done my job, now, it’s over to you”. That is a big issue of business. And the more you grow on your business, if you don’t address that in the beginning, the bigger that issue is going to become. So what is the solution? Well, it’s not a huge change in actually structure funny enough, but there’s a few fundamental mindset changes that you need to think of right? So instead of having siloed approaches here to your structure, right, yes, you will have marketing and sales, you’ll have these functions, right? But consider having something instead of just having the two of them there, make it so that just a crossover. Just like a handover process between the two departments, you know, and that’s the same old way to look for the natural synergies within your business where the different processes compliment or should complement each other. And a great example of marketing sales. Now I put these structure in an order because that’s the flow of information from left to right. And that’s the way you should always think of how your business should work. How do you get information and product if you do product from left to right as quickly as possible without compromising quality right? So the whole point is how can you move from left to right? so sales and marketing, how can you create crossovers here? And the same with sales and operations. What is the natural synergies there, and their natural synergies there? What can you do in your structure to support this? Well, there’s a few things you can do, right? This is all about thinking like an end to end structure, right? Where you have complementary activities, processing KPIs, and what you want to do is literally have a person responsible for this crossover between marketing and sales, and the same for sales and operations and so forth, operation delivery, and I call them collaborators. So what you want to do is implement key collaborators all the way across. And they become the glue between each department. So we, we remove this us against them mentality. This is so important. And this is crucial for success because at the end of the day, you’re all in it together, you’ve got the same goal to get more customers and improved quality, improved performance. So guess what you could stay in a job and service more people and do a really good job of doing that. So the better you, the smarter actually you think about this, the better results you’re gonna have. So the key is to implement collaborators, because another example like to show like a lot of people will have what’s called standard operating procedures within their business and they’re really, really good. They can help people come in new that are new to the business and get set up and moving very, very quickly on what to do in an area. But that’s all well and good. But the procedure stop again, I’ve marked all the marketing stuff of marketing. And I like to talk about the the relay and running, you know, where say if you have four people on the team around us, and track the 400 meters, 100 meters each, and you created an SLP for the first person, and then when they’re coming up to the second person, they’re opening their hand and they’re putting it forward and the back and forth. And then the other person, they have an SLP, who’s and putting their hand back so they can grab it, right? That’s all well and good. But what happens if the baton drops? Who takes responsibility because both parties did their job correctly, but something happened in the middle? And this is why you want these collaborators there, so nothing gets lost in between the teams. This is really important, and this can really super fire your results going forward into your business because you’ll have no more us against them. Instead of being rigid, you’ll have a really flexible team where everybody in the chain is working together because you have these fantastic links in between that are gonna keep the glue of your structure together. Now, will it always work? Absolutely not. Because, like anything and as I always say, you always need feedback, you need to see are they the right people? are they grabbing the right information? Are they making changes and decisions based on the information that are gonna make things better? So it’s important to always have this thing in your business called feedback. When you get that working very well, there’s nothing that will stop you in terms of achieving your future state. So over to you. What I always like to ask at the end of my videos is what are you going to do in your business to improve your structure to make it more flexible, to have it more complimentary, and how to collaborate is in your business so you have a really flowing end to end team structure in your business? Hope this makes sense. And if you have any questions, please get in touch. I’ll be delighted to help.