One of my executive clients asked me to help resolve a cultural issue that was hampering his ability to transform his organization. Upon examination, I discovered he had a significant problem with cross-functional dysfunction because people didn’t understand expectations across the organization.

I interviewed a few of his top leaders and facilitated a conversation about the work in their areas and the requirements they had of each other. In some cases, leaders had no idea what other leaders needed to be successful in their respective organizations.

We scheduled two more meetings where we included selected middle managers. Here we discussed in more detail the requirements from one another and how we would fulfill those. We also noted that this transformation would require employees to work together differently than was previously required. Employees would need to better cooperate and collaborate more frequently. We defined the required behavioral characteristics and the outcomes required from those behavioral changes.

We then devised a plan the middle-managers used to drive the implementation. Voila! Success.

Lesson learned? Sometimes we try to change behavior without being clear about the structural outcomes or structural implications. Structure and culture work together to make an organization more efficient and more successful.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve