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As the pace of change accelerates, many organizations find their traditional structures and hierarchies are hindering flexibility and adaptability.

Rigid reporting lines, siloed departments, and complex processes designed for stability often struggle in turbulent times. This is where the Change Aspect of the Enterprise Agility framework comes into play—providing principles and practices to help companies reimagine outdated organizational designs.

At the core of the Change Aspect is the recognition that exponential change requires fundamentally new approaches to organizing people and work. It encourages enterprises to experiment with streamlined structures, decentralized decision-making, cross-functional teams, and more network-based relationships. Some key ways the Change Aspect helps overhaul organizational structures and hierarchies include:

Fostering a "Structure Follows Strategy" Mentality

The Change Aspect promotes regularly re-evaluating structures based on evolving business conditions and strategies. Form should follow function. Rather than defaulting to hierarchy for control, examine what structure best serves the organization's goals and customers. Avoid one-size-fits-all models.

Empowering People Closest to the Work

Outdated hierarchies with multiplemanagement layers often hamper agility. The Change Aspect advocates pushing decision authority and resources to cross-functional teams closest to the work. Frontline employees usually have the best insights on solving customer problems.

Enabling Self-Managed Networks

Silos that hoard knowledge and skills inhibit sensing market shifts. The Change Aspect endorses forming fluid networks across functional boundaries. People self-organize based on purpose and expertise rather than formal position. Leaders act as network enablers versus controllers.

Adopting the 12 Accelerated Change Principles

While controversial, the Change Aspect explores how elements of 12 Accelerated Change Principles can enhance adaptability. It provides guardrails to balance innovation with alignment.

Leveraging Technology to Connect People

Digital platforms and collaboration tools empower on-demand coordination. The Change Aspect examines how technology can support decentralized decision making and information sharing beyond the org chart. Virtual connections become critical.

Of course, the Change Aspect recognizes changing the hierarchy has major risks. Its goal is to strike the right balance between structure and flexibility. But given rapid disruptions, companies must re-examine old models and begin adopting more agile approaches to organizing people and work.

By leveraging the Change Aspect, leaders can thoughtfully evolve their structures and companies structures to meet the demands of an exponential world.

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