Organizational alignment can help with the execution of strategy. A well-designed organization typically aims for a lean structure that can reflect the strategy closely. The lean organizational design builds on few management layers, i.e. a small number of levels between the CEO and the frontline of the company. Intuitively, a flat organization makes sense. But two questions invariably come up: “What are the advantages of few layers of management?” And, “Is a flat organization always desirable?”
FIVE ADVANTAGES OF A FLAT ORGANIZATION
Five reasons explain why few management layers are good for a company
A flat organization requires employees to perform more functions and exercise greater value judgment. These requirements present a few implications:
Given the above, it follows that a flat organizational design may not be appropriate for businesses that need a high degree of control, highly specialized expertise, or a centralized structure. Therefore, adopting a flat organizational design across companies is not a done deal.
However, for those companies where a flat organizational design is applicable, it is highly recommended even though obstacles can arise during the implementation. Namely these are:
In sum, a flat organization is preferable to a tall organization whenever possible. A structure that is lean and dynamic allows the company to follow strategy more closely and greatly improves the odds of successful strategy execution.
To learn more about strategy execution and the role of organizational alignment, view our publication: “Organizational Alignment: Deploying for Strategy.”