Restructure to accelerate digitization

Company structures, in this digital age, cannot resemble a structure designed during the industrial, analog era. What is there to understand?

Firstly, modern machinery like smartphones, tablets and laptops are portable. Production, maintenance scheduling or sales activities can be worked on as easily at home as in the office. As the Economist so eloquently said, “Turning an office into a prison, with inmates allowed home for the evenings, does nothing for the creativity that is increasingly demanded of office workers… .” This directly impacts the corporate structure because in a digital environment, delegation and oversight are both made redundant.

The second point is that “work” is no more the cascading of executive ideas downward into an operational system. But rather, work is the conversion, monitoring and fine tuning of the production and support systems. Something akin to vacuuming up all analog work and converting it into digital autonomous processes.

The third fundamental point is that work performance is not about delivering a routine outcome – that is a given (and being transparent, also known by all) – it is about having improved production through digital systems in real time, every day. Stated differently, it is the removal of variance though digital processes and improved predictive capabilities.

Aligning your company means you have to clean out a lot of the old structure even before you start your digital transformation. Restructuring first will actually enable an acceleration of digitization. And then with digitization, the new structure can organically happen as your digital journey matures. The economics of our digital era will simply eradicate any company trying to survive with an analog structure.

Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe is a partner of VCI Ltd, a global strategy design company. Gideon is well known for his development and implementation of unique methodologies and strategic insights that deliver truly extraordinary results to clients. As a visionary, Gideon has orchestrated some of the largest strategy, innovation, and digitization projects in the Mining & Metals and Oil & Gas industries, the results of which have become enduring models worldwide.

 

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