3 Guiding Principles to Effective Organizational Design

Where do you start?

Changing the organizational structure of your business can seem like a daunting task and naturally requires a great deal of thought. Before redesigning your organizational chart consider these guiding principles to help clarify your thinking.

1. Organize your business around positions, not around people.

The functions of your business are completed by the various positions in your organization. The people that fill these positions are vital but if you organize your business around their needs, you are not focusing on improving the functions of your business. How can you organize your business to ensure that positions and the people that fill them have a clear sense of their responsibility? Clarify what needs to be done and then create an organization chart to reflect the functions.

Tip: When you are working on your chart, imagine that you are starting with an entirely new staff.

2. Keep your organization as flat as possible

More agile decision making occurs when there are fewer layers of management and greater personal ownership of tasks. Too many layers can develop a “pass the buck” or “fiefdom” mentality where decisions that should be made quickly are over debated. Take a look at how to Supercharge your business with effective team development.

Tip: Assess whether you are receiving real value from each of your management positions.

3. No one should have more than one manager

Multiple managers for one position gets far too confusing when setting employee priorities. When multiple tasks must be completed for different departments of the company it is difficult to ask employees to juggle conflicting priorities.

Tip: If employees need to work in more than one department, assign one manager as the “primary” manager.

Prepare to Write

Keeping the functions of your business as the highest priority of your organizational structure will provide clarity to the roles and responsibilities of your people. To understand how employees work together take a look at 7 practical strategies for successful working relationships.

Mark Wardell's 10 Tips for Recession-Proofing Your Business



1. Focus on efficiencies

When times get tough, most people think about cutting back on their expenses, which is excellent advice if they have internal waste. But watch out for the trap of decreasing your margins. You can only cut costs so much. Eventually you also need to focus on the efficiencies of systems employed to operate your business. For example, almost every business could improve its production process by revamping employee job descriptions and workflow.

2. Embrace automation

While automating your production processes may absorb some cash up front, if you can afford it, it’s almost always worth the investment in the long run. The timing is usually right, because the cost of buying equipment typically comes down in a sliding economy.

3. Train, train, and train some more

Most business owners hire employees, and expect them to fit right in and do a great job. Then they get frustrated when things don’t instantly work out the way they planned. Instead, start every new hire with a comprehensive training program and establish a regular training schedule going forward. Depending on the job, this can often be accomplished in as little as 10 min per week.

3 Rules to Creating your Business Mission Statement

Why does your business exist?”

The answer to this fundamental question is often more difficult to uncover than meets the eye. A corporate mission is a way of understanding the purpose of your business beyond that of simply making money. A corporate mission statement is essentially a communication tool to give various stakeholders in your business a foundation for your work.

A corporate mission has a positive effect on your bottom line

A well-defined and properly communicated corporate mission will impact four specific areas:

  1. Your People
  2. Your Customers
  3. Your Suppliers
  4. Your Lenders

The creation of a business mission statement begins with you

Writing a mission statement should begin with a reflection on why you started the business in the first place. How did you begin? What did you want to accomplish? When you’re ready to engage your business, follow these steps to create your corporate mission.

1.       Your corporate mission statement must work for you

The principles of your mission statement must agree with your Personal Foundation. It’s your company, so if it doesn’t work for you, there’s very little point having one.

2.       Involve everyone in your business

A mission statement that only serves the interests of the owner is as good as no mission statement at all. The final decision is yours but feedback and opinions from the people in your business will build acceptance and adoption

3.       Give your people some place to start

Involving large groups can waste a tremendous amount of time and energy going around in circles if the agenda is too wide open. It’s much more efficient to solicit feedback and input in stages, based on your initial ideas than it is to begin with an open-ended question.

Your goal is to get your whole company moving in the same direction

Even the smallest companies can have a vision because every company should have a purpose. Some of the most successful companies have defined their missions and established a strong and effective corporate culture as a result. Here are some more examples of meaningful mission statements to get you started.


Google, Mission Statement:
Google's Mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful


The Body Shop, Mission Statement:
Our Reason For Being
  • To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.
  • To creatively balance the financial and human needs of our stakeholders: employees, customers, franchisees, suppliers and shareholders.
  • To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
  • To meaningfully contribute to local, national and international communities in which we trade by adopting a code of conduct which ensures care, honesty, fairness and respect.
  • To passionately campaign for the protection for the environment, human and civil rights, and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.
  • To tirelessly work to narrow the gap between principle and practice, whilst making fun, passion and care part of our daily lives.


Wardell Professional Development: Our Mission
Wardell Professional Development is a progressive organization, dedicated to helping people achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

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“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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