A flexible organization based on skills and networks, not structure.
A pure networked organization works through flexible networks and skills to get things done.
This is a largely theoretical idea in some ways, as all organizations have some form of structure, but reflects an aspiration towards flexibility and away from a formal matrix with its multiple reporting lines and additional structure.
This way of working is a reflection of the need for organizations to work across the traditional ‘vertical’ silos of function and geography, but without creating a horizontal structure to replace it.
This more flexible and fast changing way of working requires a high degree of flexibility and the skills to deal with this significant increase in complexity and ambiguity. Leadership, collaboration and personal effectiveness become very different in this more flexible world.
In our work at Global Integration, we help organizations develop the four elements of the ‘soft structure’ that networked organizations need for success: networks, communities, teams and groups. Each of these ways of working need to be established, managed and supported in different ways.
In a networked organization, it is also useful to differentiate between capability and activity.
- Capability – for example making sure that we have enough skilled people for our projects and professions’ may usually be handled within functions or geographies;
- Activity – projects, teams and workflow increasingly cut across functions and geography and can quickly form to meet a particular business need – and disband when things move on.
In a network organization, teams and groups can quickly come together around a particular activity and tap into the capability and resources they need from across the whole organization.
Our approach to management training for networked organizations is that structure solves little, even when we have a formal ‘matrix’ reporting system. In many ways, the networked organization aspires to be at the pinnacle of this. In a flexible and rapidly changing business environment, formal structure is a slow and cumbersome way of getting things done – in a network organization this is even more true: flexibility – irrespective of structure – is key
The secret of success lies in the mindset and ways of working that evolve within the organization. An essential condition of this is giving people the skills and tools they need to succeed in a more complex and ambiguous environment.
Skills in a Networked Organization
Each organization will present a different set of challenges depending on the business climate, industry, level of globalization and the nature of the cooperation they require.
Global Integration’s leadership, teams and personal effectiveness training programs will give you the skills and tools to be successful in this very flexible environment. Our training focuses on the skills and mindset not on the reporting lines.
All our programs are highly modular, and can be quickly tailored to your specific challenges.
You can contact us to find out more about our training using the useful form to the right of this page (on most devices, or contact one of our regional offices:
T: +1 (415) 848 2995
Asia Pacific: Singapore
T: +65 6832 5603
F: +852-3669- 8008
Europe and Rest of World:
T: +44 (0)118 932 8912