The outgrown organization

Based on your responses, your organization is an outgrown organizational type.

Organizations with strong execution “DNA” tend to share similar characteristics. By fostering these traits, you can improve your organizational performance. Here are a few key improvement areas customized for you:

  • Quickly translating key strategic and operational decisions into action
  • Relaying competitive information quickly and effectively to headquarters
  • Making good on commitments to others 
  • Maintaining disciplined efforts where you can win
  • Ensuring consistent messages from top leaders
  • Successfully adapting to market changes
  • Creating clarity around roles and responsibilities
  • Correlating career advancement and compensation with performance
  • Promoting a distinctive culture that creates a competitive advantage
  • Encouraging leaders to "walk the talk"
  • Sending consistent messages to the market
  • Giving employees metrics to evaluate business impact
  • Having the right number of organization layers
  • Giving field employees insight into the bottom-line impact of daily choices
  • Consistently rewarding innovation
  • Pursuing and rewarding collaboration across organizational lines
  • Prioritizing capabilities when evaluating opportunities
  • Maintaining good information flow across the organization
  • Acting decisively
  • Limiting overlapping roles
  • Establishing influence based on reputation, credibility and relationships
  • Motivating people with values and pride

The outgrown organization: “The good old days meet a brave new world”

Too large and complex to be effectively controlled by a small team, this organization has yet to "democratize" decision-making authority.

The outgrown organization is literally bursting at the seams — it's expanded beyond its original organizational model. Too large and complex to be controlled effectively by a small team of senior executives, it has yet to “democratize” decision-making authority. Consequently, much of the organization’s potential remains untapped. Because power is closely held at the top, the outgrown organization tends to react slowly to market developments and often finds it cannot get out of its own way. If you’re in the middle of this organization, you might well see opportunities for positive change, but it’s just too hard to run these ideas up the flagpole. The legacy of top-down direction and decision-making is well entrenched, and old habits die hard.

In an outgrown organization, people are motivated more by values and pride versus incentives and rewards. Workarounds are a common occurrence since process and internal issues typically get in the way of focus on markets and customers. Top leaders typically deliver consistent messages and collaboration across organizations run high. Yet, influence in the Outgrown organization depends mostly on title and role.

This model worked very well when the organization was smaller and less complex, but now it is stunting growth of the organization and the career development of its best and brightest. Ironically, this unhealthy type is a natural outcome of early success, and an easy trap for high-growth companies to fall into. It’s worth paying attention to its symptoms, so you know which temptations to avoid.

The coherence index specifically measures the coherence or consistency of your organization's strategy. Most outgrown organizations score lower in this area. Coherent companies have a clear set of capabilities that are in line with their strategy and that they use over and over again in their portfolio. Please visit the coherence profiler to learn more about the strengths of coherence.

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Matt Siegel

Principal, PwC United States

Tel: +1 201 317 0089

Chris Greenwood

Partner, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (0)432 329556

Anthony Bruce

HR Consulting Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7213 4524

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