Organizational Complexity & Its Strategic Role in Your Business

Often when hiring a new employee or adding another team member, the individual conducting the screening process is solely focused on the skill set and assets the candidate brings to the position. Can they accomplish the tasks efficiently? How much training will be required? Will personalities clash within the organization? While all of these questions are valid concerns and should be addressed, what is often overlooked is how adding that person to the team will complicate the work environment.

The Hire

Each newly hired employee automatically brings a specific and unique package of assets and liabilities. By showing up to complete tasks every day, these qualities are thrown into the group dynamic. It is impossible to get a full picture of all a new hire’s emotions, previous experiences, needs, motivators and fears at the outset. These will become revealed over the course of time but unraveling each of these aspects of employee nature will impact the patterns, behaviors and characteristics of the business in unforeseen ways.

Understanding Complexity

Every time a company adds another employee, thus expanding the size of the team/organization, complexity also increases. As these people begin to mingle and work together, each of their unique packages will at times blend or clash with the other unique packages within the organization. This creates a fascinating level of complexity as the threads between people, personality and skillset become interwoven. Added complexity means new challenges, rules and processes, all of which affect the bottom line.

This matrix from James Fischer  describes the shifts that occur with the addition of  people by stage of growth. It is a great reference for examining the changes that will be needed to leadership styles, process improvement, human reosurce development and focus on profits.

Misreading Complexity

Most companies overlook the opportunity to really examine these connections. The potential to look at this map of people from an oversight mindset could allow employers to pinpoint areas of both strengths and weaknesses in the flow of everyday productivity. Understanding the various levels of complexity and using that information to develop productivity strategies is a valuable tool for business owners. How you grow as a business may be dependent upon how willing you are to embrace your company’s complexity and mold it to your advantage.

Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.