When to Decentralize Decision Making, and When Not To

Harvard Business Review

Hence, when (re-)designing the organization structure, they tend to decentralize decision-making, so that decision rights are as close as possible to the people who deal with customers, competitors, front-line employees, and other stakeholders. As Henry Mintzberg noted in The Structuring of Organizations in 1979, “The words centralization and decentralization have been bandied about for as long as anyone has cared to write about organizations.” Artrise/istock.

Starfish vs Spiders

LDRLB

Morgan (2005) uses a great image of a spider-plant to describe the decentralization trend. Handy’s (1998) shamrock organization might provide the right blend of centralization and decentralization to make it worthwhile for for-profit companies. A company could be centralized on one-leaf and decentralized on another. Other than the optional PayPal payment system, the marketplace is completely decentralized.

The Unusual Project Continues

Execupundit

The decentralization of the Apache tribal leadership. Spanish versus Mexican administration. Jesuits versus Franciscans. The Gadsden Purchase. An important Confederate map. A gold strike. 850 miles of canals. Italian stone masons. Texas muleskinners. Floods in Phoenix.

Six Rules to Simplify Work

QAspire

Simplicity stems from decentralization of power. “ Most re-organization efforts either focus on hard stuff (processes, strategy, structure, KPI’s) or on soft stuff (culture, values, relationships, feelings).

Commanding Excellence with Purpose, Passion, and Ingenuity

Leading Blog

The mission-focused structure was decentralized from the standpoint that each commander was given great freedom to execute, but they were also expected to cooperate with the decentralized companies and share everything with other teams.

Frontline Festival: Leaders Give Pointers on Creating Connection

Let's Grow Leaders

Alli Polin of Break the Frame observes that teams are increasingly decentralized and leaders are challenged to create connection when face to face interaction is infrequent at best. Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival.

Meyer 200

Over the River and Through the Woods

Execupundit

Groups are often divided between those who favor the large, heavily centralized, and slow big box approaches and those who prefer smaller, decentralized, nimble, and more creative ones. A board meeting day for a community group.

9 Reasons Your Leadership Development Program is Failing

Nathan Magnuson

Still others may revolve around an decentralized model (such as a mentoring program). A recent Bersin study reported that U.S. companies invest over $2,000 in leadership development initiatives per company leader. That’s great news. But is it worth the investment?

Care for a white-water ride?

N2Growth Blog

Decentralization of power: increasing responsibilities for line positions and lower echelons; fewer staff levels and hierarchical levels. Change seems to occur at an ever-increasing speed, making forecasts – especially those concerning long term scenarios – an extremely risky business.

Winning at Chaos: How to Succeed When it All Falls Apart

RapidStart Leadership

Key to success: centralized plan, decentralized execution #leadership Click To Tweet. Today is June 9 th. D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy took place 73 years and three days ago, heralding the beginning of the end of the Axis powers in Europe during World War II.

How To 156

Building Community Around Your Blog: Community Outside of Your Site

Managing Communities

photo credit: gotosira For part two in my series on building community around your blog, I want to talk about community decentralized – or community that is built on websites that you do not own or control. In the first part, we discussed community that you have by default upon launching your blog. This relates directly [.]. Interacting with Users

Beyond The Basics: The 10 Best Ways To Fine-Tune Your Leadership

Terry Starbucker

Now that you’ve absorbed the 8 basic principles of More Human Leadership , learned the 10 immutable laws that go with them, and truly know the difference between a boss and a leader , it’s now time to dig a little deeper.

Culture Counts

Leading Blog

Corporate America has had no shortage of heroes: Kellogg, Hewlett, Disney, Packard, Kroc, Watson, Ash and Iacocca. These leaders come to mind as examples of lions that have emblazoned their names as corporate giants.

Here and there – everywhere

Managing Leadership

This system, and the decentralizing, push-authority-down approach it expresses, are key to the phenomenal performance under incredibly complex and stressful conditions that today’s military performs so magnificently. We’ve covered two key elements of the 5-paragraph order used by the modern US military to not only transmit operational instructions to subordinates, but to ensure they have the perspective and context necessary to properly and intelligently carry them out.

Indispensable Traits of a Collaborative Leader: Part 1

QAspire

A collaborative team is the one where power is decentralized and everyone owns the final outcome. Being in a band is always a compromise. Provided that the balance is good, what you lose in compromise, you gain by collaboration. Mike Rutherford.

Future Leadership

Marshall Goldsmith

Issues such as globalization, decentralization, and the rapid pace of today’s marketplace have forced companies to evaluate the way they operate. The need for executive education is apparent. Key questions include: how can we learn from today’s best practitioners to understand the trends and challenges that will become the norm in the future? Are there “best” ways to develop current and future leaders? How will we pick our leaders?

A New Digital Iron Curtain

Coaching Tip

to claim control over today's borderless Internet, whose open, decentralized architecture makes it hard for these countries to close their people off entirely. Gordon Crovitz, Information Age, The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2012.

Extreme Ownership

Leading Blog

They cover four critical concepts that enable a team to perform at the highest level: Cover and Move (to move as one), Simple (keep plans and communications simple), Prioritize and Execute (avoid target fixation on a single issue), and Decentralized Command (leaders at all levels must be empowered to make decisions). Extreme Ownership by Navy SEAL officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is about leadership as personal responsibility. Leaders must own everything in their world.

The Strategy Execution Disconnect

Six Disciplines

There is a proper balance of centralized and decentralized responsibility required to achieve the strategy. A while back, OnPoint Consulting's survey yielded insights into what causes the strategy-execution gap. and what might be done to close it. Their assertions: They discovered that almost half of the leaders surveyed—49%—do perceive a gap between their organizations' ability to develop and communicate sound strategies - and their ability to implement those strategies.

The New World of Beta Curation

Strategy Driven

The other, smaller and rarer, is decentralized, horizontal, and inclusive. Today’s American corporate world is a tale of two cultures. One, more traditional and common, is centralized and hierarchical. I call it Alpha. I call this one Beta.

The New Beta Way To Lead

Eric Jacobson

The other, smaller and rarer, is decentralized, horizontal, and inclusive.

Disorienting leadership

Managing Leadership

Certainly not of the sort that is practiced in the mission-oriented, highly decentralized, and dynamically shifting operating structures of the modern US military. Technorati Tags: US Air Force , military , collaboration , leader , follower , discipline , skill , courage , leadership , individual leadership , visionary , mission , decentralized , organization , perspective , followership , Presurfer , Economist , innovative , communication.

The New Beta Way To Lead

Eric Jacobson

The other, smaller and rarer, is decentralized, horizontal, and inclusive.

YESability: Driving Growth with Yes

Leading Blog

Then relies heavily on centralized control and specialization, whereas now relies heavily on decentralized autonomous action.” In a world that is moving from a global economy driven by mass production to one driven by mass customization—a now economy—the demand for mass ingenuity, mass engagement, and mass action, has never been greater. In Business at the Speed of Now , author John Bernard says that there must also be a shift in the way we manage our organizations.

The New Beta Way To Lead According To Dana Ardi

Eric Jacobson

The other, smaller and rarer, is decentralized, horizontal, and inclusive.

Transforming a Management System – A Case Study From the Madison Wisconsin Police Department

Curious Cat

The first step in achieving the vision of a decentralized, citizen-focused police service. Field operations are decentralized into four areas of the city – central, south, east, north and west.

Leadership and Mentoring

N2Growth Blog

Effective mentoring programs while led from the top down, are decentralized and driven down to lowest possible levels of the organization. By Mike Myatt , Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth. Leadership and mentoring go hand-in-hand.

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Is the Church going away?

Deep Imprints

In this response, I began to realize that as women take their leadership talent and use it where it is appreciated, one of the end results is the decentralization of the church. Last week, I wrote my responses to the Resignation of Eve.

Factors That Help or Hinder Change

Change Starts Here

Is power and work centralized or decentralized? When planning for change, it helps to identify factors that may hinder change. At the same time, it is important not to forget the factors that may support the change. You often find factors that help or hinder change in the same places. Consider the following examples of types of factors that might affect your change initiative both positively or negatively: Culture.

Case Study: Adopting a Deming Management System in a Service Company

Deming Institute

Mason’s inability (or unwillingness) to decentralize and drive decision-making authority down to lower levels of the organization was probably a key factor in stagnation of the TQM effort at the operating level of the company.

Take Command -- How To Be A First Responder In Business (Interview With Author Jake Wood)

Eric Jacobson

Weak leaders and unhealthy organizations fear decentralized power and intellectually empowered small-unit leaders because they''re difficult to "control." October 14 brings a powerful new book full of leadership lessons for " how to be a first responder in business."

Is the Flattened Firm Falling Flat?

LDRLB

In addition, rather than decentralizing the structure of the organization, flattening usually results in a drastic centralization. Wolf’s research implies that flattening alone is an insufficient strategy for reducing costs or decentralizing decision making. For the past few decades, the business press and management consultants have pushed for large organizations to flatten their structure. Recent research, however, may be taking some of the wind out of their sails.

How To Have Minimal Organization Structure

Michael VanBruaene

In as many instances as possible you want the decentralized self-organizing approach to underlie conflict resolution. . You need less organization structure than you may realize to achieve your organization’s objectives. You can rely on the inherent capacity of your employees to organize themselves to achieve the organization’s purpose, with not much, if any, structure.

The Advisor’s Corner – How do I deal with so much on my plate?

Strategy Driven

Decentralization reality vs. having one ABC Company strategy, are in conflict. Question : There is SO much on my plate – how do I sort out priorities, recognize the blocks, and keep an open mind for possibilities?

3 Values of Teamwork

Ron Edmondson

Here are 3 reasons I personally prefer a team approach for this function of our church: Decentralized control - With one person in charge, if that person gets sick, moves, or decides he or she gets tired and quits, the whole church would suffer.

How to Get Experts to Work Together Effectively

Harvard Business Review

These teams are characterized by broad, open sharing of expertise and by decentralized decision making. Whether centralization (star structure) or decentralization (wheel structure) leads to better team performance has been a long-standing debate in team management. They decentralized design expertise when identifying solutions, and then centralized technical expertise to build them. How should teams of experts working on knowledge-intensive projects be structured?

“Leadership is Marketing” – Peter Drucker Said What?

Tanveer Naseer

Byrne’s list of Drucker’s major accomplishments included: Introducing the idea of decentralization, a concept that became basic to every large organization in the world. The following is a guest post by William A. Cohen. Peter F. Drucker was a genius. Unlike Sir Isaac Newton he didn’t choose to spend his time observing that an apple fell down rather than up. Nor did he ponder on the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of the human mind as did Sigmund Freud.

Successful Leadership Is Not One Size Fits All

Coaching Tip

One can hardly imagine a decentralized decision- making process in his operations. By Guest Author Art Gould. When a giant like Google changes management styles, we ought to take notice.

The Real Reasons Companies Are So Focused on the Short Term

Harvard Business Review

In particular, there are three widespread, interrelated structural trends that have fostered short-termism and reduced corporate innovativeness: increased hiring of outside CEOs (particularly from the late 1980s through the 2008 recession); the decentralization of R&D (over a similar time frame); and a focus on the “development” side of R&D rather than the “research” side. Instead of decentralizing R&D, recentralize it. MirageC/Getty Images.

Response to Resignation of Eve

Deep Imprints

When we decentralize, we end up with more of a personal view. If God is changing the way things are, and decentralizing the church, then our whole perception of relationship will change. If you read the book The Resignation of Eve , you will be changed.