The product was complex. The pre-sales team members had to know the product in totality. For a fresh member of the team, answering 5000+ questions on the RFP for their potential clients was not only Herculean but impossible. No one man could know everything about so many products and their capabilities.
Customers kept coming back for details, asked questions and always needed more information. A creepy feeling of losing potential customers kept crawling up. The front end sales team blamed the pre-sales for this situation.
Any amount of training did not help. The leadership asked for ideas. The ‘Initiative’ generated an overwhelming response. Some recommended further training, some asked for technology intervention. Some said, change the people. Yet the problem persisted. Something drastic needed to be done.
Rightly so, the leadership dug deeper. They looked at the problem from a different perspective. The grouping & structuring of the team was geographical and in alignment with the front end sales team. This was the root cause. A re-alignment of the team structure based on functional knowledge of each product, that cut across the geographies of the sales teams, brought out better results and outcomes.
We often think of innovation as an incremental progress to current challenges. Often, such an approach brings only incremental outcomes or sometimes no outcomes at all. Innovation is not a top-down or a bottoms approach to problem-solving. It is a fine balance between the organization structure and the behavior it solicits from the employees because of it.
Designing the right organization structure will elicit the right behaviors and outcomes from the teams. Such a design will hasten the customer value proposition, improve effectiveness in productivity and drive business goals.
Today organizations struggle to generate value for their customers. The speed at which business dynamics change cannot be achieved through models and structures established for the industrial age. The digital economy demands fresh thinking and approach to customer value generation.
Design forms the core of such a transformation. A carefully crafted design can jumpstart the organization’s value to its customers, bringing a high rate of returns and reduce operational effort.
Innovation is not about solving a problem right. It is about finding the right problem to solve..