In the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris addresses the audience, breaking the fourth wall, and says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ”
Problem is, we don’t have time to stop any more because if we do, the world spins away from us.
So, what do we do about this?
Back at the start of 2006, the extended marketing team I was part of started to create a marketing council that brought together those of us working in what was already a distributed marketing group. The council was designed to share ideas and keep each other up-to-date.
What was interesting, in hindsight, was that the team wasn’t fragmented, which is what we suspected at the time.
Instead, it was already starting to reflect a new reality, which was that traditional corporate structures were struggling to keep up with a world already becoming more flexible and lighter on its feet.
So even as we conceived of and started to organise and run the first meetings of this nascent marketing council, we found that projects, corporate evolution, market demands and more moved too fast. Everything moved ahead of the council, and ended up accelerating away from it.
The council folded in on itself, but our work continued. Our internal customers received the services and support they required and needed. Our corporate colleagues were comfortable with what we delivered. We successfully positioned the company to the external market.
My point? Don’t confuse rigid corporate structure with the structure you do need to be successful. Work out how to create a flexible organisational matrix that helps set policy and define just the right amount of process, and then expect to change it often.
And don’t take too long. Start with one that works, and change as you need to. You’ll never get to the start line if you try to nail it in one go.